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Feb 26, 2013

Mizuho hunting for banking assets in Asia, US

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc
, Japan’s second-largest lender by assets, is looking to
further expand overseas by acquiring either an Asian investment
bank or a U.S. commercial bank over the next three years.

“Possible targets include an Asian investment bank,
especially a bond market player,” Mizuho President Yasuhiro Sato
told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “We also have to take a
fresh look at the United States, whose economy, we expect, will
become very strong in next five years.”

Feb 19, 2013

Japan’s Orix agrees to buy Rabobank arm for $2.5 billion

TOKYO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Japanese financial services firm
Orix Corp said on Tuesday it has agreed to buy Dutch
asset manager Robeco from its owner, Rabobank, for
1.935 billion euros ($2.58 billion) in a cash-and-stock deal.

The acquisition is the biggest ever by Orix, a diversified
financial services company with businesses ranging from leasing,
life insurance, real estate and corporate lending to a
professional baseball team.

Feb 8, 2013

Mizuho Financial’s CEO to head core banking unit

TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc
, Japan’s No.2 lender by assets, said on Friday its CEO,
Yasuhiro Sato, will also head a core banking unit to be created
by a merger of Mizuho’s two banks in July.

The move was widely expected as Sato, 60, already serves as
CEO of one of the banks, Mizuho Corporate Bank, but the question
is how it will help boost Sato’s hand in steering the banking
group with $1.8 trillion in assets, which has been plagued with
two large-scale system failures and criticised of its bloated

Feb 7, 2013

Japan’s Dai-ichi Life eyes Asia infrastructure finance

TOKYO, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co
, one of Japan’s top four insurance companies, said it
plans to invest in Southeast Asian infrastructure finance in the
next three years, taking on a new investment area as it looks to
boost returns.

Japanese life insurers are hungry for higher-yield
alternatives to government bonds, but have been cautious about
investing in riskier but potentially more profitable options,
such as offshore project finance, due to a lack of credit risk

Feb 1, 2013

Market rally helps Japan banks post hefty Q3 profits

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top banks reported a sharp rise in profits for the quarter ended December, helped by a year-end stock market rally and strong growth in overseas loans while bad-loan costs remained low.

They were also buoyed by the yen’s recent fall against the dollar as they aggressively expanded overseas amid weak growth prospects at home.

Feb 1, 2013

Japan’s MUFG Q3 profit doubles on stock rally, bond gains

TOKYO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s
third-quarter net profit doubled, driven by a year-end
rally in Japanese stocks that boosted the value of its massive
equity portfolio.

A cheaper yen also pushed up yen-denominated earnings of
Japan’s largest lender by assets as the share of its overseas
business has grown rapidly as the result of the effort to make
up for weak lending at home.

Jan 31, 2013

Mizuho Q3 soars on stock market rally

TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group Inc’s
third-quarter net profit soared more than 10 times
after a year-end rally in the Japanese stock market pushed up
the value of its massive equity portfolio.

Japan’s financial institutions have benefited from a nearly
20 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei average through
the final three months of 2012, powered by investor expectations
for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies of massive fiscal
spending, aggressive monetary easing and a weaker yen.

Dec 25, 2012

Japan’s SMFG targets Asia non-banking retail market

TOKYO, Dec 26 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
Inc plans to speed expansion in Asia via its
non-banking units like consumer finance and credit, hoping to
lure the region’s retail clients, the head of Japan’s
third-largest lender by assets said.

“What we have in mind is sales finance for cars, air
conditioners and TVs in Southeast Asia. It does not have to be
(done by our core bank) SMBC. We can use a vehicle best suited
for the purpose,” Koichi Miyata, president of SMFG, told
Reuters in an embargoed interview conducted on Friday.

Dec 20, 2012

Sumitomo Life to buy HSBC’s stake in Vietnam insurer

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sumitomo Life Insurance Co SMTLI.UL said on Thursday it is buying HSBC Holding’s (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (0005.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 18 percent stake in Vietnamese insurer Baoviet Holdings BVH.HM for about $340 million, the latest Japanese acquisition in Southeast Asia.

Faced with weak growth prospects at home and a strong yen, Japanese banks and insurers are stepping up overseas expansion.

Dec 13, 2012

Japan’s MUFG to buy 20 percent of VietinBank for $720 million

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ plans to buy 20 percent of VietinBank CTG.HM from the Vietnamese government for about 60 billion yen ($720 million), a source close to the deal said, as Japan’s cash-rich big banks expand into fast-growing Southeast Asian markets.

The deal by the core retail and commercial bank of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for a stake in Vietnam’s second-largest partly private lender will mean all three of Japan’s megabanks have a stake in Vietnam’s wobbly banking sector.