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Jan 15, 2014

In high spirits: Suntory deal boosts Morgan Stanley-MUFG tie-up

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – A joint venture between U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which suffered from a culture clash in its early stages, looks to have found its footing.

The venture, spawned from MUFG’s $9 billion investment in the Wall Street firm during the financial crisis, is a big winner from Suntory Holdings Ltd’s $13.6 billion deal this week to buy U.S. whiskey maker Beam Inc (BEAM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Jan 14, 2014

Banks approached to refinance Suntory’s bridge loan

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Banks have been contacted about
providing longer-term financing to refinance a jumbo bridge loan
that is backing Suntory Holdings Ltd’s $16 billion
acquisition of Beam Inc, banking sources said on

Suntory said that it would fund the purchase of the US
drinks maker with cash and a fully committed financing from Bank
of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ when it announced the acquisition on

Dec 27, 2013

Japanese banking body to tighten interbank benchmark rate setting

TOKYO, Dec 27 (Reuters) – Japan’s banking industry body said
it would set up a separate administrator for interbank benchmark
rates with more independent monitoring of the rate-setting
process, which is under review globally in the wake of
rate-rigging scandals.

Authorities in Europe and elsewhere have been pushing for
the overhaul of interbank lending-rate setting, which has been
criticised for a lack of transparency and given rise to cases of
collusion on rate-setting among banks for their advantage.

Dec 26, 2013

Japan’s Mizuho chairman to step down over mob loans scandal

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chairman Takashi Tsukamoto will quit in March to take responsibility for a scandal over loans to organized crime, and the bank will restructure its board to improve governance, it said on Thursday.

Japan’s banking regulator issued a second business-improvement order to the country’s second-largest lender on Thursday due to its inaction and false reporting over loans it has extended to organized crime members.

Dec 25, 2013

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust steps up overseas lending

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s fifth-largest lender, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, is planning to increase its overseas loan balances, with at least 1 trillion to 2 trillion yen ($9.6 billion-$19.2 billion) more capacity available to lend abroad, its top executive said.

“For overseas lending, we are diversifying our portfolio in terms of geography, borrower types, duration and timing,” said Hitoshi Tsunekage, president of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB), in an interview.

Dec 24, 2013

Japan’s SMFG well placed for Asian banking acquisitions- president

TOKYO, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Cash-rich Japanese bank Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) is poised to swoop on
businesses for sale in places like Asia as global rivals sell
assets to boost their balance sheets, the lender’s president

Koichi Miyata, president of Japan’s third-largest lender by
assets, told Reuters in an interview that he expects global
banking consolidation to continue against the backdrop of
tighter international rules on how much capital lenders should
have, introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Dec 24, 2013

Japan’s 7-Eleven kingpin looks to U.S. to inspire online revolution

TOKYO (Reuters) – The 81-year-old Japanese executive who built 7-Eleven into the world’s biggest convenience store chain has a new mission: turning more than 50,000 bricks and mortar stores in Japan into portals to a new online retail empire.

To do it, Toshifumi Suzuki, the chief executive of department store to mail order retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, is once again seeking inspiration in the United States. It’s over 40 years since he kickstarted a revolution in Japanese retail by bringing 7-Eleven stores across the Pacific, eventually buying the U.S. owners after they sought bankruptcy protection.

Dec 19, 2013

Likely Nomura exit from lender may spur Japan regional bank shake-up

TOKYO (Reuters) – Ashikaga Holdings Co Ltd’s (7167.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) return to Japan’s stock market has rival lenders bracing for the exit of its main shareholder Nomura Holdings Co (8604.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) – an event expected to trigger consolidation among the country’s regional banks.

Japan has more than 100 regional banks, accounting for around 40 percent of the country’s $4.6 trillion in outstanding loans. But overall loan demand has shrunk 10 percent over the last 20 years, prompting regulators to call for convincing growth strategies and increasing pressure on the banks to consider acquisitions.

Dec 12, 2013

SMFG buying Perella Weinberg’s U.S. railcar lease business

TOKYO, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
said it will acquire the U.S. railcar leasing business
of Perella Weinberg Partners LP, illustrating the continued
appetite of Japanese banks for overseas assets.

Japan’s third-largest lender by assets did not disclose
terms of the deal, but a source familiar with the matter said
the bank is likely to pay 30-50 billion yen ($290-$490 million).

Nov 21, 2013

Tokyo Electric needs $20 bln for non-nuclear investment -sources

TOKYO, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co,
operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, will need 2
trillion yen ($20 billion)for long-term capital investment in
non-nuclear power operations, sources familiar with the matter
said on Thursday.

The figure, which includes spending to upgrade thermal power
plants, secure rights to overseas energy resources and
participate in overseas power projects, was prepared by Tokyo
Electric and a government body on nuclear damage compensation as
they finalise a business plan due next month.