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Apr 21, 2013

Japanese banks say hola, go local as they woo overseas borrowers

TOKYO, April 22 (Reuters) – Japan’s banking titans are
hiring Spanish-speaking bankers to win new business in Latin
America and handing out loans to junk-grade borrowers in the
United States as they probe deeper overseas to fight meagre
returns at home.

Lenders such as Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG)
have ramped up overseas lending since the euro zone
debt crisis sent European rivals packing. The move abroad was
given a new impetus this month after the central bank unveiled a
stimulus plan that will plunge Japan into an ultra-low monetary
environment, further eroding razor-thin loan margins and cutting
returns on Japanese government bonds.

Apr 19, 2013

Japan insurers likely to boost foreign bond holdings -industry group head

TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) – Japan’s life insurers, which
hold $3.4 trillion in assets, are likely to shift some of their
money into foreign bonds after the Bank of Japan announced plans
for aggressive monetary stimulus, the head of Japan’s life
insurance industry group said on Friday.

Kenji Matsuo, who also heads one of the country’s largest
life insurers, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co, said
the shift would be temporary, however, with Japanese yields
likely to move up in the medium term as a result of the BOJ’s
measures.

Apr 12, 2013

MUFG chief plans to ramp up assets in U.S. and Asia

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to ramp up asset acquisitions in the United States and Asia, including acquisitions of local banks, its new head said, as Japanese lenders accelerate their overseas push to make up for falling spread margins at home.

“Given its broad and deep market, the United States is the place of importance for us. And in Asia, we expect strong growth,” said Nobuyuki Hirano, who became president of the world’s 12th largest bank by market capital in April.

Apr 10, 2013

For Japan’s loan-starved banks, BOJ’s big bang carries new risk

TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) – When the Bank of Japan announced
its go-for-broke bid to shock the economy out of two decades of
stagnation, it also put the nation’s banks on notice to find a
money-hungry borrower other than the government itself.

Since the late 1990s, Japan’s banks have relied on
increasing purchases of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) to make
up for falling demand for loans from Japan’s risk-averse
businesses and individual borrowers.

Apr 8, 2013

MUFG set to buy Deutsche U.S. property loans worth $3.7 billion: source

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s largest lender by assets, is in advanced talks to buy U.S. commercial property loans from Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) worth about $3.7 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The acquisition, which is likely to be agreed within a few days and will include Deutsche’s team of bankers specialising in commercial real estate loans, comes amid an aggressive push by MUFG to ramp up its U.S. assets.

Apr 8, 2013

MUFG set to buy Deutsche U.S. property loans worth $3.7 bln-source

TOKYO, April 8 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
, Japan’s largest lender by assets, is in advanced talks
to buy U.S. commercial property loans from Deutsche Bank
worth about $3.7 billion, a source familiar with the
matter said on Monday.

The acquisition, which is likely to be agreed within a few
days and will include Deutsche’s team of bankers specialising in
commercial real estate loans, comes amid an aggressive push by
MUFG to ramp up its U.S. assets.

Mar 26, 2013

Tokio Marine president-elect Nagano eyes more overseas deals

TOKYO, March 26 (Reuters) – The president-elect of Tokio
Marine Holdings Inc, Tsuyoshi Nagano, says that Japan’s
largest property-casualty insurer by market value will continue
to aggressively pursue overseas acquisitions amid weak growth
prospects at home.

Nagano, currently the company’s executive vice president,
was on Tuesday named the next president and CEO, replacing Shuzo
Sumi.

Mar 15, 2013

Khazanah bids for GE’s $1.8 bln Thai bank stake – sources

March 15 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Bhd is
seeking to buy General Electric’s $1.8 billion stake in Bank of
Ayudhya (BAY), sources familiar with the matter said,
pitting it against Japanese banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group (MUFG).

Khazanah’s bid for GE’s 25.3 percent stake came as a
surprise, the sources said, declining to be identified as the
information was not public.

Feb 28, 2013

MUFG names Hirano, soft-spoken but tough negotiator, as president

TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group said Nobuyuki Hirano, chief of its core banking
unit, will become company president — a move that comes at time
when Japanese banks are under pressure to expand further
overseas, particularly in investment banking.

Hirano, 61, will replace Katsunori Nagayasu, whose tenure
was marked by large-scale acquisitions in the wake of the global
financial crisis.

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.”