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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.”

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
structure.

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
expertise.