RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Japan

Mizuho plans stake acquisition in Asian banks

Lender willing to invest $1.2bln in M&A as it joins rivals in shifting resources abroad.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. may seek stakes in Asian investment banks and would consider spending about 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) on an acquisition should it find a suitable target, a senior executive said.

“Non-organic growth is an important option for us and the emphasis is on Asia,” Nobuhide Hayashi, 53, head of international banking at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., said in an Aug. 19 interview in Tokyo.

Mizuho Corporate, an investment banking unit of Japan’s second-biggest publicly traded lender by assets, wants to boost the share of profit coming from overseas to 40 percent by March 2013 from 30 percent last fiscal year, Hayashi said. Mizuho would “gladly” consider buying Asian assets from European banks stung by the credit crisis, he said.

Mizuho and rivals Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are shifting resources abroad as Japan’s sluggish economy limits profit growth at home. The Tokyo-based lender trailed its competitors in acquisitions in Asia over the past three years as it repaired a balance sheet damaged by soured investments tied to U.S. subprime mortgages.

View the full story in Bloomberg.

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