— Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFJ), Japan’s biggest bank, bought a 20% stake worth US$743m in state-owned VietinBank, the largest-ever merger or acquisition deal in Vietnam’s banking sector. The deal aims to boost “support for Japanese companies operating in Vietnam”, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ president Nobuyuki Hirano said, and to tap South-east Asian markets; after seeing its profits tumble this year, like other Jappo banks.
The Japanese bank last month reported profit in the six months to September dived 58 per cent year on year to US$3.6 billion, due partly to declines in stock holdings.
VietinBank, or Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade, said State Bank of Vietnam will still own the majority of its shares. For the record, it is Vietnam’s second largest bank by asseys.
— SMFG said it plans to expand its consumer finance business to target the growing middle classes in South-east Asia.
The new Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere?
No ASEAN round-up this hols week.