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Asian market round-up: Friends in need

Japan’s three megabanks have been asked by US counterparts to contribute $5 billion apiece to the fund they are setting up to bail out cash-stricken structured investment vehicles hit by the sub-prime crisis.

Shareholders appear to have been alarmed by the news: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group all suffered share price falls following the announcement that they might become further involved in the sub-prime crisis. As Euromoney went to press, concerns that banks including Citi were taking sub-prime-hit assets in their funds on to their own books threatened to derail the bailout fund project; the Japanese banks asked to give their help, meanwhile, must be less than thrilled by the opportunity.

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