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Banking

MUFG: Not just big in Japan

There will be risks as well as rewards on the hunt for growth

Being a big Japanese bank is a fairly miserable state of affairs, but at least MUFG has a plan for what to do about it.

All Japanese banks believe they have to look overseas for revenue in light of negative interest rates and dormant activity at home, but MUFG is leading the effort. Two stockpiles for foreign acquisition came to light during 2017. 

One is in the trust business, which is being revamped. It is transferring ¥12 trillion ($105 billion) of loans from 2,600 customers into MUFG’s broader lending unit, freeing capital for the trust bank to acquire overseas and transform itself into a leader in asset management and consulting. 

It is thought to have ¥1 trillion to spend and the unit’s chief executive, Mikio Ikegaya, was pretty unequivocal in July: “We’re going to make acquisitions on a scale we never have before.” It wants ¥100 trillion under management by 2020, up from ¥60 trillion now.

The other stockpile is in the main bank, where unit chief Kanetsugu Mike said in October that the bank is seeking acquisitions in Asia and the US. 

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