Why the stakes are high in MUFG’s Asia plan
With the acquisition of Indonesia’s Bank Danamon, MUFG has built a network of southeast Asia bank stakes to go with its presence in the US. Now comes the hard part: persuading them to work together. CFO Aki Tokunari explains MUFG’s international strategy.
MUFG chief executive Nobuyuki Hirano. Illustration: Pete Ellis
When MUFG acquired a 19.9% stake in Bank Danamon in December, the first part of an intended three-phase deal to get to majority control, it marked the conclusion of a five-year effort to build stakes across southeast Asia by Japan’s biggest bank.
“Indonesia was the last, biggest missing piece for our Asian strategy,” Aki Tokunari, group chief financial officer and senior managing executive officer, tells Euromoney in MUFG’s Tokyo head office.
MUFG bought 20% of VietinBank in Vietnam in 2012, 76.8% of Bank of Ayudhya in Thailand in 2013 and 20% of Security Bank in the Philippines in 2016, to go alongside alliances with Co-operative Bank in Myanmar, Canadia Bank in Cambodia and CIMB in Malaysia. The Danamon acquisition cements a network that establishes southeast Asia as the second big growth region for MUFG after the US.
Japan, after all, is many things, but it is not a large growth region.
“We are facing many headwinds in Japan,” says Tokunari.