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MUFG looks to acquire more asset managers

BloombergTOKYO (Bloomberg) — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is seeking fresh opportunities to buy asset managers following last year’s $2.9 billion Australia deal, as the nation’s biggest bank tries to make up for grim prospects at its domestic lending business.

“We said we would like to spend about ¥1 trillion two years ago, and we haven’t spent that much yet,” new Chief Executive Officer Kanetsugu Mike, 62, said in an interview. He said the bank will also consider purchasing asset finance portfolios if opportunities arise that are similar to DZ Bank’s aviation unit, which MUFG agreed to buy last month.

MUFG has been the most aggressive Japanese lender in snapping up overseas assets, as it diversifies business and expands in markets such as Southeast Asia to counter rock-bottom interest rates at home.

The bank last October agreed to buy Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s global asset management arm for 4.13 billion Australian dollars (U.S.$2.9 billion), its largest deal in that industry.

MUFG’s aspirations to purchase asset managers were earlier revealed by trust banking unit chief Mikio Ikegaya in a 2017 interview.

The lender has said it wants to expand assets under management to about ¥100 trillion, up from about ¥82 trillion including the CBA unit, known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

At the same time, Mike, who succeeded Nobuyuki Hirano as CEO on April 1, said MUFG doesn’t see the need for further large-scale deals targeting commercial lenders, pointing out that deals in Southeast Asia in recent years are sufficient.

It bought Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya Pcl in 2013 and is now in the process of acquiring more than 70 percent in PT Bank Danamon Indonesia.Speech

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