Fukushima Bank to Accept Investment from SBI Holdings

Economy

Fukushima, Nov. 11 (Jiji Press)--Fukushima Bank <8562> plans to accept investment from major Japanese online financial services firm SBI Holdings Inc. <8473>, officials of the regional bank operating mainly in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, said Monday.

The bank will join SBI's initiative to create the country's "fourth megabank," or a union of regional banks, through investment in the lenders. Fukushima Bank will be the second bank to join the initiative after Shimane Bank <7150>, based in Matsue in the western prefecture of Shimane.

Fukushima Bank is expected to announce the move after formalizing it at a board meeting on Monday afternoon. SBI is expected to acquire an equity stake of more than 10 pct in the regional bank, informed sources said.

The bank hopes to strengthen its ties with SBI based on their existing cooperative measures, such as sales of financial products. The lender is also seeking to boost its profitability by eliciting support from SBI in the fields of asset management and information technology.

The move comes as regional banks struggle amid a dwindling population and due to adverse effects of the Bank of Japan's ultraeasy monetary policy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press