TOKYO, June 22 (Reuters) – Japanese financial group Sumitomo Mitsui ( SMFG ) Inc ( 8316.T ) is in final talks to acquire 10% of online finance giant SBI Holdings Inc ( 8473.T ) in a deal that could worth 60 billion. yen ($443 million), the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.
The deal, which aims to strengthen domestic equity securities businesses, will see SBI issue new shares, the Nikkei reported without specifying where it got the information. The newspaper also said that SBI may also take a small stake in SMFG.
SBI said in a Tokyo stock filing on Wednesday that it is true that it is exploring partnership opportunities with SMFG, including the capital tie-up that has been reported by some media.
Sumitomo Mitsui said in a statement that it is exploring opportunities with SBI, but that nothing has been decided.
A new share issue would boost SBI’s financial position, which has been stretched since its $1 billion offer last year for mid-sized lender Shinsei Bank Ltd ( 8303.T ).
SBI shares were up around 4% in early trading on Wednesday after rising as much as 6.9%. SMFG shares were almost intact.
The partnership could see SMFG introduce SBI’s online securities business to its retail banking customers.
The two have joined forces to create a digital exchange to provide an alternative trading platform to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
SMFG, Japan’s second-largest lender by assets after Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc ( 8306.T ), has its brokerage unit, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc, under investigation after the arrest of some of its executives for alleged market manipulation. . SMBC Nikko said it is conducting its own investigation into the matter.
SBI aims to become Japan’s fourth largest banking group after Mizuho Financial Group Inc ( 8411.T ). It already owns the country’s largest online brokerage, an online bank and a fund manager.
Hoping to create a nationwide network, it has been taking stakes in local Japanese lenders and reduced its stake in Shinsei Bank to 48% in a tender offer last year.
($1 = 135.3300 yen)
Reporting by Sam Nussey and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Louise Heavens and Christopher Cushing
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