Japan’s SBI Holdings, Towa Bank to form capital tie-up, pick small stakes in each other

Photo: Nikkei Asian Review

Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings Inc and regional lender Towa Bank Ltd will conduct a capital tie-up and take small stakes in one another, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday.

SBI will provide its technology and financial services to Towa Bank so that the lender can improve its customer service, the Nikkei said, without citing its sources.

A representative at SBI declined to comment, but Towa later issued a statement saying the news was nothing they had announced. “It’s true that we are looking into a stronger tie with SBI, and if something happens we will inform you,” the statement said.

SBI has invested in four regional banks, and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao had said he wanted to expand that to 10. It is looking to revive struggling regional banks by taking stakes and pushing them into higher-margin businesses.

The strategy may get a boost from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who has pledged to strengthen local economies and encourage regional banks to consolidate.

Although regional lenders are dominant outside of Tokyo and other big cities, many are tied to areas where the population is ageing rapidly, and business has been hollowed out. The pandemic has deepened the pain after years of low-margin lending.

SBI is scheduled to release its earnings results on Oct. 28.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.