Business

Lender Mizuho plans expansion in emerging Asian markets

Tokyo
Image caption Spluttering economic growth and price deflation in Japan has caused a drop in demand for bank loans

Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's second-largest lender, will look to tap growing markets in Asia as it tries to offset slower conditions at home.

Chief executive Yasuhiro Sato told the Reuters news agency that Mizuho plans to expand into Burma, Vietnam and Bangladesh as early as April 2011.

The lender will also look to buy investment advisory firms in Asia, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Japan's banks are moving abroad as they face a squeeze on domestic lending.

'Next step'

As well as moving into new markets, Mizuho also wants to increase operations in countries where it already has a presence.

Mizuho will add offices in China, where it already has 13, and will add a third in India, Mr Sato told Reuters.

Mizuho is also hoping to capitalize on the growing number of individuals and companies that are becoming wealthier across Asia.

According to Bloomberg, Mizuho will look to buy financial management firms in Asia with BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager. Last year Mizuho bought a 2% stake in BlackRock.

Mr Sato said the strategy would be to invest Japanese pension money in faster-growing Asian economies.

"Acquisitions of management firms in the region will be the next step," Mr Sato is quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

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