Mizuho Financial Seeking U.S. Acquisition

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Japan's Mizuho Financial Group is looking for a U.S. investment bank to acquire in an effort to expand its global business.

Reuters says Japan's big banks - like Mizuho, which is the country's second-largest - want to become global again. Most of them sold their overseas assets during the 1990s.

A U.S. acquisition is "something we're always thinking about," Mizuho Corporate Bank Chief Executive Hiroshi Saito told Reuters. "We're not looking for a retail bank. It would be something like an investment bank or brokerage." He said Mizuho has more than 10 trillion yen in assets, "which makes us bigger than investment banks, so (an acquisition) would be perfectly possible."

Saito didn't name acquisition targets or provide details on the size or timing of any possible bids. Reuters said the bank could "conceivably" buy a boutique underwriter or M&A adviser. The bank wants to de-emphasize corporate lending and strengthen ins advisory business. "We need to get our employees to stop asking clients, 'Do you need a loan?' and start asking, 'How can we help you to strengthen your business?'" Saito said.