Wednesday’s Headlines: Japanese Banks to Buy European Non-Core Assets

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Cash-rich Japanese banks are poised to drop their traditional conservatism and snatch up bargain assets from their European counterparts, The Wall Street Journal reports. The most recent example of what experts see as an M&A boom Japanese lenders is Sumitomo Mitsui Financial’s $7.2 billion purchase of Royal Bank of Scotland’s aviation-leasing business.

The paper writes: Japanese megabanks such as SMFG, Japan's No. 3 bank by assets, have received growing numbers of overtures from European banks, industry executives say. Bankers and analysts say they expect to see more deals by Japanese players, as opportunities to buy solid assets at affordable prices tempt at a time when the domestic market is squeezed by sluggish loan demand.

SMFG recently reported it has been approached about acquiring more than $90 billion in assets from European financial institutions. Japanese banks have had little exposure to Europe -- one of the factors that have buoyed them against the recent debt crisis there.


Other News:

Morgan Stanley is warning staff members that more cuts may be coming. [Fox Business News]

Goldman’s Q4 profit tumbled on global economic struggles, beats estimates. [DealBook]

BNY Mellon’s Q4 earnings fell 26 percent on a restructuring charge and low interest rates. [Bloomberg]

TD Bank and BB&T submitted preliminary bids to acquire Florida’s BankUnited which is expected to fetch $2 billion. [WSJ]

Man Group’s funds under management fell 9.5 percent in the final three months of 2011. [NY Times]

Investment firm Renaissance Technologies is starting a new hedge fund, scheduled to open in March, to trade stocks and futures. [Bloomberg]

Altana Funds is starting a new fund to trade around market turmoil. [Financial Times]

Goldman, Barclays, BofA and Credit Suisse are preparing bids for $7 billion worth of mortgage-related securities that once belonged to AIG. [Financial Times]

London bankers are expecting a round of zero bonuses. [Reuters]