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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nomura group to buy into Ashikaga Bank

Staff writer

A consortium led by Nomura Holdings Inc. signed an agreement Friday with Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan to purchase shares of Ashikaga Bank Ltd., paving the way for the government-owned regional bank to become private again July 1.

According to the agreement, Nomura Financial Partners Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomura, and Next Capital Partners Co. will acquire about ¥300 billion worth of Ashikaga shares together with local companies.

"We hope to support Ashikaga Bank as a financial institution based in Tochigi Prefecture," Shoichi Nagamatsu, president of Nomura Financial Partners, said at a news conference.

Nagamatsu further said he hopes other companies will support Ashikaga's business plan mapped out by the consortium and join the alliance.

Ashikaga will seek to go public in 2010.

"I want to build a national team in turning Ashikaga around," Nagamatsu said.

Nomura had been competing for Ashikaga with a group of regional banks led by Bank of Yokohama and speculation is ripe that Nomura hopes to gain support from them.

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The Japan Times

Article 6 of 7 in Business news

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