Japanese banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is mulling to acquire another bank in Asia, two years after its bought Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya for $5bn.
The lender is considering acquiring a bank that has expertise in consumer banking in Indonesia, the Philippines or India, according to a Bloomberg report.
Mitsubishi UFJ Asia-Oceania arm CEO Go Watanabe in an interview told the publication said: "We’re looking for a bank that is very strong in both corporate and retail consumer finance akin to Bangkok-based Bank of Ayudhya Pcl.
The bank ideally wants a majority stake in a "relatively big-sized bank," he said.
"Doing business with corporates isn’t enough. Having a retail business is something we want, to capture the high growth of the Asian economy," said Watanabe, who moved to Singapore in July 2013 to take up his current role.
Currently, regulators in Indonesia, Philippines and India are at various stages of easing rules on ownership of their banks by foreign lenders. While India now allows a foreign entity to hold around 74% stake, up from previous 49%; Indonesia is at 40% limit and Philippines allows complete foreign ownership.
However, Indonesia recently made an exception when it permitted South Korea’s Shinhan Bank to acquire two lenders and merge them that exceeded the prescribed 40% foreign ownership limit.