Friday, 13 October 2017

MUFG acquiring banks, but why sell CIMB?

Article from Bloomberg:

MUFG Seeks to Spend $900 Million on Acquisitions in U.S, Asia

One snippet:

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s lending arm is seeking acquisitions of about 100 billion yen ($890 million) in Asia and the U.S. to bolster its global operations, its top executive said.

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., to be renamed MUFG Bank in April, would consider taking majority stakes in banks in countries such as Indonesia or India in addition to the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Kanetsugu Mike said in an interview. 

While Japan’s biggest bank has previously signaled interest in buying lenders in the countries, it’s the first time a senior executive has indicated how much it might spend. Mike, 60, said any decision would be based on strategic fit, price and profitability, while noting that U.S. targets are “expensive” at the moment.

Japan’s biggest banks are expanding abroad to make up for declining loan profitability and a shrinking population at home. In the U.S., MUFG owns a bank with a heavy presence in California, and is the largest shareholder in Morgan Stanley. It bought stakes in banks in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in recent years.

Overseas business remains “a driver of growth for both the bank and the group,” Mike told a group of reporters at the lender’s Tokyo headquarters.

This seems like a rather clear intention, it wants to expand overseas by buying stakes in other banks.

But this is in rather stark contrast to MUFG selling its stake in CIMB only half a year ago, so why exactly did it do that?


  1. It looks like only a small sell-down - 14.4mn shares vs. total current holding of 41.9mn, I suspect it could have been due to run-up in share price and/or re-allocation of capital elsewhere. The article also notes that MUFG wants majority stakes, which wouldn't be possible with CIMB (and a mere $890mn)

  2. Sorry - that should read total current holding of 412.9mn

  3. My error - I see MUFG sold its entire stake earlier this month