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Author: notehound Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 457859  
Subject: Japanese banks say "hola" Date: 4/22/2013 1:01 PM
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A quick web search will reveal that the trend of Japanese banks increasing their overseas lending has been going on for a couple of years. The following article indicates that this trend continues.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) - Japan's banking titans are hiring Spanish-speaking bankers to win new business in Latin America and handing out loans to junk-grade borrowers in the United States as they probe deeper overseas to fight meager returns at home.

Lenders such as Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) (8316.T) have ramped up overseas lending since the euro zone debt crisis sent European rivals packing. The move abroad was given a new impetus this month after the central bank unveiled a stimulus plan that will plunge Japan into an ultra-low monetary environment, further eroding razor-thin loan margins and cutting returns on Japanese government bonds...

"We now arrange deals that are very different from what we used to do in the past, that is, those with very strong local flavor with no involvement of Japanese companies," said Takayuki Sakai, chief manager of project finance at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, a core unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) (8306.T).

The bank is looking to increase local currency-denominated lending, such as those in the real, as opposed to the usual dollar-dominated loans, he said...

There is a limit to what banks can earn from loans to clients with a top-notch credit status, said Hideo Kawafune, senior vice president at SMBC's international banking unit.

"Our current loan portfolio is a bit weighted on high credit rating borrowers, and we would like to expand lending to customers in the BB+ to BB- class," Kawafune told Reuters.

The bank is increasing loans to U.S. municipalities after poaching a public finance team from a U.S. bank in 2008. Recent transactions include a $209 million loan to New York City Water Financing Authority.

Kawafune said loans to non-investment grade corporates and municipalities in the United States still represent a small portion, roughly 10 to 20 percent of the overall loans

But their growth is outpacing the rest of the bank's overseas lending, he said...


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/21/us-japan-banks-ove...

The article also indicates that the Japanese banks are expanding their M&A business. It will be interesting to see whether growth in Japanese lending will also spur US banks to increase their risky lending. If so, then the Central bankers' efforts to spur inflation (in both the US and Japan) may eventually be successful.

The article doesn't indicate whether or how the rapid decline in the relative value of the Yen has or might affect the rate of growth of the banks' overseas lending.

If I were a Japanese banker and I expected the Yen devaluation to continue, I might welcome the opportunity to obtain a stream of income denominated in Brazilian Reals, Euros, US Dollars or any one of a number of other currencies as a hedge against future Yen declines.
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