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Japan’s biggest lender, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is planning to buy a 75% controlling stake in Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya for $5.6bn. If the deal goes ahead it will be the biggest purchase in South East Asia by a Japanese bank. The deal would also see General Electric end its investment in Ayudhya that goes back to 2007 when it bought a 33% stake in the bank. The MUFG offer still needs approval from Thailand’s finance ministry but in a briefing the Japanese bank expressed confidence that the deal would go through.
Japanese financial firms have been expanding in South East Asia as they are attracted by bright growth prospects. In May, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group brought a $1.5bn stake in Indonesia’s Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional.