Home / Companies / News /  Japan's SMFG to buy 74.9% stake in Fullerton India for $2 billion

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, Japan's second largest lender by assets, said on Tuesday it would buy a 74.9% stake in Fullerton India for $2 billion, as the bank expands its business elsewhere in Asia amid low interest rates at home, marking the first entry into the South Asian country’s retail financial business by a Japanese bank.

Japan’s second-largest lender will eventually acquire the rest of the Indian credit firm from Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte at a later stage, it said in a statement Tuesday, without providing terms of the transaction.

Bloomberg News earlier reported that Sumitomo Mitsui would pay about 220 billion yen ($2 billion) for the holding, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

Fullerton Financial, parent of the Indian non-bank firm, is a unit of Singapore's state investment fund Temasek Holdings Pte. It is a central bank-registered shadow lender that offers loans to individuals and small businesses.

Faced with weak growth prospects at home, Sumitomo Mitsui has been allocating resources to Asia’s emerging markets in recent years. The bank took control of Indonesian lender PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional in 2019 after acquiring a minority stake earlier. Sumitomo Mitsui is looking for targets in Vietnam, Philippines and India, Chief Executive Officer Jun Ohta said in an interview in December.

Sumitomo Mitsui in April agreed to buy a 49% stake in Vietnamese consumer lender FE Credit. Last month, the bank said it will buy a 4.99% stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. of the Philippines for 4.48 billion pesos ($91 million).

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