Bloomberg News

Mitsubishi UFJ Said to Be in Talks With RBS for Australia Unit

June 29, 2011

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to buy the U.K. bank’s infrastructure advisory unit in Australia, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The Sydney-based unit employs 30 full-time staff, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the talks are confidential.

The acquisition would add to the project-financing assets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that the Tokyo-based bank acquired from RBS for 3.9 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) in December. Mitsubishi UFJ Chief Executive Officer Katsunori Nagayasu and his rivals are looking to expand overseas amid 18 straight months of declining loan demand in Japan.

“All Japanese megabanks have said project finance, in particular in Asia, will be a pillar for future growth,” said Takehito Yamanaka, a Tokyo-based analyst at MF Global FXA Securities Ltd. The region around Australia “is probably the area that Mitsubishi UFJ is looking into next for its global expansion of project and infrastructure financing.”

The two banks are in advanced talks for the Australian unit, which was set up by ABN Amro Holding NV, the Financial Times earlier today. The sale price isn’t clear, it said.

Shinya Matsumoto, a spokesman at Mitsubishi UFJ’s main banking unit, and London-based RBS declined to comment.

RBS is selling assets after receiving a taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008. Nagayasu said Nov. 15 that last year’s purchase of RBS’s assets including loans for electricity, natural- resource and infrastructure projects would help his bank double its project financing workforce in London.

--With assistance from Shigeru Sato and James Gunsalus in Tokyo. Editors: James Gunsalus, Chitra Somayaji

To contact the reporters on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.net; Takako Taniguchi in Tokyo at ttaniguchi4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net; Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net


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