Japanese trading company Nissho Iwai Corp. said Friday that it has agreed with South Korean trader Samsung Corp. to share overseas outlets.

The move is intended to spur the two trading houses’ efforts to streamline their operations outside of their home markets.

A total of 415 Nissho Iwai representatives are currently at 136 overseas bases, while the Seoul-based trading arm of the Samsung group has 175 employees at 97 offices abroad.

In the last two years, Nissho Iwai has shut down and consolidated its overseas outlets, but the firm decided that it can no longer continue closures in light of the need to maintain a global trading network, the company said in a news release.

Nissho Iwai will reorganize its outlets in Asia and the Middle East, it said.

The two traders will cooperate in marketing each other’s products in countries where their respective customer bases are small.

Nissho Iwai and Samsung are also considering using each other’s overseas outlets for trading in chemical products.

Nissho Iwai will invest in a joint company set up under Samsung’s initiative that will offer electronic commerce in chemical products.

Osaka Gas eyes unit

OSAKA — Osaka Gas Co. is negotiating with trading company Nissho Iwai Corp. to buy its wholly owned subsidiary Nissho Iwai Petroleum Gas Corp., Osaka Gas sources said Friday.

The purchase of the liquefied petroleum gas importer and retailer would be in line with a plan by Osaka Gas to boost its energy-related business and cut down on distribution costs, the sources said.

The sources did not say how much the deal is likely to cost, but said Osaka Gas is hoping to buy a majority of shares in the subsidiary by September.

Tokyo-based Nissho Iwai Petroleum Gas is capitalized at 1.7 billion yen. It has an LPG plant in Mie Prefecture and sells about 550,000 tons of LPG each year to retailers and households nationwide.

Annual sales of the subsidiary’s 22 sales units are around 50 billion yen. The subsidiary has roughly 600 employees.