Daiwa Bank Holdings Inc., the nation’s fifth-largest banking group, on Friday announced a business alliance with French bank Credit Agricole SA.

The deal includes the sale of a 5 percent stake in Diawa’s trust banking unit for 10 billion yen.

The sale boosted the holding company’s unconsolidated earnings projection to 20 billion yen net profit for the fiscal year, up from 14 billion yen announced earlier this month.

The holding company and France’s largest retail bank are in talks over joint product development and management of Daiwa’s pension assets currently entrusted to overseas asset management companies.

Credit Agricola staff may also train senior fund managers at Daiwa Trust Bank.

“This tieup combines Daiwa Bank Holdings’ strong retail base with Credit Agricole’s top-level investment trust product development and will strengthen Daiwa Trust Bank’s asset management capability,” Daiwa Bank Holdings president Yasuhisa Katsuta said. “Increasing our competitiveness in the investment trust business will lead to higher customer satisfaction.”

The firms will continue talks on further tieups in private banking and development of other financial products.

Katsuta said he hoped the partnership will enhance feelings of mutual trust and ultimately lead to Credit Agricole purchasing a 1 percent to 2 percent stake in the holding company as well as the trust bank.

But Christian Romeyer, president of Credit Agricole Japan, said this was not a consideration.

“We want to be very pragmatic . . . and work together with Daiwa Holdings through the trust business to create products that are beneficial to both,” Romeyer said.

The holding company earlier this month announced the sale of a 11.75 percent stake in its trust bank to 12 Japanese financial firms for about 23 billion yen.

Daiwa Trust was born in December when the holding company was created and started operations after Daiwa Bank completed the transfer of its pension and corporate asset trust banking businesses to the unit.

Asahi Bank joined the holding company March 1.

Resort loans waived

NAGOYA (Kyodo) UFJ Bank and other creditors have agreed to waive claims on half of their 40 billion yen in loans for a resort built by the Aichi Prefectural Government, Toyota Motor Corp., UFJ and other concerns, sources close to the project said Friday.

Toyota has agreed to take over the 20 billion yen balance of loans and operate the resort, the sources said.

The complex — comprising an amusement park, a shopping center and condominiums — will kick off operations on April 25.

Kaiyo Kaihatsu’s cumulative losses totaled 2.4 billion yen as of March 31, 2001, and it had planned to recover the losses in seven to eight years with revenues from the park.

But the operator asked UFJ and other creditors to forgive part of its debts as it anticipates difficulty in recovering the losses in view of Japan’s recession.

In addition to the loan purchase, Toyota, which currently holds a 16 percent stake in the resort operator, plans to buy the property and vacation houses built on the land for 10 billion yen.

The resort operator plans to convene an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting Friday afternoon in Nagoya to gain approval for the proposed transactions, including the debt-waiver and partial sale of the facilities to Toyota.

The resort operator was established in 1991, with its two public shareholders — the Aichi Prefectural Government and Gamagouri Municipal Government — putting up 51 percent of its 4.8 billion yen in capital.

The operator expects 3.35 million annual visitors to the amusement park.

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