• Kyodo

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Bank of Kansai and Kansai Sawayaka Bank, which have agreed to merge next February, said Tuesday the new entity will be named Kansai Urban Banking Corp.

The Osaka-based second-tier regional banks also unveiled a symbol for the new entity that combines the initials K and U.

The banks said they decided on the new name to place emphasis on becoming an “urbanized” regional bank.

Bank of Kansai, owned 49 percent by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., said it obtained 384,000 shares, or an 80 percent stake, in Kansai Sawayaka Bank the same day and put the bank under its control. Bank of Kansai will be the surviving entity in the merger.

Kansai Urban Banking will have total assets of about 2 trillion yen, making it the second-largest Osaka-based regional bank in terms of assets after Kinki Osaka Bank of the Resona banking group.

Kansai Sawayaka Bank was set up by an investment fund led by U.S. financier Wilbur Ross and began operations in February 2001 after taking over Kofuku Bank, a failed second-tier regional bank based in Osaka.

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