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Midsize brokerages SMBC Friend Securities Co. and Izumi Securities Co. said Wednesday they will merge April 1 to streamline operations and bolster customer bases.

SMBC Friend will be the surviving company, and its current name will continue to be used for the merged entity, the two firms said in a statement.

Under the agreement, one-half of an SMBC Friend share will be swapped for one Izumi share, they said.

The brokerages said the merged firm will continue to cooperate closely with the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking group as its member.

SMBC Friend is owned more than 40 percent by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., while Izumi Securities is owned about 20 percent by Sumitomo Life Insurance Co.

SMBC Friend was created April 1 after Meiko National Securities Co. and Sakura Friend Securities Co. merged.

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