LONDON (Kyodo) Mizuho Financial Group Inc. regained its status as the world’s biggest banking group in terms of assets in 2003, the British financial magazine Banker reported in its July issue, published Wednesday.

Mizuho outranked last year’s No. 1 firm, Citigroup Inc. of the United States, which came in second.

Mizuho’s total assets reached $1.285 trillion, while Citigroup’s stood at $1.264 trillion, Banker said.

The data for lenders other than Japanese banks represent assets as of Dec. 31, 2003, while the data for Japanese lenders represent assets as of March 31, 2004.

Among other Japanese banks, Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. placed eighth, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. came in ninth and UFJ Holdings Inc. was ranked 14th.

Measured in terms of Tier 1 core capital, used to gauge the financial health of banks, Citigroup retained the top position for the sixth straight year, with $66.8 billion.

In the Tier 1 category, Mizuho ranked sixth, followed by Mitsubishi Tokyo at seventh, Mitsui Sumitomo at ninth and UFJ at 24th.

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