The chairman of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi said Thursday he sees a planned merger between Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc. and UFJ Holdings Inc. as being mutually beneficial.

The integration “would bring a lot of benefits and complement our businesses,” Shigemitsu Miki told a group of reporters.

Miki said MTFG, which has the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi under its umbrella, had been exploring the possibility of teaming up with the UFJ group now that MTFG has disposed of its bad loans.

MTFG has been trying to improve profitability in loans to small and midsize companies as well as to individuals, an area in which the UFJ group is strong.

Miki said he wants to have further discussions with Takamune Okihara, president of UFJ Bank, a core member of the UFJ group, based on their talks held Wednesday, when UFJ Holdings made a formal request to merge with MTFG.

The two banking groups are expected to announce as early as Friday their basic agreement on the merger plan and confirm the merger’s principles in the form of a memorandum of understanding, according to sources in the two groups.

For the plan to be achieved by the end of fiscal 2004, the two groups will establish a team of officials assigned to work out details, such as the name of the new group and the merger ratio, the sources said.

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