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Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Corp. said Friday their group leasing companies will merge next Oct. 1, in a move that would create the largest leasing firm in Japan in terms of consolidated sales.

The new company is expected to have annual consolidated sales of around 1.07 trillion yen, based on combined fiscal 2005 sales of the two leasing firms — SMBC Leasing Co. and Sumisho Lease Co.

The current industry leader, Orix Corp., had 947.8 billion yen in consolidated sales for the year to last March.

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