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Sapporo Hokuyo Holdings Inc. is expected to ask the government as early as this week for around ¥100 billion in taxpayers’ money to strengthen the bank’s financial standing amid the deteriorating economy, industry sources said Sunday.

Two other second-tier regional banks — Minami Nippon Bank and Fukuho Bank — will probably also apply this week to the Financial Services Agency for injections of public funds, with each seeking about ¥10 billion, the sources said.

The applications were made possible by a legal amendment late last year designed to facilitate the financing of small and midsize companies through the injection of public funds into financial institutions.

Sapporo Hokuyo, based in Hokkaido, suffered a group net loss of ¥69.6 billion between last April and December due mainly to impairment losses on security holdings.

The bank initially planned to seek several tens of billions of yen in public funds, but a possible increase in losses on security holdings due to the recent plunge in stock prices and the deepening recession have prompted it to ask for a bigger amount, the sources said.

Minami Nippon Bank in Kagoshima and Fukuho Bank in Fukui will also apply for more funding than they initially planned.

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