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Aeon Bank, the banking arm of retail giant Aeon Co., is contemplating bidding for sponsorship of the failed Incubator Bank of Japan, sources said.

Aeon Bank, which primarily offers retail banking services, wants to turn its money-losing operations around by incorporating Incubator Bank’s advanced knowhow for loans to small and medium-size companies, the sources said Wednesday.

With the Financial Services Agency and the government-backed Deposit Insurance Corp. of Japan eager to pick a sponsor for Incubator Bank from among stable financial institutions with banking licenses, Aeon Bank is expected to be a leading candidate if it decides to bid.

Incubator Bank is undergoing Civil Rehabilitation Law proceedings, and DIC, which is acting as the bank’s government-appointed administrator, will likely begin a selection of sponsors later this month.

After moving deposits and claims on healthy loans from the bank to a bridge bank on April 25, DIC will pick a sponsor this summer at the earliest.

Some Japanese and overseas investment funds as well as Shinsei Bank have shown interest in bidding.

Incubator Bank filed for bankruptcy protection Sept. 10 under the weight of swollen bad loans after buying loan assets from a bankrupt moneylender.

Although it had ¥430 billion worth of loan claims at the time of bankruptcy, DIC plans to sell most of them to its key arm, Resolution and Collection Corp., and other concerns.

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