Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC to buy the U.K. bank’s infrastructure advisory unit in Australia, two sources said.
The Sydney-based unit employs 30 full-time workers, one of the sources said, declining to be identified because the talks are confidential.
The acquisition would add to the project financing assets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that the Tokyo-based bank acquired from RBS for £3.9 billion ($6.3 billion) in December. MUFG Chief Executive Officer Katsunori Nagayasu and his rivals are looking to expand overseas amid 18 straight months of declining loan demand in Japan.
“All Japanese megabanks have said project finance, in particular in Asia, will be a pillar for future growth,” said Takehito Yamanaka, a Tokyo-based analyst at MF Global FXA Securities Ltd. The region around Australia “is probably the area that MUFG is looking into next for its global expansion of project and infrastructure financing.”
The two banks are in advanced talks for the Australian unit, which was set up by ABN Amro Holding NV, the Financial Times reported earlier Thursday. The sale price isn’t clear, it said.
Shinya Matsumoto, a spokesman at MUFG’s main banking unit, and London-based RBS declined comment.
RBS is selling assets after receiving a taxpayer-funded bailout in 2008. Nagayasu said Nov. 15 that last year’s purchase of RBS’s assets, including loans for electricity, natural resource and infrastructure projects, would help MUFG double its project financing workforce in London.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.