Business

Ashikaga, Joyo to merge next October and become Japan's third-largest regional

Kyodo

Ashikaga Holdings Co. in Tochigi Prefecture and Joyo Bank in Ibaraki Prefecture have reached a broad agreement to merge next Oct. 1.

Their combined assets of some ¥15 trillion will the new group Japan’s third-largest regional bank. Joyo will become a subsidiary of Ashikaga Holdings, which owns Ashikaga Bank.

The new name and location of the holding company’s head office will be specified in the final merger agreement to be signed in April, the banks said Monday.

Tokyo would be one of candidates for the head office location, Ashikaga Holdings President Masanao Matsushita said at a news conference in Tokyo, citing convenience.

The new banking group would be “open” to merging with other regional financial institutions, Joyo Bank President Kazuyoshi Terakado said.

Terakado is expected to become president of the new holding company, with Matsushita assuming the post of vice president.

Currently, the nation’s biggest regional bank is Fukuoka Financial Group Inc., with assets worth ¥15.66 trillion as of the end of March.

Fukuoka Financial Group will fall to second-biggest after Tokyo’s Concordia Financial Group Ltd., with ¥17.38 trillion, emerges next April in a merger between Bank of Yokohama and Tokyo-based Higashi-Nippon Bank.

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