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Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. is seeking to buy an Asian lender and team up with a global investment bank on U.S. dealmaking, signaling that its expansion plans remain undeterred by the pandemic.

The nation’s second-biggest bank is “studying specific targets” in Vietnam, the Philippines and India, Chief Executive Officer Jun Ohta said in an interview. It wants to find a partner to underwrite equity and bond sales in the U.S. and elsewhere, after the lender was unable to make the most of a corporate financing boom this year, Ohta said.

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