Japan’s second-largest lender by assets, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG), today said that it would buy a 74.9% stake in Fullerton India Credit Co. for $2 billion.
This moves comes as the bank expands its business elsewhere in Asia amid low interest rates at home, marking the first entry into the South Asian country’s retail financial business by a Japanese bank.
The Japanese lender will eventually acquire the rest of the Indian credit firm from Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte (FFH) at a later stage, it said in a statement.
Fullerton India is a diversified NBFC arm of FFH, which is a unit of Singapore’s state investment fund Temasek Holdings Pte It is a central bank-registered shadow lender that offers loans to individuals and small businesses.
Faced with weak growth prospects at home, SMFG has been allocating resources to Asia’s emerging markets in recent years. The bank took control of Indonesian lender PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional in 2019 after acquiring a minority stake earlier.
SMFG is looking for targets in Vietnam, Philippines and India, Chief Executive Officer Jun Ohta said in an interview in December.
The lender in April had agreed to buy a 49% stake in Vietnamese consumer lender FE Credit, while in June, the bank said it will buy a 4.99% stake in Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. of the Philippines for 4.48 billion pesos ($91 million).