Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is buying an additional 15% stake in Philippine lender Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) for about USD460m. The investment would raise Sumitomo Mitsui’s stake in RCBC to 20%. Last year, it took a 5% stake in RCBC, the sixth-largest non-state bank in the Philippines. It is part of a drive by Japan’s second-largest lender to capture growth in Asian emerging markets through acquisitions, spurred on by limited business opportunities at home with ultra-low interest rates and an aging population. Sumitomo Mitsui hopes to leverage RCBC’s branch network in the Philippines to better support its Japanese customers seeking to expand in the country. The investment is also said to be designed to boost RCBC’s capital base.
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