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Japanese bank to raise record US$9.4b

SUMITOMO Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's third-largest bank, set its planned share sale at US$9.4 billion yesterday, a record for a Japanese financial firm, buoyed by strong demand from overseas and domestic investors.

The demand for shares in Sumitomo Mitsui mirrors the recent rebound in financial stocks around the globe. Shares of Japanese banks have risen about 45 percent in the last three months, recovering from a six-year low earlier this year.

The fundraising exercise may also be an endorsement of the bank's aggressive attempt to grab market share at home by beefing up its securities business. Sumitomo Mitsui in May made a winning bid for Citigroup's Japanese brokerage.

Sumitomo Mitsui said it will raise US$9.4 billion by issuing new common shares, a record for a Japanese financial firm, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Sumitomo Mitsui said in a statement it plans to sell 235 million shares at 3,928 yen (US$39.97) each, a 9.7 percent discount to their closing price of 4,350 yen on Friday.

The bank said in May it could issue up to 235 million new shares, including a total over-allotment of 30.6 million shares, given demand from investors.

A spokesman for the bank said it expected its net fundraising to total 885 billion yen after fees.


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