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First Japanese bank to tie up with Indian bank PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 January 2008

Agence France-Presse. Tokyo

Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd said Friday it has become the first Japanese lender to tie up with an Indian counterpart amid expectations of more Japanese investment in the fast-growing economy. The bank, part of Mizuho Financial Group Inc, said it signed an alliance agreement with the government-run State Bank of India, the country's largest lender with 14,000 branches across the country.

The tie-up will include cooperation on areas including syndicated lending and infrastructure finance, a Mizuho statement said. There will not be any capital tie-up. Mizuho said the first-of-a-kind tie-up would offer 'support for its customers' business development in India' through access to the State Bank of India's 'expansive domestic branch network.'

'In addition to the increase in Japanese companies establishing operations there in recent years, there are many promising business opportunities anticipated in India, including various large infrastructure-related projects,' a Mizuho statement said.

Japanese leaders have made a concerted effort to improve ties with India and pledged investment to develop an industrial corridor between New Delhi and Mumbai, the country's two largest cities. But Japan's trade with India remains dwarfed by that with China, with many Japanese finding more cultural linkeages with the communist nation despite sometimes uneasy political relations.

However, a November survey of Japanese business leaders showed for the first time that India had topped China as their most attractive long-term manufacturing base. The Mizuho group has been expanding overseas since last year paying back the last public funds borrowed during Japan's massive bailout in the 1990s of banks crushed by bad loans.

Mizuho Corporate Bank said last week it was investing 1.2 billion dollars in Merrill Lynch as part of efforts to help the US financial giant overcome mounting losses over the US housing downturn.

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