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SBI Holdings and Chikuho Bank to form capital, business alliance

SBI Holdings Inc. is launching a capital alliance with regional lender Chikuho Bank Ltd. as part of its plan to revitalize Japan's ailing regional banking sector, which is struggling with ultra-low interest rates and depopulation.

The Japanese brokerage giant said in a Jan. 17 release that it will acquire up to 3% of existing Chikuho Bank stock under the partnership.

The Chikuho partnership marks the third phase of SBI's regional bank network, following investments in late 2019 in Shimane Bank Ltd. and then Fukushima Bank Ltd.