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Fukuoka Financial, Eighteenth Bank delay merger due to antitrust review

Confirming earlier media reports, Fukuoka Financial Group Inc. and Eighteenth Bank Ltd. said they decided to delay their planned merger by six months due to Japan Fair Trade Commission's ongoing antitrust review of the deal.

In a joint statement, the banks said they pushed back the scheduled effective date of their share exchange to Oct. 1 from the original April 1 date. Further, the proposed merger between Eighteenth Bank and Fukuoka Financial unit Shinwa Bank Ltd. was pushed back to October 2018 from April 2018.

The announcement came after The Nikkei reported that the banks will delay their proposed merger by six months as the antitrust regulator has raised competition concerns over the deal. Eighteenth Bank is the biggest bank in Nagasaki prefecture, while Shinwa Bank is the second-biggest bank in the same prefecture.