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Mizuho seeks to grow overseas transaction biz

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is looking to grow its overseas transaction banking business by US$100 billion this fiscal year as it looks for new ways to increase international earnings while negative interest rates squeeze profits at home, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 9.

The Japanese bank is focusing on cross-border transactions of non-Japanese corporations doing business in Asia, said Zenichi Tanakamaru, a senior vice president in Mizuho's global corporate department.

The bank is hoping to boost the volume of foreign exchange it handles by 20% for the fiscal year to March 31, 2018, from US$500 billion in the prior-year period.

Japanese banks are expanding their overseas business as the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy pushes down profitability in their core domestic loan business. Mizuho's global transaction banking business has doubled its staff numbers in the past three years, reaching 280 employees in offices including Singapore, China and New York, Tanakamaru said.