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Nikkei: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial plans units' restructuring to boost retail finance biz

SumitomoMitsui Financial Group Inc. is planning to restructure its units tostrengthen its retail finance business, TheNikkei reported April 28.

SumitomoMitsui Banking Corp. will acquire an additional 20% stake inSumitomo Mitsui Asset ManagementCo. Ltd. from Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., andMitsui Life Insurance Co.Ltd. Specifically, the bank will acquire an additional 7.5%interest each from Sumitomo Life and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, as well as a 5%stake from Mitsui Life.

Sumitomo Mitsui Bank will increase its stake in SumitomoMitsui Asset Management to 60% from a 40% stake after the acquisition, which isexpected to be completed as early as the summer. Following the changes,Sumitomo Life Insurance and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance will each still have a20% stake in the asset management firm.

The group is also working on merging and SMBCFriend Securities as early as the fiscal year ending March 2018. SMBC Nikko isexpected to acquire SMBC Friend Securities.

The move is also meant to give Sumitomo Mitsui Financial abigger part in leading the group as the asset management company and the mergedentity from SMBC Nikko and SMBC Friend Securities will fall directly under theholding company's control. Currently, both Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management andSMBC Nikko fall under the banking unit's purview.