RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

Mitsubishi UFJ’s growth plan focuses on China, Indonesia and Australia

The bank will expand its retail lending, private banking and asset management businesses, with a special focus on China, India, Indonesia and Australia.

This was announced by Deputy President Tatsuo Tanaka, who oversees global operations for the Tokyo-based lender.

Japan’s biggest banks aim to tap credit demand in Asia’s fastest-growing economies as the European sovereign debt crisis threatens to cut short their home market’s recovery from the record earthquake in March.

Mitsubishi UFJ’s profits from Asia may climb about 12 percent to 13 percent annually without acquisitions, Tanaka said.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the group’s main banking unit, has also brought together a 20-member team in China to search for projects to fund, Tanaka said. Tanaka declined to say how much Mitsubishi UFJ may spend on acquisitions, or provide details on assets it may buy.

“It’s good timing because it’s not so easy for a lot of European and US banks to go into the acquisition market,” Tanaka said. “We have a strong intention to go into non-organic growth in Asia.”

Mitsubishi UFJ agreed in November to buy Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s Australia-based infrastructure advisory business. That deal followed the Tokyo-based lender’s 3.9 billion-pound ($6 billion) acquisition in 2010 of RBS’s project financing assets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Last month, Mitsubishi UFJ’s trust banking unit clinched a deal to buy a 15 percent stake in AMP’s Australian asset management business.

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