TOKYO Feb 28 Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group said Nobuyuki Hirano, chief of its core banking
unit, will become company president -- a move that comes at time
when Japanese banks are under pressure to expand further
overseas, particularly in investment banking.
Hirano, 61, will replace Katsunori Nagayasu, whose tenure
was marked by large-scale acquisitions in the wake of the global
Hirano, who has spent over a decade in the United States, is
a fluent English speaker -- rare among Japanese bank executives
-- and is regarded as a tough negotiator despite his
Under Nagayasu's helm, MUFG acquired full control of
California-based UnionBanCal Corp for $3.5 billion and took a 22
percent stake in Morgan Stanley for $9 billion.
MUFG, which has $2.45 trillion in assets, has like other
Japanese rivals, also successfully taken advantage of its
relatively sound financial base to build loans overseas as
European lenders shrink their assets. It ranked No. 1 among
global project finance mandated arrangers in 2012, Thomson
Reuters data shows.
But the commercial loan business is only expected to take
MUFG so far.
Loan demand at home is unlikely to pick up any time soon and
domestic banks have amassed huge holdings of Japanese government
bonds as there are not enough borrowers to absorb their piles of
Japanese banks have a relatively limited presence in the
global investment banking market, but are hoping to increase
their presence in areas such as bond and share issue
MUFG runs two investment banking joint ventures with Morgan
Stanley in Japan, competing with industry heavy weights Nomura
Holdings and Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
Hirano's appointment, which was widely expected, takes
effect April 1.