October 30, 2018 / 2:03 AM / 19 days ago

Japan's Eighteenth Bank, Shinwa Bank to postpone merger by 6 months -Nikkei

TOKYO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Eighteenth Bank Ltd and Shinwa Bank have decided to postpone their planned merger by six months to prepare for a change in the local calendar with the abdication of the emperor next year, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.

The two regional banks, both based on the southern island of Kyushu, got approval in August from Japanese authorities to merge after a lengthy review that had sparked a battle between the antitrust watchdog and financial regulators.

Shinwa Bank, a unit of Fukuoka Financial Group Inc, and Eighteenth Bank said at the time their merger was expected to be completed in April 2020.

The Nikkei said the banks decided to postpone the merger by six months to avoid potential system troubles with the added workload of making necessary changes to the system with the change of the imperial era in May next year.

Emperor Akihito is due to abdicate on April 30, 2019.

A Fukuoka Financial Group spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokesman for Eighteenth Bank declined to comment until a scheduled update on the merger timing planned by the end of this month. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)

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