February 26, 2015 / 9:26 AM / 5 years ago

Japan's Mizuho buys RBS's U.S., Canadian loan portfolio for $3 billion

A man walks past a Mizuho Financial Group's Mizuho Bank branch in Tokyo January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T) has agreed to buy Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC’s (RBS.L) (RBS) U.S. and Canadian loan commitments in a deal worth $3 billion, marking the latest move overseas by one of Japan’s top banks.

Japan’s second-largest lender by assets would buy RBS’s $36.5 billion loan commitments - future pledges as well as $3.2 billion already extended - both banks said in statements on Thursday.

Mizuho said the deal is likely to close around the middle of the business year starting in April.

The Japanese bank and its closest rivals have been aggressively buying assets and extending loans overseas to make up for a weak domestic market.

Relatively unscathed by the global financial crisis in 2008, their expansion came as European counterparts were forced to sell assets to shore up a depleted capital base.

In 2010, Japan’s largest lender, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (8306.T) (MUFG), agreed to buy RBS’s 3.3 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) project finance portfolio. In 2012, a consortium led by No.3 bank Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T) (SMFG) bought RBS’s aircraft leasing business for $7.3 billion.

Last year, MUFG and SMFG considered a bid for RBS’s Citizens Bank [CIBA.UL] in the United States.

Reporting by Taiga Uranaka

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