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Mitsubishi UFJ Said to Seek VietinBank Stake Agreement Next Week

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest bank, is poised to sign an accord to buy a 20 percent stake in VietinBank from the Vietnamese government as early as Dec. 26, said two officials from the Tokyo-based bank.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. lending unit is seeking to buy the stake for about 60 billion yen ($715 million), the officials said, asking not to be named as the talks are private. A deal may be announced on the day an agreement is reached, they said.

Mitsubishi UFJ plans to complete the deal in the first six months of 2013, one of the officials said. The Nikkei newspaper reported on Dec. 13 that the Japanese bank plans to reach a 60 billion-yen agreement by the end of December to buy the stake.

An investment in the company, whose full name is Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade, would make Mitsubishi UFJ the third Japanese megabank in five years to buy a stake in a Vietnamese lender. Japan’s shrinking population, contracting economy and entrenched deflation have prompted the country’s largest banks to look abroad for growth.

Tomohiro Kohsaka, a spokesman at Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ, declined to comment. VietinBank Chairman Pham Huy Hung also declined to comment.

VietinBank has a market capitalization of 48.5 trillion dong ($2.3 billion), valuing 20 percent of the company at about $465 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The possible $715 million purchase price is about 54 percent higher.

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