Japan’s Resona Bank aims to boost SME-focused loans in SE Asia

06, Sep. 2019

Masayuki Shimizu, CEO of Resona Merchant Bank Asia Ltd., speaks in an interview with NNA in Singapore on Sept. 5.
Masayuki Shimizu, CEO of Resona Merchant Bank Asia Ltd., speaks in an interview with NNA in Singapore on Sept. 5.

By Mayu Uemura

SINGAPORE, NNA – Major Japanese commercial lender Resona Bank Ltd. is set to expand lending in Southeast Asia following a recent capital infusion into its Singapore unit, aiming to support the growth of Japanese small and medium-sized firms flocking to the region.

The bank injected 10 billion yen ($93.4 million) into its wholly owned Resona Merchant Bank Asia Ltd. to increase its capital to 16 billion yen in August, Masayuki Shimizu, CEO of the local unit, said in an interview with NNA.

The Singapore unit undertakes corporate lending and advisory services on mergers and acquisitions, targeting mainly both Japanese and local small firms, he said.

The number of Japanese companies in Southeast Asia covered by an annual business environment survey by the Japan External Trade Organization, Tokyo’s trade and investment promotional body, rose to nearly 9,000 last year from 5,731 in 2013.

As for financing, the Singapore subsidiary aims to boost the balance of its outstanding loans to 100 billion yen within 10 years, up from the current 15 billion yen, he said.

“For M&A, we would like to focus on meeting demand for divestment from Singapore and Malaysian firms with Japanese clients that seek business expansion,” he said.

The bank intends to help seal six or seven takeover deals per year, he added.

The Osaka-based lender acquired a 100-percent stake in Singapore-based Asean Finance Corp., also known as AFC Merchant Bank, in 2017 and renamed Resona Merchant Bank Asia in its strategy to build a foothold outside Japan.