April 5, 2017 / 3:21 AM / in 4 months

Local Japan banks Daishi, Hokuetsu reach basic merger pact

TOKYO, April 5 (Reuters) - Daishi Bank and Hokuetsu Bank, two small locally operating Japanese lenders, said on Wednesday they had reached a basic agreement to merge their operations.

The banks, based in Niigata prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, will set up a holding company in April 2018, they said in a statement.

Japan has roughly 100 so-called regional banks. A shrinking population and the central bank's negative interest-rate policy have created a tough business environment, prompting some to merge or take other steps to shore up their operations. (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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