* SMFG was among bidders for Indonesia’s Bank Permata
* CEO Ohta says will stay away from pricey M&As in Asia
* Overseas profit accounted for 33% of total last year
TOKYO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) plans to expand into brokerage and consumer finance banking businesses in Asia to offset the impact of slow economic growth at home, its chief executive told Reuters.
The bank, which has sought profit opportunity outside Japan, was a “serious bidder” for a controlling stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata Tbk, the country’s regulator said last month.
Bangkok Bank Pcl, Thailand’s third-largest lender by assets, announced on Thursday it had agreed to buy Permata for about $2.7 billion.
SMFG Chief Executive Jun Ohta said Permata had a strong client base of small-to-mid-sized enterprises and middle-income retail customers.
Besides Indonesia - where SMFG completed the purchase of PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk this year - it aims to tap other Asian markets, including the Philippines and Vietnam, which Ohta said had great potential in terms of economic growth.
“As Japan’s potential growth rate is expected to be less than 1% in the future, it would be difficult for us to achieve higher performance at home. We need to build up a new platform outside Japan,” Ohta said.
The bank, he said, will stay away from pricey mergers and acquisitions in those markets.
Japan’s potential economic growth rate was 0.68% in April-June, according to the latest data from the Bank of Japan, which has signalled its readiness to maintain or even cut interest rates to underpin growth.
SMFG’s plans include expansion beyond commercial banking in Asian countries with a view to establishing a “second SMFG” as a comprehensive provider of financial services, Ohta said.
Profit from overseas businesses was 395.1 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in the financial year to March, accounting for 33% of the bank’s net profit. That compared with 37% at bigger rival Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.
Ohta said SMFG’s overseas profit share would increase as there was little hope for rapid growth in the domestic market.
$1 = 108.6400 yen Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Takaya Yamaguchi; editing by Christopher Cushing and Mike Harrison
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