June 20, 2008

Japanese Bank May Invest in Barclays

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Bank may be ready to invest $927 million in Britain's Barclays Plc, which is facing big losses from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

Quoting sources, Kyodo news service reported Friday SMBC, the banking unit of the giant Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., is in the final phase of talks on the investment deal with Barclays and an agreement could come later this month.

The two financial institutions also are discussing tie-ups in banking services in Asia and asset management, the Kyodo report said.

Kyodo said Barclays, whose losses so far from the mortgage crisis exceed $4.6 billion, is reportedly considering taking fresh capital.

Besides Sumitomo Mitsui, sources told Kyodo that Asian and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds and others may also buy Barclays' new shares for capital.