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Japan's Aozora Bank buys into Vietnamese lender

First foreign deal offers foothold in fast-growing market

Aozora Bank faces a dim growth outlook in its home market of Japan. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- Japan's Aozora Bank will take a 15% stake in a Vietnamese bank as early as April, marking its first overseas deal since changing to its current incarnation in 2001.

Aozora will buy into Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank through acquisition of existing stock and a third-party allocation of new shares, becoming the Vietnamese lender's top shareholder. The deal is expected to be worth about 15 billion yen ($139 million).

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