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Finance

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui to buy major Indian lender for $2bn

Acquisition of Fullerton India Credit comes amid broader Asian expansion push

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is stepping up its investments across Asia. (Screenshot from SMBC's website and Fullerton India's YouTube page)

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group on Tuesday announced it will acquire one of India's largest nonbank lenders for around $2 billion.

The deal will give Sumitomo Mitsui a 74.9% stake in Fullerton India Credit Co. and is part of the Japanese bank's effort to expand across Asia. The company has already invested in several financial institutions in Vietnam and the Philippines this year.

Sumitomo Mitsui will acquire the stake from Singaporean investment company Temasek, pending regulatory approval, and said it aims to eventually acquire the remaining stake in Fullerton.

Established in 1994, Fullerton is one of India's largest nonbank lenders. Its core business is personal lending, with outstanding loans in fiscal 2021 reaching 250.5 billion rupees ($3.3 billion). It employs 14,000 and has 650 branches across the country.

In fiscal 2021, which ended in March, Fullerton logged the equivalent of 47.6 billion yen in sales, according to Sumitomo Mitsui, down 12% from the previous year, and it recorded a loss of 18.2 billion yen compared to an 11.4 billion yen profit for the previous year.

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