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Finance

SMBC dives into Australia's $1.5tn retirement savings pool

Japanese bank sees global asset management products as a strength

SYDNEY -- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. seeks to expand its presence in Australia's 2 trillion Australian dollar ($1.58 trillion) superannuation industry, offering investment products and services to asset management companies, according to Deputy President Yasuyuki Kawasaki.

"We are going to have a serious go at the Australian pension market," an effort that will involve fellow members of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Kawasaki said in a recent interview here.

SMBC is also eyeing agrifinance opportunities Down Under, according to Deputy President Yasuyuki Kawasaki.

The Japanese bank seeks a bigger piece of the action around the country's fast-growing pool of superannuation assets. Australian employers contribute 9.5% of workers' pay to this retirement savings scheme, which provides additional old-age income beyond the national pension. Superannuation assets are projected to nearly quintuple to A$9.5 trillion by 2035.

SMBC's access to "global asset management products will give us an advantage" over Australian banks, said Kawasaki. Partnering with group members such as SMBC Nikko Securities, it will offer an array of financial products, including securitized aircraft and rail car leases.

Beyond pensions, SMBC is looking at business opportunities around agriculture and foodstuffs in Australia, Kawasaki said. In terms of credit balances, Australia ranks behind the U.S. and the U.K. for SMFG.

(Nikkei)

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