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Japan's big banks snap up assets of downsizing Western counterparts

TOKYO -- Japanese megabanks are increasingly purchasing the assets and businesses of European and U.S. financial institutions. General Electric's planned sale of its Japanese leasing business has drawn the interest of many.

     Stagnation in the European economy, as highlighted by the Greek debt crisis, is prompting Western banks to sell assets and operations, with Japanese banks stepping in as purchasers. U.S. financial institutions are also streamlining as international capital regulations tighten.

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