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Mizuho Bank fortifies position as an Asian global bank

One of Japan’s leading banks has strong global connections and continues to expand

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 April, 2016, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 April, 2016, 4:57pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

Tracing its roots from three predecessor banks founded in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Mizuho Bank today stands as one of Japan’s megabanks with strong global connections. While many bank majors are scaling down operations because of economic uncertainties and stringent regulatory requirements, Mizuho Bank is pushing forward its international expansion to support the continuing globalisation of Japanese industry and commerce. The bank is also catering to an increasing number of non-Japanese clientele that includes specially selected blue-chip companies, large local corporations, financial institutions and multinational corporations.

“We are focused on strengthening our foothold in the overseas market, particularly in Asia, where we see high growth potential,” says Nobuhide Hayashi, president and CEO. “Our vision is clear – we intend to become a truly Asian global bank. We are leveraging our strong capital base and balance sheet to capture more cross-border business, and bridge onshore and offshore activities.”

Headquartered in Tokyo, Mizuho Bank has branches in every prefecture in Japan and commercial operations in major cities all over the world, including London, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore and New York. The bank provides a cutting-edge range of financial products to meet the increasingly diverse and sophisticated needs of its clients. As part of the Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank combines the extensive expertise and collective capabilities in securities and investment banking of all members of the Mizuho group to offer a multifaceted range of financial services to its customers. With Asia as a key part of its global growth plans, Mizuho Bank has progressively enhanced its support framework for customers in the region via strategic acquisitions, partnerships and organic growth. After opening its flagship branch in Hong Kong in 1979, as well as in Taipei in 1959, the bank then set up 18 branches on the mainland, five branches in India and at least one each in almost all countries in the Asian region where it secured approval. Through its extensive international network, Mizuho Bank helps its clients expand their businesses overseas – identifying investment opportunities and possible partners, and providing tailored solutions based on their capital management and business strategy.

“Asia is our home ground and key growth market,” Hayashi says. “We offer unparallelled access and expertise in the region – a distinct competitive advantage over our foreign rivals. With many companies localising as they now see Asia as an end-market, not just a production base, we’re strategically positioned to become their local partner and provider of a full line of banking services.”

Mizuho Bank supports Japanese corporate customers in their entry into Asia’s emerging markets by offering advisory services and solutions, including advice on financial strategy. The bank also actively promotes business with non-Japanese corporate customers, such as business development in Asia by American and European global companies, as well as business expansion of Asian multinational enterprises within Asia.

In line with efforts to increase business with non-Japanese global enterprises, Mizuho Bank acquired the wholesale banking loan assets in North America and welcomed more than 100 professional staff of the Royal Bank of Scotland in February last year. The move has expanded the depth and breadth of the bank’s client relationships and product offerings in North America.

For its Asian operations, Mizuho Bank inaugurated last August its first branch in Myanmar and entered into a strategic capital and business alliance with Matthews International Capital Management, a San Francisco-based investment manager focused on investing in Asia. The bank also maintains a 15 per cent stake in Vietcombank, one of the largest commercial banks in Vietnam by assets.

“Going forward, we will continue to invest in building long-term relationships in order to win more cross-border business,” Hayashi says. “Our main goal is to become our customers’ most trusted financial partner by providing reliable and consistent service.”

Mizuho Bank