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Japanese banks agree merger

Loss-making Japanese banks Shinsei and Aozora have struck a merger deal that will create the country’s sixth-largest bank. The combination will create a lender, with assets of around 18 trillion yen  (£110bn). Shinsei will take a 58 per cent stake in the new bank, although ownership will be split equally once Aozora’s preferred shares are converted into. The banks are both backed by private equity, with Aozora majority-owned by Cerberus Capital Management and Shinsei one-third owned by JC Flowers.