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Daiwa SMBC to buy unit of Britain's Close Brothers

Japan's Daiwa Securities SMBC said that it would buy a financial advisory unit of Britain's Close Brothers Group, as Japanese investment banks rush to sign cross-border deals.

Daiwa Securities SMBC, an investment banking venture between Daiwa Securities Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, will pay Ł75 million ($114 million) for Close Brothers Finance (Holdings), Daiwa SMBC said in a statement.

The Japanese investment banking industry has been taking advantage of the global financial crisis, with major banking groups taking stakes in big Wall Street firms and buying some of their Japanese operations.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's largest bank by assets, is planning to set up a joint investment banking venture in Japan with Morgan Stanley after the Japanese bank injected money into the US bank.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's third-largest bank, is set to buy Citigroup's Japanese broker and key investment banking units for $5.9 billion and is trying to reorganize its investment banking businesses, including Daiwa SMBC.

Daiwa SMBC already has an alliance with US advisory firm Sagent Advisors.

Daiwa SMBC expects to complete the transaction at the end of June. (Reuters)