BTMU builds out in Asia

MUFG’s main banking arm is bulking up in Asia Pacific and names two senior hires.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) said on Wednesday it has named Peter Heidinger co-head of corporate banking across Asia and Oceania.

BTMU, the main banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, also appointed Frederic Cabay as head of financial institutions coverage in the region April 27.

"Over the past year, we have focused our efforts on building and streamlining our corporate banking structure in the Asia and Oceania region,” said BTMU’s CEO for Asia and Oceania Go Watanabe in a statement on the hires.

Japanese banks’ have been rapidly ramping up their lending in Asia Pacific since the global financial crisis.

Japanese foreign claims in the region hit $334.737 billion as of December 2014, up from $317.065 billion a year earlier and $132.8 billion at of March 2008, according to Bank of International Settlement statistics.

Around the world they are putting up long-term capital for projects such as Roy Hill, a $10 billion iron ore project in Western Australia run by Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, and financing blockbuster takeovers including Suntory’s $16 billion acquisition of US whisky maker Beam, and making their own acquisitions at prices European and North American banks can’t top.

Peter Heidinger

BTMU, Japan’s biggest bank by market capitalization, is looking to pluck senior bankers out of global rivals to help it build its business outside of Japan where loan growth is sluggish and offering razor-thin yields.

Prior to joining BTMU, Heidinger was global head of financial institutions and public sector relationships at Standard Chartered Bank. Before that he was with Citigroup in Hong Kong and London. Heidinger started his career with Royal Bank of Canada as an economist. 
 
Heidinger’s co-head will be Naoki Isetani when he joins the bank on June 1.
 
Cabay was a managing director in treasury services at JP Morgan. Before that he was with ING Group from 1996 to 2010 and his last position was head of relationship management for South and South-East Asia.

In Asia and Oceania BTMU is in 12 markets with 32 offices and close to 4,000 employees. Singapore serves as the regional headquarters for South Asia, Southeast Asia (ex Thailand) and the Oceania region. Both Heidinger and Cabay will be based in Singapore.
 

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