Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bank of America selling stake in Japanese private banking venture

Bank of America said Thursday that it is selling its stake in a joint private banking venture in Japan, another example of the bank shedding overseas business lines.

The Charlotte bank had 49 percent ownership of a private banking group managing investments for wealthy people in Japan known as Mitsubishi UFJ Merrill Lynch PB Securities. The 51 percent owner, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has agreed to buy out Bank of America's stake.

Bank of America said it would focus on corporate and investment banking in Japan.

 “We see Japan as key to our long term success," said Jiro Seguchi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Japan country executive, in a statement. "We are totally committed to serving our local and international client base in Japan by continuing to invest in our core businesses of corporate and investment banking and global markets.”

In August, Bank of America said it was selling Merrill Lynch's overseas wealth management business to Swiss private bank Julius Baer Group.

Bank of America has spent the last few years selling off businesses and assets that aren't core to its strategy.