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Mizuho announces investment to acquire 20% Rakuten Securities stake

This photo shows Mizuho Bank ATMs in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on May 10, 2019. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Friday a subsidiary has agreed to acquire an approximate 20 percent stake in online brokerage Rakuten Securities Inc. for approximately 80 billion yen ($554 million).

    Mizuho Securities Co. will acquire the shares on Nov. 1, as the financial group attempts to expand its reach among younger customers, who make up the main clientele of Rakuten Securities.

    Through the new partnership, Rakuten Securities, which is owned by Rakuten Group Inc., will be able to introduce face-to-face services offered by Mizuho, as well as allow its customers to trade a wide range of products currently handled by Mizuho Securities.

    The move comes amid heated competition among Japanese megabanks as they attempt to poach customers through online brokerages.

    Rakuten Securities is one of the most popular online brokerages in Japan, along with SBI Securities Co., with the number of accounts reaching more than 8 million as of June and its assets on deposit exceeding 17 trillion yen as of September.

    Mizuho has been ramping up efforts to acquire younger customers in recent years, jointly operating PayPay Securities Corp., another online brokerage, with telecoms company SoftBank Corp.

    Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. also announced in June its investment in internet financial giant SBI Holdings Inc.

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