GE 'to announce sale of Japan lending business'

11 July 2008

US corporation General Electric (GE) is to sell its consumer bank lending unit in Japan to Shinsei Bank, Bloomberg reports.

Two anonymous insiders have informed the news agency that GE will sell the business for around $5.5 billion to the Japanese firm.

The package consists of lending operation Lake, which has its headquarters in Tokyo, along with two other consumer finance units owned by GE.

It is thought that the deal could be announced as early as today - as the firm looks to publicize good news following its sharp profits drop for the first quarter.

GE has indicated that it will look to sell off around $100 billion of assets over the months to come.

Deutsche Bank Tokyo analyst Shinchi Tamura commented: "Japanese banks are nervous as the consumer finance industry's outlook is increasingly uncertain, and that creates a good opportunity for acquisitions.

"The deal is positive for the non-bank lenders as it shows there are still acquirers."

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