February 16, 2010 2:00 am

Shinsei sell-off on merger doubts

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Shinsei Bank, the Japanese lender 33 per cent owned by JC Flowers, suffered a sell-off yesterday over concerns that its planned merger with local rival Aozora had collapsed.

Shares in Shinsei fell nearly 7 per cent to Y97 after Japanese media reported that the banks had decided to call off a merger that would have created Japan's sixth largest bank with assets of Y17,000bn ($188.8bn).

Shinsei and Aozora - which is controlled by New York-based Cerberus Capital - both issued statements saying nothing had been decided.

But the lack of direct guidance from either bank on where the talks stand, their failure to choose a name for the merged entity or decide on IT systems so late in the day, have added to the view that the tie-up is no longer happening.

Michiyo Nakamoto, Tokyo

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