The Japanese credit card company JCB Co. Ltd. has signed an acquiring partnership deal with Merchant Solutions Private Ltd., a joint venture between First Data Corp. and the U.K. financial company Standard Chartered Bank.

Under the contract Merchant Solutions will acquire merchant clients for JCB in eight markets in Asia. This will also enable JCB cardholders to use their cards in those markets: Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

More than 13 million Japanese tourists visited other Asian countries in 2007, according to figures from the Japan National Tourist Organization, and more than half of them visited those regions.

First Data, which announced the agreement last week, is a unit of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

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