State Street to Acquire Hanover's Tokyo Unit

NEW YORK - State Street Boston Corp. said Wednesday it has signed a letter of intent to acquire a trust banking unit of Manufacturers Hanover Corp. in Tokyo.

The unit, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank Ltd. Japan, has about $2.5 billion in securities under custody and $25 million in assets.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

According to Japanese news reports, the custodial unit had pretax profits of about $1.8 million for the year ended March 31. It employs 35 people.

The acquisition would give State Street an opportunity to expand its trust businesses in the Far East. State Street has a six-person Tokyo trust office that serves foreigners with Japanese investments. But the unit is barred from marketing trust services to Japanese citizens.

The Japanese government has awarded licenses for such activities to only nine foreign banks, including Manufacturers Hanover.

The sales pact follows Manufacturers Hanover's announcement last month that it would merge with New York rival Chemical Banking Corp. Chemical has a trust unit in Tokyo of similar size and one of the highly prized licenses.

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