Mizuho Financial Group (MFG), Japan's third-largest bank, will take a $500 million stake in asset manager BlackRock Inc. (BLK)

Mizuho will buy a total of 3.07 million shares of BlackRock for $163 a share, Bloomberg News said. The purchases will give Mizuho a 2% stake in BlackRock.

The Japanese bank will buy 2.45 million shares from Bank of America Corp (BAC) and the other shares in a public offering.

Japanese banks are taking advantage of moves by U.S. and European lenders to offload non-core assets. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU) is in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to buy project finance assets, Bloomberg News said.

"Japanese megabanks are stepping up investment in mature markets like the U.S. and U.K., where banks and companies still recovering from the financial crisis are selling non-core assets," said Takehito Yamanaka, an analysts at MF Global FXA Securities Ltd., before the announcement.

Mizuho raised its forecast for profit to 500 billion yen ($6.1 billion) for the 12 months to March 31, compared with a previous estimate of 430 billion yen.




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