Money Masters From the East

Japan's banks are the world's richest and most aggressive

Dai-Ichi Kangyo. The name does not have the same familiar ring as Toyota, Honda, Sony or Nikon. But Tokyo-based Dai-Ichi Kangyo is a global business enterprise that has, in a sense, become more powerful than all those other Japanese companies combined. According to figures released last week by the American Banker newspaper, Dai-Ichi Kangyo, whose assets reached $207 billion in the first quarter, has just surpassed New York's Citicorp ($176 billion) as the largest banking company in the world.

Dai-Ichi Kangyo is just one of a group of Japanese banks that have become the new behemoths of finance. In fact, the...

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