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Rakuten Group aims to integrate bank, fintech units

The logo of Rakuten is pictured in Yokohama

TOKYO (Reuters) -Rakuten Group plans to integrate its fintech businesses into one group, it said on Monday, aiming to strengthen collaboration and customer acquisition across areas from online banking and credit cards to securities and insurance.

Rakuten Group and Rakuten Bank entered into a memorandum of understanding on the re-organisation, which is set to take effect in October, the companies said in statements.

Rakuten Bank would continue to be listed on the Tokyo exchange after the integration, they added.

The finances of the parent, centred on e-commerce platform Rakuten Ichiba, have suffered since its 2020 launch of a mobile carrier that led to 14 straight quarters of operating losses.

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To generate cash Rakuten has issued equity and debt and sold off assets, for example by listing Rakuten Bank in April 2023.

It also applied to list its securities arm in July 2023 but that was delayed the following November, with Rakuten instead selling a 30% stake in the company to Mizuho Financial Group.

Rakuten will consider dropping plans to list Rakuten Securities following the re-organisation, the group said.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift and Anton Bridge; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)