Japan-based J Trust Group is expected to complete the sale of affiliates JT Savings Bank and JT Capital this year after a long delay while its governance structure was overhauled.

VI Investment was picked as the preferred bidder for JT Savings Bank in October 2020, but has not yet cleared a number of hurdles, including eligibility screening of shareholders and funding. JT Capital’s talks with ST Leaders Private Equity also remain sluggish.

However, J Trust Group is happy with the slow progress because of its restructuring efforts, industry sources said on Wednesday (March 3). The firm split its affiliates into “good company” and “bad company” in November 2020 and sold its “good company” JT Chinae Savings Bank to Nexus Bank.

Nexus Bank incorporated J Trust Card, which holds a 100% stake in JT Chinae Savings Bank, and J Trust Group acquired preference shares issued by Nexus Bank, a private banking firm which is 100% owned by J Trust President and CEO Nobuyoshi Fujisawa.

J Trust Group’s restructuring is seen as a strategy to hand over the “good company” to a firm at the peak of its governance structure and then gradually offload other companies.

“J Trust Group avoided the liquidity crisis by splitting its affiliates into good company and bad company at the end of last year,” said an industry source, adding, “It will not rush to sell the firms, as it has earned more time.”

An official at Nexus Bank added: “The split that took place last year was a move to improve J Trust’s financial structure. But it is hard to say whether the sales of JT Capital and JT Savings Bank could take more time.”

Industry watchers still expect that JT Capital and JT Savings Bank will be sold this year. (Reporting by Se-hun Jo)