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Jefferies Jumps as Sumitomo Mitsui to Buy Up to 4.9% Stake

Japanese investment bank Sumitomo Mitsui is looking to expand its foothold in the West through an investment in Jefferies.
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Shares of Jefferies Financial Group  (JEF)  jumped on Wednesday after Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group agreed to buy as much as 4.9% of the investment bank.

Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan's second-biggest lender by assets, will also provide a $1.65 billion revolving credit facility and a $250 million subordinated loan to support the lending capabilities at Jefferies. 

A 4.9% equity stake in Jefferies would be valued at $386 million based on the firm's Tuesday closing price at $31.92.

At last check shares of Jefferies, New York, were trading up 7.8% at $34.42. They have traded on Wednesday up as much as 12% at a 52-week high $35.69.

The equity investment is subject to U.S. antitrust clearance, the firms said.

The move will strengthen Jefferies's investment banking and capital markets capabilities, Jefferies Chief Executive Rich Handler said in a statement. Jefferies sees the investment as starting a long-term relationship with Sumitomo Mitsui, he said.

The move is part of SMFG's effort to create a foothold in the U.S., according to Reuters. Sumitomo Mitsui's SMBC Nikko Securities has a small presence in the country. 

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the firm's bigger rival, invested $9 billion in Morgan Stanley  (MS)  in 2008 and owns about 20% of the Wall Street investment bank. 

Sumitomo Mitsui is also expanding its presence in other areas. Earlier this month Mitsui said it planned to buy a 74.9% stake in Fullerton India for $2 billion.