Sony to build Internet bank

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Sony Corp., Tokyo, on March 30 unveiled a broad strategy for increasing its Internet business that includes setting up a Net bank with Sakura Bank and J.P. Morgan, New York. The Internet bank will start service in the first half of 2001; Sony will hold an 80% stake in the company, which will be capitalized at $355 million. Japan's Sakura Bank will have a 16% share and J.P Morgan a 4% stake. "We want finance to be one of the pillars of our business operations,'' Sony President Nobuyuki Idei said at a news conference. Sony will ask J.P Morgan to provide personal financial advice tools like the ones it offers on morganonline.com. Separately, Sony formed Sony Broadband Entertainment in the U.S. The new company signals Sony's intent to be an aggressive player in the broadband arena. The unit will launch by Aug. 1 and integrate the U.S. operations of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Online Entertainment.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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