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Losses seen for Japan’s big 3 banks – report

Posted on: April 6, 2009


AFP – Saturday, April 4

TOKYO (AFP) – – Japan’s three biggest banking groups are expected to report net losses for the fiscal year to March 31 in the wake of the global financial crisis, local media reported on Saturday.

It would be the first net loss by the three — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. — in six years, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei business daily reported.

The three, which previously projected net profits for the fiscal year, are expected to downgrade their forecasts by the end of April, the Asahi said.

The expected losses are mainly due to larger than expected bad debts and a sharp decline in their shareholdings as the nation’s financial markets struggle to recover from the crisis, the newspaper said.

Mizuho and Sumitomo in particular will write down losses in Merrill Lynch and Co. and Barclays Plc. for the fiscal year, the Nikkei said.

“We’ve decided to write off the valuation losses and lower the book prices,” an SMFG official said, according to the Nikkei. “We hope that the stocks will rebound in the future.”

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