TOKYO

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Mit­subishi UFJ Fi­nan­cial Group Inc. led an in­crease in first-quar­ter profit at Ja­pan's big­gest banks as fee in­come and loans abroad surged.

Com­bined net in­come at Mit­subishi UFJ, Su­mit­omo Mit­sui Fi­nan­cial Group Inc. and Mizuho Fi­nan­cial Group Inc. rose 12 per­cent from a year ear­lier to 703.7 bil­lion yen ($5.7 bil­lion) in the three months ended June 30, state­ments from the Tokyo-based lenders showed Fri­day. That's 30 per­cent of their com­bined ful­lyear profit forecast.

Mit­subishi UFJ's loans abroad ex­ceeded its do­mes­tic cor­po­rate lend­ing for the first time as it lent more out­side the coun­try to make up for shrink­ing in­ter­est mar­gins at home. The banks are also reap­ing fees from Ja­panese who are in­vest­ing more of their sav­ings amid a stock- mar­ket boom. "Ja­panese banks are per­form­ing well," Akira Takai, an an­a­lyst at Daiwa Se­cu­ri­ties Group Inc. in Tokyo, said be­fore the re­sults. "Over­seas busi­ness will drive full-year re­sults above the banks' own es­ti­mates."

Mit­subishi UFJ's net in­come climbed 16 per­cent to 277.8 bil­lion yen, ex­ceed­ing the 253.8 bil­lion yen av­er­age es­ti­mate of six an­a­lysts sur­veyed by Bloomberg. Rev­enue at Ja­pan's largest bank jumped 20 per­cent to a record 1.56 tril­lion yen.

Profit at Su­mit­omo Mit­sui, the na­tion's sec­ond-largest len­der by mar­ket value, un­ex­pect­edly climbed 16 per­cent to 267.9 bil­lion yen. Mizuho's net in­come rose 2.1 per­cent to 158 bil­lion yen, in line with an­a­lysts' es­ti­mates. Mit­subishi UFJ, which earned an un­prece­dented 1.03 tril­lion yen last year, main­tained its ful­lyear profit tar­get at 950 bil­lion yen.

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