Japan’s largest bank MUFG forecasts annual net profit to hit record

Written by on November 15, 2021

November 15, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) on Monday forecast record annual net profit, thanks to the release of cash from pandemic-related provisions as well as a drop in other credit-related costs.

April-September net profit for Japan’s largest lender came in at 781.4 billion yen ($6.86 billion), up 95% from a year earlier.

MUFG, which owns 24% of Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley, raised its profit forecast for the full year to 1.05 trillion yen from 850 billion yen.

The forecast, which compares with an average Refinitiv estimate of 982 billion yen from 11 analysts, exceeds the previous annual record of 1.0337 trillion yen in the year ended in March 2015.

Corporate bankruptcies in Japan fell to their lowest ever for an April-September period after the government provided small businesses with cash to tide them over during the pandemic, according to credit research firm Tokyo Shoko Research.

The two other Japanese megabanks, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) and Mizuho Financial Group Inc, also lifted their full-year profit forecasts.

A strong performance from Morgan Stanley, driven by record investment banking and M&A advisory revenues, also contributed to MUFG’s profit.

As part of its three-year business plan, MUFG is targeting an annual net profit of more than 1 trillion yen by the year ending March 2024 and putting more focus on its Asian business.

In has pulled back from U.S. retail banking with the $8 billion sale of MUFG Union Bank (MUB) to U.S. Bancorp.

($1 = 113.9500 yen)

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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