MUFG swings to profit for Apr-Dec, keeps forecast

TOKYO, Feb 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
(8306.T: ), Japan’s top bank, swung to a profit in April-December,
helped by a drop in bad loans and an improvement in its stock
portfolio, and kept its full-year forecast.

Mitsubishi UFJ, which holds a 21 percent stake in U.S.
investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ), said on Wednesday that
nine-month group net profit was 217.1 billion yen ($2.40 billion)
versus a 42.1 billion yen net loss a year earlier.

That compared with a net profit estimate of 208.9 billion yen
from Citigroup’s Hironari Nozaki, one of the few analysts to give
nine-month estimates for Japanese banks.

Mitsubishi UFJ stuck to its forecast for a full-year net
profit of 300 billion yen. That compared with the average 291.8
billion yen estimate of 11 analysts, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

Mitsubishi UFJ and its two main rivals, Mizuho Financial
Group (8411.T: ) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: ), have
been on a slow path to recovery after losing a combined 1.2
trillion yen the previous financial year, when they were hit by
surging bad loans and plummeting share prices.

Unlike their Western rivals, Japanese banks take stakes in
their corporate clients, making them sensitive to swings in stock
prices. But the signs of improvement do not equal a full-fledged
recovery, as a weak economy at home means little demand for
loans, analysts say.

Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ are up 5.1 percent so far this year,
roughly in line with Tokyo’s index of bank stocks (.IBNKS.T: ), and
compared with a loss of about 18 percent in 2009.

Investment Research

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

MUFG swings to profit for Apr-Dec, keeps forecast