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Mega-banks’ net profits slated to reach highest since Lehman collapse

JIJI

Japan’s three biggest banks are expected to log their highest combined net profit in the April-September quarter since the so-called Lehman shock of 2008, market sources said.

The uptick is being credited to better stockholding appraisals and investment trust sales.

According to the sources, the combined net profits of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is expected to have reached some ¥1.3 trillion in the first half of fiscal 2013 — up 60 percent from a year ago and above the post-Lehman record of ¥1.264 trillion set in April-September 2011.

Also driving the showings are falling costs in their lending operations amid a perceived recovery and rising revenue from operations abroad, they said.

The three banking groups plan to release their earnings reports in mid-November.

MUFG is seen reporting a net profit of ¥470 billion to ¥480 billion, up from an earlier projected ¥360 billion, thanks chiefly to growth in commission fees from investment trusts and falling lending costs. It also logged solid revenue abroad as business expanded in North America and Asia, the sources said.

On Oct. 4, SMFG revised its net profit estimate to ¥480 billion from ¥290 billion.

Mizuho’s net profit is set to rise to about ¥370 billion to ¥390 billion, compared with an earlier estimate of ¥250 billion.