Sakura Bank on Thursday said it will write off about 990 billion yen in bad loans during the business year ending March 31, some 80 billion yen more than it originally expected.

The extra writeoffs will mean a bigger dent in the major city bank’s pretax and net profits. Sakura said it would reduce its dividend for the year by 1.25 yen to 7.25 yen per share.

However, the bank said that it has formulated a restructuring program in which about 4,200 jobs would be cut by the end of March 2003 to bring its workforce to about 13,200 employees and reduce costs.

The bank now estimates an unconsolidated pretax loss of 730 billion yen and a net loss of about 370 billion yen, up from its November estimate of 270 billion yen, the bank said.

The bank also said domestic and overseas branches will be consolidated to 350 domestic outlets by the end of March 2003, and 19 overseas outlets by the end of March 2001, the bank said.

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