SMFG Q1 profit falls 43 pct, hurt by market slump

TOKYO, July 30 Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:07am EDT

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TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group on Monday reported a 43 percent f all in its financial first quarter profit, dragged down by impairment losses on its equity portfolio amid a market slump.

SMFG, Japan's third-largest lender by assets, was the first of the country's top banks to announce April-June results, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group due to follow on Tuesday.

The bank said its quarterly net profit was 117.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down from 206.6 billion y en a year earlier.

SMFG and its Japanese rivals suffered sharp falls in the value of their equity holdings during the April-June period, when the benchmark Nikkei share average fell 10.7 percent. Japanese banks traditionally hold large portfolios of clients' stock.

SMFG kept its full-year net profit forecast at 480 billion yen, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier, below an average estimate of 494.4 billion yen in a poll of 16 analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Shares of SMFG rose 16 percent so far this year, outperforming a 1.9 percent gain in benchmark Nikkei average . ($1 = 78.6300 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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