SMFG 9-month profit rises 28 pct on Japan stocks rally

TOKYO Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:06am EST

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TOKYO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc posted a 28 percent rise in nine-month net profit as the bank's stock portfolio received a boost from a prolonged market rally at home in Japan.

The lender, like bigger domestic rivals Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc and Mizuho Financial Group Inc , owns an array of client companies' stocks which have shot up in value since the government embarked on economic growth policies to end more than a decade of deflation.

On Wednesday, Japan's third-largest lender by assets reported net profit of 704.7 billion yen ($6.9 billion) for April-December, from 550.4 billion yen a year earlier.

The bank, whose assets total $1.45 trillion, did not change its full-year net profit forecast of 750 billion yen. That would be 5.5 percent less than the year prior, and lower than the 792.2 billion yen mean estimate of 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Shares of SMFG closed up 2.7 percent ahead of the earnings release, in line with the benchmark stock index.

Mizuho and MUFG report earnings on Friday and Monday respectively. ($1 = 102.7900 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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