TOKYO, July 31 Mizuho Financial Group
on Thursday said profit fell 38 percent in the first quarter as
the value of shares the bank owned grew at a far slower rate
than last year, when share prices surged on investors betting on
swift economic growth.
Japan's big three banks booked record profit in the year
ended March thanks to the average share price rising 19
percent after a new prime minister took office. However cooling
sentiment toward the government's aggressive pro-growth policies
has since seen a more moderate rise of 6 percent.
No.2 bank Mizuho in a statement said net profit reached
154.7 billion yen ($1.50 billion) in April-June from 248.0
billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
Stock-related profit fell to 15.7 billion yen from 27.2
billion yen. Mizuho owns shares in an array of major Japanese
companies, including Central Japan Railway Co and East
Japan Railway Co.
Net interest income - or interest earned from loans and
securities holdings - at its core banking unit fell to 227.9
billion yen from 241.7 billion yen, pressured by a central bank
monetary easing programme aimed at ending a decade of deflation.
For the full year through March, Mizuho kept its net profit
forecast at 550 billion yen, 20 percent less than a year earlier
and below a 566.6 billion yen mean estimate of 17 analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters.
Shares of Mizuho closed 0.1 percent higher ahead of the
earnings, compared with a 0.2 percent decline in the benchmark
(1 US dollar = 102.8100 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Christopher Cushing)