| TOKYO, April 26
TOKYO, April 26 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
, Japan's third-largest bank by assets, expects year-end
net profits to rise 52 percent to a record high 790 billion yen
($7.9 billion) as a rally in domestic stock prices boosts
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-growth policies and monetary
stimulus by the Bank of Japan have helped boost the benchmark
Nikkei average index nearly 40 percent from November
2012 to the end of March.
This increase in stock prices lifted the valuation of SMFG's
equity holdings, the bank said in a statement. A sharp increase
in fees from investment trust sales, and growth in overseas
lending, helped boost revenues, it added.
The bank did not disclosure a detailed breakdown for its
profits, and said the figures were preliminary. It is scheduled
to announce its final results on May 15.
The bank had forecast a full-year net profit of 540 billion
for the year ended March 31, but its nine-month profit has
already exceeded that amount.
A Reuters poll of 13 analysts estimated the year-end net
profit at 691 billion yen. Last year, SMFG's net profit was
518.5 billion yen.
($1 = 99.4900 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; editing by Miral Fahmy)