TOKYO Jan 29 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
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
($1 = 102.7900 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Christopher Cushing)