May 15, 2019 / 6:40 AM / 11 days ago

Japan's Mizuho forecasts four-fold recovery after weakest earnings in 10 years

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group forecast a more than four-fold profit rebound this financial year after posting its weakest annual results in a decade, hit by the cost of closing domestic branches and restructuring its securities portfolio.

Mizuho, Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, expects net profit of 470 billion yen ($4.29 billion) for the year ending March 2020.

That would come after profit totalled 96.6 billion yen in the just-ended year, tumbling 83% from 577 billion yen in the previous year. That was its weakest performance since the global financial crisis, when it fell to a loss in the year to March 2009.

The results were widely expected after Mizuho slashed its outlook in March by 86%.

Mizuho, like its rivals, has been accelerating cost-cutting as it grapples with the ultra-low interest rates and a declining population. ($1 = 109.6700 yen) (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

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