Japan's MUFG 9-month net profit falls 34 pct, hurt by absence of one-time gain

TOKYO Fri Feb 1, 2013 7:40am GMT

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TOKYO Feb 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group posted a 34.7 percent decline in net profit for the nine months ended in December as its year-earlier profit was boosted by a hefty one-time gain from its investment in Morgan Stanley.

MUFG, which owns a 22 percent stake in the Wall Street bank, said it earned a net profit of 532.5 billion yen ($5.8 billion) for the April-December period, down from 815.8 billion yen a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of the year-earlier special gain, Japan's largest bank by assets saw its profit lifted by a year-end rally in the Japanese stock market and growth in overseas loans. Domestic lending activities remained tepid amid Japan's weak economic growth.

MUFG kept its full-year net profit forecast at 670 billion yen, below an average estimate of 685.6 billion yen in a poll of 17 analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Shares of MUFG rose 26 percent in the final three months of 2012, outperforming a 17 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei average. Prior to the earnings announcement on Friday, the bank's shares closed down 1.15 percent for the day compared to a 0.5 percent gain in the Nikkei.

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