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TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) said on Monday net profit fell 2.6 percent for the year ended in March, hurt by weak lending income.
Japan's biggest lender by assets said net profit came in at 926.4 billion yen ($8.16 billion)in the April-March period, down from 951.4 billion yen in the previous year. It compares with the 961.3 billion yen average estimate of 16 analysts compiled by Thomson Reuters and MUFG's own conservative forecasts of an 850 billion yen profit.
Japanese banks' struggles to reverse years of declining lending income was dealt a blow last year by the central bank's decision to introduce a negative interest rate policy, which has squeezed already thin loan margins.
For the current financial year, MUFG forecast a net profit of 950 billion yen, compared to the 985.4 billion yen average estimate of 18 analysts.
MUFG owns about 20 percent of Morgan Stanley and has a controlling stake in Bank of Ayudhya, Thailand's fifth-largest lender. ($1 = 113.5800 yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)