Cautious forecast for Japan’s MUFJ

MITSUBISHI UFJ Financial Group has forecast meagre profit growth for this year as Japan’s largest bank braces itself for an uncertain economic recovery.

MUFJ joined other major Japanese banks in reporting a quarterly profit as a pickup in the world’s second-largest economy eased bad-loan costs and the stock market’s recovery from last year’s lows supported the lenders’ massive share portfolios. But its three per cent net profit growth forecast for this financial year was far lower than its rivals’ predictions and showed new MUFG chief executive officer Katsunori Nagayasu looked to err on the side of caution.

MUFG’s net profit for the quarter ended 31 March was 171.7bn yen, (£1.28bn). It lost 214.9bn yen a year earlier. It forecast net profit of 400 bn yen in the next year, while analysts forecast 436bn yen.