May 15, 2019 / 9:23 AM / a month ago

Japan's SMFG posts slight profit decline, sees further weakness

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) on Wednesday posted a 1% decline in net profit for the year through March, and flagged a further decrease this year reflecting the chronic battle for Japanese banks as face ultra-loose monetary policy.

SMFG posted 727 billion yen ($6.6 billion) net profit for the year just ended from 734 billion yen in the previous year. That compared with an average estimate of a net profit of 743 billion yen in a poll of 14 analysts by Refinitiv.

For the year ending March 2020, SMFG forecast profit of 700 billion yen, down nearly 4 percent from the year just ended.

SMFG and other Japanese banks have been suffering diminishing returns from loans to both retail and corporate customers as the central bank pursues an ultra-low interest rate policy aimed at stimulating the economy. ($1 = 109.4200 yen) (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

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