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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Japan

MUFG weathers lacklustre lending gains after 2017 profits rose 6.8% to $8.98b

Lower bad loan expenses and gains from equity holdings buoyed earnings.

Reuters reports that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc was able to weather the downturn plaguing Japanese banks as profits rose 6.8% YoY to $8.98b (989.7b yen) in the year ending March. 

Lower than expected expenses from bad loans and gains from equity holdings offset dismal bank lending, according to the bank’s financial statement.

Also read: MUFG may be hit by $470m writedown on branch losses

Japanese banks have been grappling with steadily declining loan demand as the country ages rapidly. The growing preference of older generations for low-risk assets have pushed down loan-to-deposit ratios and squeezed the profitability of lenders.

Also read: Japanese banks reportedly mulling joint ATMs to cut massive losses

To stay afloat, Japanese banks are turning to overseas markets and expanding into non-lending businesses amidst unfavourable business conditions in their home turf following an ultra-low interest rate environment engineered by the central bank.

Here’s more from Reuters.

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