Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Records Strong Earnings, Shares Soar in Tokyo (MTU, EWJ)

 |  Includes: EWJ, MTU
by: Steven Towns

Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (ticker: MTU) soared 4.70% today in trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The world's largest bank led all gainers of shares with ADRs on the TSE thanks to its strong FY06 first-half earnings report.

Highlights from its first-half earnings report courtesy of AP:

      • Strong earnings due to lower bad-loan write-off costs

      • Earnings results were broken down between Mitsubishi Tokyo and UFJ since the merger was completed Oct. 1st

      • Mitsubishi Tokyo’s H1 net profit rose 75% to 300.7 billion yen (US$2.5 billion) from 171.7 billion yen the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 11 percent to 1.4 trillion yen (US$12 billion) from 1.26 trillion yen.

      • UFJ Holdings posted a group net profit of 411 billion yen (US$3.5 billion), a sharp recovery from the 674 billion yen net loss it suffered the same period the previous year.

      • Numbers were not broken down for the quarter

      • For the fiscal year through March 31, 2006, Mitsubishi-UFJ expects to post a group net profit of 520 billion yen (US$4.4 billion), up from the 400 billion yen it had projected earlier.

      • Mizuho Financial, Japan's second largest banking group, reported a 45 percent rise in net profit for the fiscal half-year, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Japan's No. 3 banking group, said its net profit jumped seven-fold for the fiscal half-year.

* Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are among the top holdings of the iShares MSCI Japan Index (ticker: EWJ).