WRAPUP 1-Japan's MUFG back to black; Mizuho stumbles again

viernes 31 de julio de 2009 11:01 CEST

* Q1 net at 75.9 bln yen vs 59.2 bln average estimate

* Keeps forecast, says booked gains on stock portfolio

* MUFG Shares end up 4.4 pct ahead of results

* Mizuho posts fourth straight loss (Recasts, adds analyst comment and details)

By David Dolan

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T: Cotización), Japan's largest bank, booked its first profit in three quarters on Friday, the latest sign that a stock market bounce and an improving economy are feeding a recovery in earnings.

But even as most Japanese banks have returned to profit, Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: Cotización) continues to stumble. Japan's No.2 bank, which has been plagued by its exposure to credit and stock derivatives, posted its fourth straight quarter in the red.

Analysts believe the worst is over for most Japanese big banks, which have been helped by a turnaround in the stock market rebound and government stimulus to limit a surge in bankruptcies.

"Even if a rising tide lifts all boats, the problem we have with Mizuho is that they keep drilling holes to sink themselves," said Ismael Pili, Japan bank analyst at Macquarie Securities.   Continuación...