Sumitomo Mitsui Raises Dividend as Net Income Surges to Record

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316), Japan’s second-biggest bank by market value, said profit surged 52 percent to a record and raised its annual dividend as the value of its stockholdings climbed and bad-loan costs fell.

Net income rose to 790 billion yen ($8 billion) in the year ended March 31 from 518.5 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo- based lender said in a preliminary earnings statement today. It raised its annual dividend 20 percent to 120 yen.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to end more than a decade of deflation fueled a 35 percent increase in the benchmark Topix Index (TPX) this year. Lenders’ revenue may grow if the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing succeeds in reviving the economy, boosting lending, Standard & Poor’s said this week.

Credit costs at lending unit Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. were 60 billion yen lower compared with its earlier projection, according to the statement. Valuation profit from the bank’s stockholdings more than tripled to 770 billion yen as of March 31 from 228.5 billion yen a year earlier, the bank said.

Sumitomo Mitsui is scheduled to announce its final earnings on May 15.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shigeru Sato in Tokyo at ssato10@bloomberg.net; Shingo Kawamoto in Tokyo at skawamoto2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net; Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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