Photographer: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Rates Less Than Zero Equal Profit Gloom for Japan's Banks: Chart

Only Sweden separates Japan from the unenviable distinction of becoming the world’s least-profitable loan market. Just how much the Bank of Japan’s negative interest-rate policy dents earnings will become clearer when the nation’s three biggest banks release results and forecasts on Friday and Monday. Analysts estimate combined profit will drop 6.9 percent to a four-year low of 2.25 trillion yen ($21 billion) in the year ending March 2017.

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