Top 3 Japanese financial groups post record net profits

Japan's three biggest financial services companies posted record profits for the April-to-December period, thanks to growing domestic demand for loans and rising interest rates abroad.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group logged net profit of 1.29 trillion yen, or about 8.7 billion dollars for the nine months. That is an increase of almost 280 percent in yen terms from a year earlier.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's net income grew 3.5 percent to 793 billion yen, or about 5.3 billion dollars. Meanwhile, Mizuho Financial Group's net profit rose 18 percent to 642 billion yen, or roughly 4.3 billion dollars.

The groups attributed their record earnings to increased demand for loans. Companies in Japan are boosting capital investment, as well as acquisitions, to digitalize operations and reduce their carbon footprints.

Profit margins on loans improved in countries like the United States where interest rates rose, and the Japanese currency's weakness boosted the yen value of the financial groups' repatriated profits.