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Profits plunge at 'very bad' Mizuho

Mizuho Financial Group predicted a sharp drop in full-year profits today, brought about in the main by writedowns of asset backed securities.

In a new profits forecast, the Tokyo-based bank said that it is set to lose $5.5 billion in bad debts across the past year.

This pulls its net income down to just $3 billion - a figure almost 40 per cent down on its January profits prediction.

While Mizuho shares gained 5.2 per cent on the announcement today, the bank has nevertheless lost around 48 per cent of its share price over the past 12 months, Bloomberg reports.

Speaking to the news agency, president of Atlantis Investment Research Edwin Merner commented: "Management of the securities company [at Mizuho] was very bad...it's good that they're aggressively writing down these securities now.''

Japanese banking analyst Keisuke Moriyama was similarly scathing over the bank's performance.

"Long term, we must question whether the Mizuho group is properly governing its securities arm,'' he commented.

Mizuho is Japan's second-largest bank.