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Change at top as lender's profit falls

MIZUHO Financial Group Inc has appointed Takashi Tsukamoto chief executive officer, ushering in new leadership after subprime-related losses crippled earnings and Japan entered its first recession in seven years.

Tsukamoto, currently deputy president, will replace Terunobu Maeda, who has led Mizuho since 2002, on April 1, the Tokyo-based company said yesterday.

Tsukamoto, 58, takes the helm after the bank forecast its smallest annual profit in six years amid rising bad loans and investment losses, Bloomberg News said.

The company is raising 355 billion yen (US$3.9 billion) to shore up its balance sheet because of the financial crisis.

"Japanese financial institutions are less hurt by the credit crisis, so the new management structure could be a sign that Mizuho is willing to take a more forward-looking stance," said Mitsushige Akino, chief investment officer at Tokyo-based Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co.


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