Japan's banks will likely bear the brunt of the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) negative interest rates move, but analysts are divided on how badly they'll be hit.
The BOJ blindsided global financial markets on January 29 by adopted negative interest rates for the first time, buckling under pressure to revive growth in the world's third-largest economy.
The move aims to motivate banks to both lower lending rates and lend more, by charging banks to hold their reserves with the central bank - charges that will eat into their profits, unless they can lend out the funds profitably.
Some analysts predict a big hit for Japan's banks.
Citigroup, which last week downgraded shares of the country's three megabanks, Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFJ), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (SMFG) and Mizuho, to sell, said at the time that it expected "heavy pressure on earnings." It added that the BOJ's action would push down yields on the domestic loans and bonds that make up a major portion of bank balance sheets.