Summary Box: Japanese banks lift forecasts

WHAT HAPPENED: Two of Japan's megabanks reported recoveries in their earnings and raised full year forecasts.

THE FORECAST: Mizuho Financial Group said it expects $6.1 billion (500 billion yen) in profit for the year, $854 million (70 billion yen) better than an earlier projection. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group also raised its full year forecast — to $6.6 billion (540 billion yen), $2.4 billion (200 billion yen) better than its earlier forecast.

WHY IT MATTERS: Japanese banks were battered by the global financial slowdown but have recently seen a recovery. They were not as directly exposed as their Western counterparts to the bad debts at the root of the financial crisis, but they also suffered deep losses.