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Sumitomo Mitsui, Mizuho freeze sales of structured bonds

Japanese financial institutions fret over potential losses by novice investors

Structured bonds are a type of high-yield derivative that includes options and swap transactions and are susceptible to losses in the event of large market fluctuations. (Photo by Yuhei Kambe)

TOKYO -- Japanese financial institutions have moved to suspend sales to certain customers of structured bonds, a financial product that offers high yields but is high risk, as they pose a challenge to customers who do not have a solid grasp of how they work.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group has completely halted sales of such products, while Mizuho Financial Group intends to partially suspend sales. Smaller regional banks, such as Chiba Bank, the Bank of Yokohama and Hiroshima Bank, have also moved to restrict sales of the bonds.

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