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Business

Mitsubishi warns of first annual loss

Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan's biggest trading house, has warned that it will post its first ever annual loss since its founding in 1954. The group said slower growth in China meant a dip into the red was "inevitable."

In a notice released to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, Mitsubishi wrote that it predicted an annual net loss of around 150 billion yen ($ 1.4 billion) in the year to March 31.

It cited writedowns related to the slump in commodities as being behind the shortfall, with heavy losses coming from its shares in Chilean copper mines.

Mitsubishi President Ken Kobayashi said he would take a 50 percent pay cut, while all other exectutives would see their bonuses scrapped.

Despite the losses, the company said it still expected to be able to pay shareholders an annual dividend at the end of March - although at no more than its base rate.

Mitsubishi is the latest in string of

Japanese companies to be affected

by steep falls in the price of goods from oil to metals, as China's slower economic growth continues to weigh on global markets.

On Wednesday, rival trading house Mitsui also predicted its first net loss since the slide in energy and metal prices caused it to book signicant writedowns.

hch, cjc (AFP, Reuters, Mitsubishi)

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