Unionbancal Corp. said Thursday it would post a third-quarter gain of nearly $45 million from a tax break due to losses at its Japanese owner.

Because of economic turmoil in Asia, the holding company of Union Bank of California said that its majority shareholder, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, took several tax-deductible chargeoffs.

Unionbancal and Tokyo-Mitsubishi are affiliates in a global group of firms. Their financial results and tax liabilities are combined and reported with those of sister companies.

A reduction in state franchise tax for 1997 and 1998 would add 76 cents to third-quarter earnings per share, the banking company said. Unionbancal had been expected to earn $1.71.

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