BUSINESS Japan's central bank holds record 581 trln yen in bonds


Japan's central bank holds record 581 trln yen in bonds


20:37, April 07, 2023

TOKYO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) said Friday it held more than 581 trillion yen (4.4 trillion U.S. dollars) in government bonds as of March, the largest on record for the end of a fiscal year.

Tokyo (Photo: AFP)

The number was up 10.6 percent from a year earlier after the BOJ ramped up buying to hold down the yield on the benchmark 10-year issue, while the central bank's total assets, including exchange-traded funds, fell 0.2 percent to 734.85 trillion yen.

The BOJ's massive holding of bonds is part of its large-scale monetary easing program under outgoing Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's decade at the helm of the central bank, despite the policy being heavily criticized for requiring bulk purchases of government bonds.

The central bank has been keeping short- and long-term interest rates depressed through massive purchases of government bonds. In recent months, the central bank has had to ramp up buying to counter market pressure, allowing for more flexibility in long-term yield moves.

Under its yield curve control program, the BOJ sets short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent while guiding 10-year Japanese government bond yields around zero percent.

Last December, the BOJ announced a shift in its ultra-loose monetary policy, raising the yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond as high as 0.5 percent from a previous cap of 0.25 percent, which sent yields surging and forced it to ramp up bond buying to defend the limit.

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