BOJ owns over 50% of outstanding JGBs for 1st time

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Bank of Japan building

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)—The percentage of Japanese government bonds held by the Bank of Japan stood at 50.26 pct at the end of September, exceeding the 50 pct threshold for the first time, BOJ data showed Monday.

The latest figure was sharply up from 11.55 pct at the end of March 2013, soon after incumbent BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda took office, reflecting the central bank’s continued JGB purchases under its massive monetary easing policy.

According to the flow of funds data for July-September, the BOJ owned ¥536 trillion of the ¥1,066 trillion in outstanding JGBs, excluding treasury discount bills, at the end of the quarter.

Meanwhile, the balance of financial assets held by households rose 0.8 pct from a year before to ¥2,005 trillion, topping the 2,000-trillion-yen mark for the fourth straight quarter and renewing the end-of-September record.

Of the total household financial assets, cash and deposits accounted for ¥1,100 trillion, up 2.5 pct, and insurance came to ¥382 trillion, up 1.1 pct.

Stocks dropped 8.1 pct to ¥196 trillion, due to market falls, and investment trusts decreased 1.7 pct to ¥86 trillion. Both were down for the second quarter in a row.

Nonfinancial companies’ financial assets grew 3.9 pct to ¥1,271 trillion, hitting a new record high. Their foreign direct investments expanded 24.4 pct to ¥197 trillion, thanks to the yen’s weakening.