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Increase in Share Purchase Amount Limits

March 25, 2003
Bank of Japan

At a regular meeting held today, the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan decided to increase the maximum amount of equity holdings it will purchase from commercial banks.

Immediately after this decision the Bank applied to the Minister of Finance and the Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency for official approval in accordance with Article 43 of the Bank of Japan Law.

Against the background of more volatile stock prices in light of the military action against Iraq taken by the US and allied forces, the Board has made this decision to encourage banks to make more efforts to reduce their exposure to market volatility resulting from their equity holdings.

Details of the measure are as follows:

The Bank will:

  1. increase the maximum total amount of equity holdings it purchases from banks to 3 trillion yen from the current 2 trillion yen, and
  2. increase the maximum cumulative amount of equity holdings it will purchase from any one bank to 750 billion yen from the current 500 billion yen.

The measure will come into effect upon government approval.

The Bank of Japan will make continuing efforts to ensure its own financial soundness such as by strengthening own capital.

The Bank of Japan strongly hopes that banks will reduce their excess equity holdings as soon as possible by utilizing the measure offered by the Bank.