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Japan household assets hit record-high as cash, stock prices rise

Japanese 10,000 yen banknotes are seen in this file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese households held a record 1,992 trillion yen ($18 trillion) worth of assets at the end of June, up 6.3 percent from a year earlier, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to curb spending and stock prices gained, Bank of Japan data showed Friday.

    Cash and deposits rose 4.0 percent to 1,072 trillion yen, a fresh record high, partly because of summer bonus payments.

    Assets held in securities jumped 30.0 percent to 210 trillion yen, as progress in vaccinations fed hopes for recovery in major economies and boosted stock prices.

    Japan was still struggling to stem a surge in coronavirus cases in the April-June quarter, in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. With anti-virus measures in place, consumers were asked to refrain from going out and dining out and consumption remained sluggish.

    Loans extended by financial institutions to nonfinancial firms increased 0.4 percent to 353 trillion yen.

    The pace of year-on-year growth slowed from 7.6 percent at the end of March, potentially suggesting that companies have enough funds on hand.

    To help financially struggling firms cope with the hit from the coronavirus pandemic, the BOJ and the government have ensured that such companies have access to necessary funds.

    Cash and deposits held by nonfinancial firms increased 4.6 percent to 316 trillion yen, accounting for about a quarter of total assets, worth 1,226 trillion yen, up 8.4 percent, the BOJ data showed.

    With the BOJ maintaining its asset-buying program to keep borrowing costs low for companies and consumers, the central bank's holdings of Japanese government bonds rose 3.7 percent to 540 trillion yen.

    It owns 44.1 percent of Japan's 1,224 trillion yen in government debt. Overseas investors held 162 trillion yen, up 7.9 percent, accounting for 13.2 percent.

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