Shirakawa signals relaxation of collateral rules

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, indicated on Monday that the central bank would soon relax its collateral rules as stress in markets for bank financing intensified.

Rumours that the central bank would accept corporate bonds with lower credit ratings abounded in Tokyo on Monday.

Shirakawa seemed to all but confirm these suspicions in Fukuoka, saying: "financial conditions are becoming less accommodative mainly in terms of funds availability, and the risk that the effects