BoJ to buy $16bn of banks' shareholdings

JAPAN - The Bank of Japan on Friday said it would buy yen 2,000bn ($16.5bn) of banks' shareholdings to make them less vulnerable to stock market swings.

The BoJ also urged the government to use public funds to accelerate the disposal of banks' non-performing loans, in its report released after the markets closed, FT reported.

The share buying plan would last up to the end of September 2003 and would cover more than 10 banks. Last month, the BoJ stunned the market by announcing it would buy shares

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