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Nonresident investors remained net buyers of Japanese stocks in fiscal 2000, but the net purchase amount was the smallest since fiscal 1990, when Japan’s stock market bubble collapsed, the Finance Ministry said Monday in a report compiled on a settlement basis.

Nonresidents bought 103.6 billion yen more in Japanese stocks than they sold for the fiscal year that ended March 31, down dramatically from the previous year’s 9.97 trillion yen worth of net purchases.

The result reflected considerably active buying and selling during the past business year, ministry officials said.

Nonresident investors bought 7.94 trillion yen worth of Japanese stocks while selling 7.93 trillion yen worth, a record high. Some of the selloffs stemmed from investor disappointment in the slow progress of Japan’s structural reforms.

In fiscal 1989, nonresident investors rushed to unload Japanese stocks, registering record-high net sales of nearly 3 trillion yen, as they viewed Japanese stocks as overpriced after the key Nikkei stock index peaked at 38,915.87 on Dec. 29, 1989.

In the postbubble era, however, nonresident investors have been stable net buyers of Japanese stocks.

Nonresidents were also net buyers of Japanese bonds for fiscal 2000, with their net purchases worth 1.13 trillion yen.

Meanwhile, Japanese investors were net buyers of foreign stocks in fiscal 2000 for the fifth straight year, with net buying of 2.17 trillion yen.

They were also net buyers of foreign bonds for the third consecutive year, at 6.52 trillion yen.

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