The Bank of Japan said Tuesday its purchases of shares from commercial banks totaled 1.67 trillion yen as of Aug. 31, an increase of 87.78 billion yen from Aug. 20.

The latest buying spree outweighs the 27.95 billion yen spent on banks’ shares during the 10-day period ended Aug. 10. But it is less than the 100 billion yen worth of shares bought by the BOJ every 10 days not long after it launched the stock-buying program in November.

The program is aimed at protecting banks’ balance sheets from stock price falls.

The BOJ initially set the ceiling on its stock purchases from banks at 2 trillion yen. It raised the ceiling to 3 trillion yen on March 25.

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