Japanese stocks staged a sharp rally in fiscal 2003 on aggressive buying by nonresident investors, according to survey data compiled by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and other stock exchanges that was released recently.

Nonresident investors held 21.8 percent of listed shares in value in the year to March 31, up 4.1 percentage points from the previous year, for the first rise in three years and an all-time high since data compilation began in fiscal 1970, the exchanges said.

On the three biggest markets — the TSE, the Osaka Securities Exchange and the Nagoya Stock Exchange — net buying by nonresident investors, or purchases in excess of sales, soared 38.7 times to 11.64 trillion yen.

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