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Mizuho Bank announced Friday it will raise interest rates on three- and six-month time deposits starting Monday, marking the first hike since August 2000 on deposits held less than a year.

The rate will be lifted from 0.02 percent to 0.06 percent for three-month time deposits and from 0.02 percent to 0.1 percent for six-month deposits, the bank said. Interest rates on ordinary deposits will be left unchanged at 0.001 percent.

The move comes in the wake of rising short-term market rates on expectations that the Bank of Japan will shortly scrap its “zero-interest-rate” policy.

Other major banks are expected to follow suit. Major banks posted record earnings in fiscal 2005, which ended on March 31, and there is growing demand from depositors that part of the profits be returned in the form of higher interest rates.

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