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Bank lending grew at the slowest pace in 16 months in July, as companies used profits or sold bonds to raise funds rather than borrow from banks.

Loans excluding trusts rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier in July, slowing from 0.7 percent in June, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday. Lending adjusted for currency fluctuations, bad-loan writeoffs and securitizations grew 1.1 percent from 1.6 percent in June.

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