• Kyodo

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Financial assets held by households stood at a record ¥1.83 quadrillion ($17 trillion) at the end of March, climbing 2.5 percent from a year earlier thanks to a rise in share prices, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.

The figure marked a record-high on a fiscal year-end basis for the sixth year in a row.

By asset type, cash and deposits increased 2.3 percent to ¥961 trillion, and equities rose 11.7 percent to ¥199 trillion. Investment trusts gained 1.4 percent to ¥73 trillion while debt securities fell 5.5 percent to ¥23 trillion.

Assets held by companies excluding financial institutions rose 8.5 percent, to ¥1.18 quadrillion.

Meanwhile, the outstanding balance of domestic government bonds increased 1.2 percent to ¥1.1 quadrillion, of which the Bank of Japan held ¥459 trillion, or 41.8 percent.

The BOJ’s holdings rose 7.4 percent but the pace of year-on-year growth slowed from last March’s 17.3 percent as the central bank has been scaling down its government debt purchases, having shifted the focus of its ultra-easy policy from monetary base expansion to interest rates in 2016.

Government bonds held by foreign investors rose 2.5 percent to ¥120 trillion, or 10.9 percent of the total.

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