Banks’ securities investment portfolios were worth 9.4% less at 31 March 2017 than a year earlier, according to figures from the Japanese Bankers Association. The drop follows a 6% decline in the 2015/16 year (see archive 2016/1o/10 Japanese banks’ securities portfolios shrank over 6% last year).
Holdings of government bonds fell during the term by 18.4% to reach 79,978.2 billion yen while investment in local government debt rose 9.6%.
Stocks rose only 3.8% — less than a third of the rise in the overall market during the year — to reach 24,767.3bn yen while falling 0.5% at city banks. At regional banks they rose 11% to account for 8.66% of portfolios, up from 7.43% formerly. Text continues below table
The numbers come amid reports that the Financial Services Agency has been talking to the regional institutions about the risks they are taking on as they try to replace earnings from lending — for which there is little demand — with gains from investments, notably investment trusts.
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