Japan's central bank lending down 1.8% on year in April

11:26, May 13, 2010      

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Outstanding loans held by Japanese banks fell 1.8 percent in April from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said in a report on Thursday.

April's reduction in loans matches the biggest drop in 4 years logged in March this year when bank loans dropped 2.0 percent, the central bank said.

According to the BOJ, the total amount of loans held by Japan's four primary categories of banks, including credit unions, stood at 462.58 trillion yen (4.96 trillion U.S. dollars) in April.

The BOJ, which has kept interest rates at 0.10 percent since late 2008, has eased its policy twice in recent months by offering cheap funds to banks.

To stimulate more spending in new business areas, the central bank said last month that it would consider new ways to bolster growth -- expected to be a new facility aimed at banks that make loans to areas with growth potential.



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