The Bank of Japan may introduce a low-interest lending programme to bolster the country's economic growth, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
The central bank's policy board will discuss the proposal when it meets today and tomorrow, Nikkei said yesterday.
The programme, probably worth several hundred billion yen, will provide commercial lenders funds at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent for a maximum of four years to encourage lending to high-potential, early stage companies that don't have real estate collateral, the newspaper said.
The BoJ last year introduced a 3 trillion yen (Dh136.16 billion) credit programme to channel funds to growth-support industries including energy, environment and social infrastructure, a step policy makers call crucial to prop up the economy's growth and counter deflation.
Governor Masaaki Shirakawa last month said the bank will examine whether there is room to enhance the programme, which had extended 2.94 trillion yen of the pledged amount as of this month.
Some BoJ policymakers voiced reluctance to increase the existing 3 trillion yen programme. Board member Seiji Nakamura said on June 2 the bank must "carefully" weigh any expansion of the programme because there have been signs of
side-effects, including intensifying competition among lenders to reduce loan rates, which hurt their earnings.
Nakamura also said the central bank's programme was introduced as a "catalyst" to encourage private lending, and shouldn't be expected to remain in place perpetually. Private lenders have set up 8.4 trillion yen of capital funds to nurture growth industries, Nakamura said. The central bank shouldn't consider an expansion "just because the scheme's lending is reaching a cap," he said.
Atop that 3 trillion yen, the BoJ in April introduced a separate 1 trillion yen facility, which also makes one-year loans at 0.1 per cent, for commercial banks in areas devastated by the March 11 natural disasters.
From / Gulf News