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Bank of Japan to Allow 10-Year Bond Yield to Rise to Limit of 0.5%, Previous Limit of 0.25%

24th December 2022 | Hong Kong

Bank of Japan, in the latest monetary policy announcement on 20th Dec 2022, will allow 10-year Japan bond yield to rise to a limit of 0.5% (the previous limit is 0.25%).  Bank of Japan: “Since early spring this year, volatility in overseas financial and capital markets has increased and this has significantly affected these markets in Japan. The functioning of bond markets has deteriorated, particularly in terms of relative relationships among interest rates of bonds with different maturities and arbitrage relationships between spot and futures markets. Yields on Japanese government bonds (JGBs) are reference rates for corporate bond yields, bank lending rates, and other funding rates. If these market conditions persist, this could have a negative impact on financial conditions such as issuance conditions for corporate bonds. The Bank expects that the measures decided today will facilitate the transmission of monetary easing effects generated under the framework of yield curve control, such as through corporate financing.”  Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world with GDP of $4.9 trillion (United States, China, Japan) and population of 125 million (11th largest).

“ Bank of Japan to Allow 10-Year Bond Yield to Rise to Limit of 0.5%, Previous Limit of 0.25% “

 



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Bank of Japan Announcement

Japan Airlines

 

20th Dec 2022 – At the Monetary Policy Meeting held today, the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan decided to modify the conduct of yield curve control in order to improve market functioning and encourage a smoother formation of the entire yield curve, while maintaining accommodative financial conditions.

Since early spring this year, volatility in overseas financial and capital markets has increased and this has significantly affected these markets in Japan. The functioning of bond markets has deteriorated, particularly in terms of relative relationships among interest rates of bonds with different maturities and arbitrage relationships between spot and futures markets. Yields on Japanese government bonds (JGBs) are reference rates for corporate bond yields, bank lending rates, and other funding rates. If these market conditions persist, this could have a negative impact on financial conditions such as issuance conditions for corporate bonds. The Bank expects that the measures decided today will facilitate the transmission of monetary easing effects generated under the framework of yield curve control, such as through corporate financing. The Bank will aim to achieve the price stability target by enhancing the sustainability of monetary easing under this framework through implementing these measures.

  1. The Bank decided to set the guidelines for market operations and asset purchases as follows. 

(1) Yield curve control (a unanimous vote) 

a) The Bank decided to set the following guideline for market operations for the inter-meeting period. 

The short-term policy interest rate:
The Bank will apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 percent to the Policy-Rate 

Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the Bank. 

The long-term interest rate:
The Bank will purchase a necessary amount of JGBs without setting an upper limit 

so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent. 

b) Conduct of yield curve control 

While significantly increasing the amount of JGB purchases, the Bank will expand the range of 10-year JGB yield fluctuations from the target level: from between around plus and minus 0.25 percentage points to between around plus and minus 0.5 percentage points. 

The Bank will offer to purchase 10-year JGBs at 0.5 percent every business day through fixed-rate purchase operations, unless it is highly likely that no bids will be submitted. In order to encourage the formation of a yield curve that is consistent with the above guideline for market operations, the Bank will make nimble responses for each maturity by increasing the amount of JGB purchases even more and conducting fixed- rate purchase operations. 

(2) Guidelines for asset purchases (a unanimous vote) 

With regard to asset purchases other than JGB purchases, the Bank decided to set the following guidelines. 

a) The Bank will purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) as necessary with upper limits of about 12 trillion yen and about 180 billion yen, respectively, on annual paces of increase in their amounts outstanding. 

b) The Bank will purchase CP and corporate bonds at about the same pace as prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so that their amounts outstanding will gradually return to pre-pandemic levels, namely, about 2 trillion yen for CP and about 3 trillion yen for corporate bonds. In adjusting the amount outstanding of corporate bonds, the Bank will give due consideration to their issuance conditions. 

3. Japan’s economy, despite being affected by factors such as high commodity prices, has picked up as the resumption of economic activity has progressed while public health has been protected from COVID-19. The pace of recovery in overseas economies has slowed. Exports and industrial production have increased as a trend, with the effects of supply-side constraints waning. Corporate profits have been at high levels on the whole, and business sentiment has been more or less unchanged. In this situation, business fixed investment has increased moderately. The employment and income situation has improved moderately on the whole. 

Private consumption has increased moderately, despite being affected by COVID-19. Housing investment has been relatively weak. Public investment has been more or less flat. Financial conditions have been accommodative on the whole, although weakness in firms’ financial positions has remained in some segments. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) has been at around 3.5 percent due to rises in prices of such items as energy, food, and durable goods. Meanwhile, inflation expectations have risen. 

  1. Japan’s economy is likely to recover, with the impact of COVID-19 and supply-side constraints waning, although it is expected to be under downward pressure stemming from high commodity prices and slowdowns in overseas economies. Thereafter, as a virtuous cycle from income to spending intensifies gradually, Japan’s economy is projected to continue growing at a pace above its potential growth rate. The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI (all items less fresh food) is likely to increase toward the end of this year due to rises in prices of such items as energy, food, and durable goods. The rate of increase is then expected to decelerate toward the middle of fiscal 2023 because the contribution of such price rises to this CPI is likely to wane. Thereafter, it is projected to accelerate again moderately on the back of improvement in the output gap and rises in medium- to long-term inflation expectations and in wage growth.
  2. Concerning risks to the outlook, there remain extremely high uncertainties for Japan’s economy, including the following: developments in overseas economic activity and prices; developments in the situation surrounding Ukraine and in commodity prices; and the course of COVID-19 at home and abroad and its impact. In this situation, it is necessary to pay due attention to developments in financial and foreign exchange markets and their impact on Japan’s economic activity and prices.
  3. The Bank will continue with Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control, aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner. It will continue expanding the monetary base until the year-on-year rate of increase in the observed CPI (all items less fresh food) exceeds 2 percent and stays above the target in a stable manner.
    For the time being, while closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19, the Bank will support financing, mainly of firms, and maintain stability in financial markets, and will not hesitate to take additional easing measures if necessary; it also expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels.



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