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2009年2月 5日 (木)

保有株買い取り―銀行は自らも資本増強を

2009/2/5

--The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 4(IHT/Asahi: February 5,2009)

EDITORIAL: Stock purchasing by BOJ

保有株買い取り―銀行は自らも資本増強を


The Bank of Japan, in an unusual move to shore up the cash flow of companies, has opted to resume buying up stocks in private companies held by financial institutions.

 日本銀行が企業の資金繰り対策として、またまた異例の手段に踏み込んだ。銀行が保有する一般企業の株式の買い取りを再開するのだ。 

The BOJ carried out similar purchases of bank-owned stocks from November 2002 to September 2004 when it bought up some 2 trillion yen in shares. Japan at that time was struggling to write off bad loans and the fiscal condition of the nation's banks was at an all-time low.

 日銀による銀行保有株の買い取りは02年11月~04年9月にも行われ、2兆円分が購入された。当時の日本は前回の金融危機による不良債権処理で、銀行の財務状況が最悪だった。

In April 2003, the Nikkei stock average fell to a record low following the collapse of the asset-inflated economy in the early 1990s. Unprecedented steps were taken to prevent the financial system from crumbling.

日経平均株価も03年4月にバブル後最安値を更新。金融システムの崩壊を防ぐための「異例中の異例」の措置だった。 

The setting is somewhat different this time around. For one thing, the financial system itself has yet to be rocked to its foundations. Yet, as a result of curbs placed on financing by banks in the interest of maintaining sound business practice, companies in need of funds are increasingly teetering on the edge of failure. This stock buy-up seeks to ease that credit crunch. The new purchases will total about 1 trillion yen, half of what was spent previously.

 今回は少し違う。金融システムはまだ揺らいではいない。だが、銀行が経営の健全度を保つため融資の抑制に出ている結果、借り手の企業が倒れかねない状況が強まっている。それを緩和するのが買い取りの狙いだ。規模は前回より小ぶりで総額1兆円。 

Extraordinary measures must be taken to deal with rapidly worsening economic conditions caused by the current global crisis. At the same time, the banks must also do their utmost to see that they are functioning properly.

 世界的危機のなか、景気が急激に悪化しているもとでは、異例の措置もやむを得ない。いまは考えられるあらゆる対策を動員することが大切だ。同時に銀行にも、金融機能を発揮できるよう最大限の自助努力を求めたい。 

As their share prices fall, financial institutions are finding themselves saddled with hefty valuation losses. This is one emerging factor behind the credit pinch. There are also concerns that stock prices will continue to decline toward the end of the fiscal year, further aggravating the lending reluctance of banks. If the BOJ acts now to buy up shareholdings, it should be possible to prevent a further expansion in latent losses. It will also help to stave off a price slide triggered by the unloading of stocks on the marketplace.

 株価の下落で、銀行は大きな評価損を抱えており、これが融資を絞る一因になっている。年度末に向け株価がさらに下落し、貸し渋りが激化するのが懸念される。そこで、いまのうちに日銀が保有株を買い取れば評価損の拡大を防げるし、保有株の市場への売却による相場下落も避けられる。 

The BOJ decided to buy up stocks at the request of the government, which itself is mobilizing the Banks' Shareholding Purchase Corp. to buy up a maximum of 20 trillion yen in shares. A bill has been submitted to the Diet for this purpose.

 日銀の株式買い取りは、政府から要請を受けてのことだ。政府も銀行等保有株式取得機構による最大20兆円の買い取りを再開する方針で、今国会に関連法案を提出している。 

The BOJ has already embarked on the unusual measure of purchasing short-term corporate bonds known as commercial paper. It has also begun preparations to buy regular corporate bonds.

 日銀はすでに、短期の社債であるコマーシャルペーパー(CP)の買い取りという異例の措置を始めた。社債の買い取り準備にも乗り出した。 

These measures are basically intended purely for the purpose of bolstering bank financing of small and medium enterprises and other clients and preventing cash-flow-linked bankruptcies. In essence, however, the banks should be working on their own to strengthen their capital and expand their lending capabilities.

 こうした一連の措置はひとえに、銀行に中小企業などへの融資を増やしてもらい、資金繰り倒産などが起きないようにするためである。本来なら、銀行が自力で資本を増強して、貸し出し余力を拡大すべきものだ。 

Taking this to heart, financial institutions need to explain the efforts they are making to supply funds to companies. The authorities should carry out checks on the status of this progress.

 銀行はその点を自覚し、企業への資金供給にどのように努めているのか、進んで明らかにしたらどうか。当局もその状況をチェックすべきだ。 

Under the revised financial function reinforcement law, the conditions for increasing capital through public funds were eased. Yet, only three banks are reported to be considering applications for such cash injections. Financial institutions unable to raise funds through their own efforts should be encouraged to make active use of this law to bolster their capital.

 改正金融機能強化法で公的資金による資本増強が容易になったが、申請を検討しているのはまだ3行しかないという。自力で資本調達ができない銀行は、同法を使った資本増強へ積極的に乗り出してほしい。 

In the past, banks held large volumes of stocks through cross-holdings with companies. As a result, they suffered massive losses from the share-price plunge that followed the post-bubble financial crisis, and should have learned the lesson that owning shares undermines banks' health.

 かつて企業との株式持ち合いにより、銀行は大量の株を保有していた。バブル後の金融危機で保有株価の下落が巨額の損失を生み、株式保有は銀行の健全性を損なうと反省したはずだ。 

If financial institutions once again increase their holdings of stocks taken over from other companies in the subsequent economic recovery, thereby steadily reviving the structure that caused so much turmoil in the past, the outcome does not auger well.

 その後の景気回復で企業から引き受ける株が再び増え、過去の構図が復活しつつあるとすれば問題だ。

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