Japan central bank keeps key rate at near zero

AP News
Posted: Apr 28, 2011 12:53 AM
Japan central bank keeps key rate at near zero

Japan's central bank said Thursday it is keeping its key interest rate unchanged at virtually zero in a bid to support economic growth after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The Bank of Japan's nine-member policy board voted unanimously to maintain the overnight call rate target at zero to 0.1 percent. The decision, which came after a one-day meeting, was widely expected.

Since the March quake, the central bank has pumped billions of dollars into the financial system to stabilize the economy.

The bank announced earlier in the month that it would offer 1 trillion yen ($12 billion) of cheap loans to financial institutions in tsunami-hit areas.

The central bank said Thursday that each financial institution can get up to 150 billion yen in loans.