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BOJ tops pension whale as Japan's largest stockholder

Central bank's $440bn ETF trove leaves it exposed to bear market

The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo: The BOJ's holdings of exchange-traded funds continue to swell. (Photo by Tetsuya Kitayama)

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan has surpassed the country's Government Pension Investment Fund as the largest holder of Japanese equities for the first time.

Japan's central bank held about 46.56 trillion yen ($442 billion) in Japanese exchange-traded funds as of the end of December, Nomura Securities estimates. GPIF held about 45.27 trillion yen worth of domestic shares that month, the fund said Friday.

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