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More than 2,000 Japanese companies effectively debt-free

Majority of listed names log positive net cash on robust earnings

TOKYO -- A record 2,016 listed companies in Japan were effectively debt-free at the end of fiscal 2016, continuing a trend toward more solid finances that raises questions about how corporations should spend their cash.

Companies considered effectively debt-free -- those having positive net cash --  increased by 60 on the year and topped the 2,000 mark for the first time. They accounted for 58% of all listed companies, up 1.6 percentage points. A total of 142 companies newly turned debt-free.

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