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Finance

BOJ seen sitting on ETF time bomb as pile reaches $180bn

Risk of paper losses grows as portfolio balloons

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan's unprecedented buying of exchange-traded funds leave the central bank increasingly vulnerable to a stock market downturn when it comes.

The BOJ held a staggering 20.3 trillion yen ($182 billion) worth of Japanese-equity ETFs as of Sept. 30, up 4.4 trillion yen from six months earlier, data released Tuesday shows. That figure is 2.5 times the bank's capital of 8.1 trillion yen and could top 3 times by the end of the fiscal year next March.

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