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Huge withdrawals of postal savings seen for 2000, 2001

TOKYO, July 27 Kyodo

Withdrawals from postal savings accounts are likely to increase sharply in the years 2000 and 2001 as 10-year fixed accounts opened in headier economic times come due, a senior Posts and Telecommunications Ministry official said Monday.

The outstanding balance of postal savings, combining principal and interest, is expected to decrease for the first time, Hiroshi Matsui, head of the ministry's Postal Savings Bureau, told a press conference.

In 1990 and 1991, a total of 106 trillion yen was deposited in fixed postal savings accounts carrying high interest rates of more than 6%.

The outstanding balance of such deposits totaled 63 trillion yen at the end of March this year, accounting for a quarter of the 246 trillion yen in total postal savings.

In the past, the ministry prevented massive withdrawals of fixed postal savings by reabsorbing expired savings through a hike in their maximum deposit amount, which is currently set at 10 million yen.

But Matsui said the ministry feels it would be difficult to resort to the move this time, for ''financial-industry reasons,'' an apparent reference to commercial financial institutions' complaints about the

huge growth of postal savings.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Aug 3, 1998
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