Japan Offers Gold Coins to Bond Buyers

Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi will be rewarding investors who buy more than 10 million yen ($129,000) in reconstruction bonds with gold in the government’s latest attempt to bolster demand for the debt.

Individual investors who hold the bonds for three years will be eligible for a gold commemorative coin valued at 10,000 yen, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. At 15.6 grams, (0.55 ounces), it would be worth about $948 based on prices for the precious metal. Only a limited number of coins will be issued, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Azumi, whose hometown was devastated by the March 11 disaster, said today he bought 1 million yen of the debt to support rebuilding efforts from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Offering gold bolsters the value of the return on the debt, which will be at 0.05 percent for the first three years.

Silver coins weighing 31.1 grams valued at 1,000 yen will be distributed to those who own more than 1 million yen of the bonds, the government said. The coins will be offered for debt going on sale in March. All investors receive a thank-you note from the minister, who showed his to reporters in Tokyo today as proof of his purchase. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura also bought the bonds, Azumi said, without saying how much.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ken McCallum at kmccallum4@bloomberg.net

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