TOKYO, June 23 Japan's new tax-free savings
scheme had attracted more than 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion) of
funds three months after its introduction, largely from
investors aged over sixty.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government hopes the tax-free
Nippon Individual Savings Account (NISA) will encourage some of
an estimated $8 trillion in individual savings into investments
including stocks and mutual funds to help spur economic growth.
The amount invested in NISAs has grown at a health pace
since introduction in January, the Financial Services Agency's
survey of 686 financial firms showed on Monday.
The government has projected the scheme could attract more
than 25 trillion yen ($245 billion) in total by 2020.
Under the NISA scheme, anyone over 20 years old can invest
up to the equivalent of $9,800, or 1 million yen, each year.
The government hopes to draw younger investors to start
investing in financial products through the plan, although there
is little sign of that so far.
Out of a total of 6.5 million NISA accounts, 59.8 percent
were held by investors aged 60 or more, while investors in their
twenties accounted for just 3.2 percent.
($1 = 102.0500 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Mark Potter)