April 23, 2020 / 12:25 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-BOJ says to shorten policy meeting to one day on April 27

* Move aimed at preventing spread of infections - BOJ

* Meeting to conclude around noon - BOJ

* BOJ to take steps to ease corporate funding strains - sources (Recasts with BOJ’s official announcement)

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan said on Thursday it will shorten its upcoming monetary policy meeting, originally planned for next Monday and Tuesday, to a single day on April 27 as a precautionary measure amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. (0000GMT) and conclude around noon, the central bank said in a statement.

At the meeting, the BOJ is expected to take further steps to ease funding strains for companies hit by the pandemic by boosting purchases of corporate bonds and commercial paper (CP) and other measures, sources have told Reuters.

The change in date follows one in March, when the BOJ replaced a scheduled rate review on March 18-19 with an emergency policy meeting on March 16. At that meeting, the BOJ eased policy by ramping up risky asset buying and creating a new loan programme to ease corporate funding strains. (Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill & Shri Navaratnam)

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