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Saturday, July 1, 2006

TSE chief Nishimuro aims for public share offering by 2009


Staff writer

Tokyo Stock Exchange President Taizo Nishimuro said Friday the bourse hopes to publicly list its own shares in fiscal 2009 in the face of intensifying competition among exchanges around the world.

It was the first time the head of Asia's largest equities market gave a date for listing its shares since the TSE was forced by a string of computer problems to abandon an earlier plan to go public by the end of March.

Nishimuro made the remarks after attending an advisory panel meeting earlier in the day on stock market reform at the Financial Services Agency. The panel is headed by economic and fiscal policy chief Kaoru Yosano.

"(Future) competition among bourses will be focused on computer systems," he said. "If we want to win the race, we need capital, and that is why we need to go public."

Nishimuro said he hopes the TSE can list its shares on its own exchange before its new computer system goes online in spring 2009.

"If we don't (go public) by then, the TSE will not be able to fully utilize (the system's) capabilities amid the competition with other stock exchanges around the world," he said.

Although the TSE chief admitted there is opposition to the IPO, he said he will use "patient persuasion" to win the skeptics over.

Last Nov. 1, the TSE was forced to suspend trading for most of the day due to a computer glitch. The following month, the system was unable to cancel a huge erroneous sell order placed by Mizuho Securities Co.

In January, the TSE shut down for 20 minutes for fear of a system overload, due to a flood of sell orders from panic-stricken traders and individual investors spooked by prosecutors' raid on Internet firm Livedoor Co.

With the upgraded computer system, the TSE plans to expand its capacity tenfold and accelerate its order processing by up to 100 times compared with the current system.



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