Osaka and Tokyo stock exchanges to merge

Osaka and Tokyo stock exchanges to merge

TOKYO - Agence France-Presse

Japan’s two main bourses yesterday announced a plan to merge their operations in January 2013 as they look to boost competitiveness and create one of the world’s biggest exchanges.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange Group (TSEG) and Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) issued a joint statement, saying they have “agreed to conduct a business combination” as both look to overcome a sluggish Japanese market.

“Significant synergies should be created by combining the business of the companies, which have different areas of specialty,” the statement said.

Merger to boost securities market

The bourses hope that combining the TSE, where most cash stocks including Toyota and Sony are traded in Japan, and the OSE, which is strong in derivatives trading, will boost the country’s securities market.

The merged entity, tentatively called “Japan Exchange Group” would be the world’s third-largest bourse behind market leader NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq

OMX Group.

Senior officials at Japanese exchanges have long voiced the need to compete better with regional rivals, which have successfully lured international firms to list.

“Domestic mergers and cross-border mergers between exchanges have been gathering momentum overseas,” the statement said.

“For a Japanese stock exchange to survive such global competition as a player, it must establish a highly liquid and efficient market and enhance the convenience of investors and companies through strengthening its competitiveness,” it said

This would be achieved by “expanding its scale, diversifying the financial instruments in which it deals, and reducing costs,” the statement added