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Sat, Oct 28, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Tokyo exchange, NYSE in tie-up talks

LOOK OUT The chief executive officer of the world's biggest bourse, John Thain, has said the exchange could take a position in Tokyo, China and India in three to five years

AFP , TOKYO

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) said yesterday it was discussing a tie-up with the NYSE, a move that could eventually pave the way for a bourse stretching across three continents.

World stock exchange operators are linking arms to facilitate easier cross-border trading while boosting their own competitiveness.

In June, the NYSE announced a 10-billion-dollar merger with pan-European exchange operator Euronext to create the world's first intercontinental market and has now opened talks with Asia's largest bourse.

"The Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange have held discussions over various possibilities including a possible operational tie-up," the TSE said in a statement.

"We are still in the process of rebuilding the next-generation computer system and attempting to be listed. We will consider tie-ups with foreign stock exchanges after our ongoing projects show steady progress," it said.

The TSE statement was in response to reports saying the Tokyo and New York exchange operators would take stakes of about 10 percent in each other by 2009 under a plan proposed by the NYSE.

NYSE group chief executive officer John Thain met his Tokyo counterpart Taizo Nishimuro earlier this month in the US and agreed to discuss details of the tie-up proposal, the reports said.

Thain has previously said the world's biggest bourse wants to take a position in possibly Tokyo, China and India within three to five years.

"Tokyo is the most logical place but also to have a position in China or India would also be attractive because they're growing quickly," he told reporters in August.

The TSE has had a disastrous past year. It suffered its worst-ever system crash in November last year that paralyzed the world's second largest bourse and forced it to shelve plans for a listing of its own.

The bourse's chief executive, Takuo Tsurushima, quit in December to take the blame for the chaos caused by another incident when a securities firm was unable to stop a massive botched trade caused by the slip of a finger.

Even worse, the TSE was then forced to close early for the first time ever in January after a scandal at Internet firm Livedoor Co sparked a stampede to exit the market that threatened to crash its trading system.

The TSE said in June it hoped to list in 2009 after regaining the trust of investors.

Meanwhile, the US NASDAQ Stock Market is in talks with the JASDAQ Securities Exchange, Jap-an's stock market for start-up companies, about a possible alliance, officials said.

Ther New York-based NASDAQ, which is dominated by US tech companies such as online search engine Google Inc, is also pursuing a takeover of the London Stock Exchange, Europe's biggest market.

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