About the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Tokyo Stock exchange is one of the more important world exchanges, trading an average of 1,540 million shares per day. It is one of five exchanges in Japan, but with 2,276 companies listed, the Tokyo Stock Exchange is by far the largest. Most of the TSE's listings are domestic, although it also trades shares for 30 international companies.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange uses an electronic, continuous auction system of trading. This means that brokers place orders online and when a buy and sell price match, the trade is automatically executed. Deals are made directly between buyer and seller, rather than through a market maker. The TSE uses price controls so that the price of a stock cannot rise or fall below a certain point throughout the day. These controls are used to prevent dramatic swings in prices that may lead to market uncertainty or stock crashes. If a major swing in price occurs, the exchange can stop trading on that stock for a specified period of time.

Stocks listed on the TSE are assigned to one of three markets: the First Section, Second Section, or Mothers (market of the high-growth and emerging stocks). The highest listing criteria must be met for the First Section and all newly listed stocks begin on the Second Section, with less strict requirements. Stocks for high growth, emerging companies are listed on the Mothers market. The exchange undergoes a review at the end of each year, where the decision of whether any stocks will be moved either up or down is made. The First Section currently has the most companies, with 1,595 listings.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange also has a significant market for derivatives, which has been operating for twenty years. The TSE lists futures and options in indexes, equities, and Japanese government bonds.


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