Tokyo bourse to merge with rival Osaka

TSE bourseThe third largest stock market bourse is born. The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Osaka Stock Exchange (OSE) have put aside their differences to merge. The merger should help bolster Japan's trading position - the Nikkei 225 has been bleeding listings for several years - as Chinese valuations increasingly becomes more powerful.

Is this therefore a healthy move for the Japanese?

A problem shared...

Probably. The merger is expected to return around 7bn yen in costs once integration is completed. It won't be complete until well into 2013/2014 though, giving the Chinese and Hong Kong to consolidate their positions further. A strong yen won't help jolly things along much, either.

However a wave of stock market consolidation globally is taking place. Duncan Niederauer, boss of NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse boss Reto Francioni are attempting to persuade European antitrust authorities to clear their own merger, under fire on monopoly worries.

Shrewd money

For investors, investing in stock exchanges themselves can be a smart move. Although individual companies can fold, stock exchanges generally don't collapse themselves. It's a good way of buying into growing global trading volumes, especially from powerhouse economies.

Whether this particular bourse will be a genuine powerhouse of the future, that remains to be seen, given the growing confidence of Japan's near neighbours. Consolidation, mind, also means less competition, which should be a worry for some investors, especially given the financial conflagration we're still emerging from.
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