July 5 (Bloomberg) -- Osaka Securities Exchange Co., operator of Japan’s second-largest exchange, surged the most in almost two years after the Asahi newspaper reported the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. is seeking a takeover.
Osaka Securities Exchange jumped 8 percent to close at 390,000 yen on the Jasdaq Securities Exchange, the biggest gain since August 2009. The number of stocks traded today totaled 7,044, almost nine times the 12-month average, and the highest since May 2007.
“It seems both want to be the lead company and that’s slowing the merger talks between them,” said Naoki Fujiwara, who helps oversee $6 billion at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Japan is lagging as exchanges globally are expanding and streamlining their operations. The role of the exchanges, which is to attract more investors to Japanese markets, is critical.”
The report of the bid follows a wave of international bourse merger attempts that has seen deals worth more than $20 billion announced since October. Tokyo Stock Exchange president Atsushi Saito said in June that a merger between Japan’s two largest exchanges would “create synergies.” Tokyo, home to Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., would gain access to Osaka’s derivatives trading system, where Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures trade.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange offered to purchase its Osaka rival and make it a subsidiary, the Asahi newspaper said. The Osaka bourse is resisting the bid, the newspaper said. Outstanding shares of the Osaka exchange are valued at 105.3 billion yen ($1.29 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Fumihiro Yada, Osaka Securities Exchange’s spokesman, said in a telephone interview today that no facts were confirmed on the report, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s spokesman Satoshi Mimura said nothing has been decided on the bid.
“Considering the global competition among exchanges, the merger should be welcomed by investors and market participants,” said Tsuyoshi Segawa, a strategist at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo. “It seems retail investors looking for some news jumped at the report and bought the shares, setting aside the possibility of the merger.”
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