Japan Electronic Trade Venues Seek Regulatory Love

MarketWatch – By V. Phani Kumar – May 24, 2012

An earlier version of this report misidentified the name of the Japanese securities regulator. The report has been corrected.

TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Having survived a major shake-out, Japan’s two main electronic trading platforms, SBI Japannext and Chi-X Japan, say they are now ready to provide what is needed to rejuvenate the country’s stock markets: A healthy dose of real competition.

Yasuo Hamakake, Chief Executive Officer of Chi-X Japan

But for that to happen, regulators must first remove some restrictions — specifically targeted at alternative trading venues, and unique to Japan among the major developed economies — that are keeping both institutional and retail investors away.

From next to nothing just two years ago, the two so-called Proprietary Trading Systems (PTS), better known in the U.S. as Electronic Communication Networks (ECN), have steadily increased their combined market share to about 6% of stocks traded in Japan by grabbing a bigger slice of the market, and the investor mind.

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