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ChiNext: A Wrongheaded, Sheltered Start

The lesson from the ChiNext launch is as old as China’s stock market: Too much regulatory protection leads to speculation.

(Caijing Magazine) China’s growth enterprise board ChiNext recently opened after 10 years in the making. Hopes ran high, and trading sizzled. But the debut quickly led to disappointment, recalling the now-sputtering Shenzhen SME board, which began with a dramatic flash but eventually cast a pall over growth stock trading.

Shares for all 28 companies on the ChiNext board skyrocketed to the 10 percent limit on opening day. Shares in Jinya Technology, for example, surged 80 percent in a buying frenzy. Overall, first-day gains averaged 106 percent.

But it was a flash in the pan, unchecked by regulator warnings and a fat book of regulatory measures designed to prevent speculation. Within a few days, prices tumbled. Suddenly, ChiNext was nothing more than a new game in town that pulled players into the same kind of mania seen a couple of years ago when PetroChina A-shares reached the stratosphere in an IPO and when stock warrants had manipulated, rollercoaster price changes. Moreover, some of the 28 newly tradable companies became subjects of critical media stories about instant wealth, overselling of pre-IPO shares by management, and cases of cooking the books.

How did this newborn trading platform, so carefully planned and nurtured through a long gestation, fall captive to the old, genetic flaws of China’s stock markets? A crucial factor was excessive protection.

A successful growth enterprise board is not just a capital-raising platform; start-ups are far more valuable than blue chips in many ways. ChiNext was designed to encourage start-ups and new technology companies. It should be in a position to help traders pan for gold and turn ugly ducklings into swans.

But ChiNext was never given enough room to let the market play its resource allocation role. In the first place, IPOs for ChiNext still had to go through a government authorization process. Each of the 28 companies was chosen by regulators from among hundreds of applicants. This review process, which is based on company documents provided to the government rather than through public information disclosure, may look like accountability in the eyes of investors. But it actually restricts market selectivity.

The selection process was designed to signal that each of the 28 companies had a good chance for survival. So after giving permission to this first batch of companies for board trading, regulators suspended review of new applications for a month and concentrated on the ChiNext launch. Media euphoria and promotion activity by energetic brokers further diluted any sense of risk awareness among the trading public.

Yet such artificial control of supply and demand distorts the market. And this is nothing new. Past experience has shown that it’s futile in such circumstances to prevent volatility through regulation and investor warnings following an application process.

Moreover, speculation fire was fanned by murky delisting requirements. Regulations covering growth enterprise stocks on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which sponsors ChiNext, say companies should be warned before being delisted. The exchange, however, can rescind a warning if a company implements a “restructuring plan.” This means that, despite the rule for delisting start-ups, the exchange still leaves a back door open to creating shell companies – and attracting punters – by allowing restructuring. Such loose market conditions help whip up speculative frenzy.

Of course, conditions are similar on the A-share main board. Excessive protection stems from a regulatory intent to list quality companies and inject vitality into the market. And in the area of delisting, strict enforcement is out of the question because regulators feel compelled to bow to public sentiment and give any shaky company another chance in the name of investor protection.

However, this protection oversteps the bounds and chokes market vitality. It will surely backfire. Regulators have created conditions for rent-seeking by listed companies, which then turns investors into speculators.

Success for ChiNext should depend on several big-picture factors including growth potential, investment environment and rule of law in society. Regulators can not and should not guarantee financial results and return on investment; they should not set goals for market size and trading volume. Otherwise, even perfect schemes would be hijacked by powerful interests under the banner of protecting investor interests.

Ensuring healthy development of the market is the duty of the China Securities Regulatory Commission as well as stock exchange operators. But their jobs should focus on making and implementing rules, not making market choices. They should concern themselves with improving the trading system, watching interest groups, ensuring adequate information disclosure, penalizing offenders, and educating investors. These tasks, ranging from the minute to critical issues for certain interest groups, can be easily overlooked. They should not.

In the international arena, successful growth enterprise boards are rare and their development paths are strewn with obstacles. China, as the world’s largest emerging economy, has no shortage of innovative ideas. And the market is active indeed. What China lacks, however, is a system that ensures healthy market function. The less-than-perfect inauguration of ChiNext should sound an alarm for regulators. It is not too late to take corrective action.

Source: Cajing, 10.11.2009 By Hu Shuli

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Filed under: Asia, China, Exchanges, News, Risk Management, , , , , , , , ,

Tokyo takes time for Aim presence

Tokyo Aim, Japan’s newest exchange, is not escaping the scepticism that enveloped its London equivalent when that junior market was established nearly 15 years ago. The new bourse is a joint venture between the Tokyo and London stock exchanges and based on the LSE’s own Aim market.

The TSE hopes that it will build up a new set of companies that can eventually grow into some of Japan’s leading names, encourage more risk capital and make the Tokyo a more global financial centre through foreign company listings.

Atsushi Saito, TSE chief executive, has said the names of Japan’s top 100 companies have not changed much over the past half century, unlike in the US or Europe, and that Japan needs this “energy” to stay relevant. The LSE’s ambitions are about being part of the growth story in Asia and expanding its brand.

Sceptics question whether or not Japan needs another start-up market when it already has seven and also whether it can lure overseas companies to list on it.

“It is difficult to see what yet another market will bring to Japan if it is just another start-up exchange,” said Neil Katkov, head of Asia research at Celent, the finance research and consulting firm. “However, if they are looking for a niche to differentiate themselves, then it could be a different story.”

Tetsutaro Muraki, Tokyo Aim’s bilingual chief executive, is confident about that differentiation. He says the market is also targeting the subsidiaries of large-cap companies, overseas companies, fundraising for project finance and large unlisted companies that want to raise funds through preference shares.

It has received more than 100 inquiries, ranging from an e-mail to more serious communication, from companies both domestically and overseas.

He sees clean energy, technology and biotechnology as among the mainstays of the market.

Mr Muraki is in no rush, expecting about five listings in the first year, and he does not expect to break even for the first four or five years.

“I’d rather build a reputable exchange that grows over time, versus bringing a less qualified company to the exchange in the current market,” he said.

Tokyo Aim is restricted to professionals and overseas investors, unlike the main start-up markets, which Mr Muraki says are dominated by retail investors who can often be speculative by nature.

“The real issue is if Tokyo Aim can bring the companies that are interesting enough to investors for a long period of time,” Mr Muraki said. “It’s not a short-term type of trading that you often see on the Japanese growth markets.”

There is also a question mark over Tokyo’s presence as a global financial centre, in spite it having the second-largest stock market in the world.

Listings of foreign companies on the TSE have dwindled to a mere 15 from a peak of 127 in 1991. Now the question is how Tokyo Aim will lure in overseas companies.

It will face regional competition from the Growth Enterprise Board of Shenzhen, China, which is expected to be launched in the coming months, and other Asian bourses are unlikely to sit back and watch.

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SZSE Chinese bourse set to lure domestic flotations,Financial Times, 23.06.2009

To be globally competitive, disclosure on Tokyo Aim can be made in English and it also allows the use of International Financial Reporting Standards to encourage overseas companies to list on the market.

It is likely to attract those companies with business operations or customers in Japan as well as being attracted by the large pool of capital in Japan, Mr Muraki said.

David Shrimpton, chairman of Tokyo Aim and from the LSE side of the link-up, says: “There is a huge amount of capital in Tokyo and that creates a really powerful listing story for Asian regional companies, which we wouldn’t be able to provide on our own.

“My personal view is that we wouldn’t have been able to start this venture on our own and I don’t think TSE would have been able to either, which is why this is a joint venture.”

James Halstead, a partner at Morrison & Foerster in London, during a visit to Tokyo meeting Japanese nominated advisors said: “People were initially sceptical about London Aim, and it will probably be a similar process for Tokyo. The correct measure of its success, however, will be where the market is in five or ten years time not five or ten months.”

Source: Financial Times,30.06.2009 by Lindsay Whipp

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SZSE Chinese bourse set to lure domestic flotations

With the market for initial public offerings opening up again, the scramble among bourses has started for the hundreds of Chinese companies planning to list to raise capital.

Small and medium-sized companies in China have in recent years opted to list on global exchanges. But now the fightback has started among Asian countries to grab a slice of the action – not least from China itself.

China appears ready to establish an equity market on its Shenzhen stock exchange for small and medium-sized companies, along the lines of London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim).

Listing rules for the new market, called the Growth Enterprise Board, will take effect on July 1 but people close to the situation do not expect trading on the new board to begin for many weeks and possibly not before the national holiday on October 1.

Many Asian companies have opted to list in Europe or the US because of a perception there was greater liquidity in those markets.

However, many of the companies that listed on London’s Aim or Singapore’s junior bourse experienced poor analyst coverage and low trading volumes, which depressed the stocks.

The trend has now reversed amid a growing belief among Asian executives that they no longer need to list so far away from home to access capital.

Peter Alexander, of Z-Ben Advisors, an investment consultancy in Shanghai, says it is “just a matter of when the trigger is pulled” for the new Chinese market to be established.

Others caution that the plans are still dependent on investor reception of the resumption of IPOs on China’s main exchanges.

There are no official data detailing how many companies have plans to list in the new market but CY Huang, president of greater China investment banking for Taiwan’s Polaris Securities, estimates that there are at least 300 companies queuing up to be among the first to list on the new market.

Analysts say the new board should help plug a gap that exists in China’s capital market.

“For small and medium-cap companies, the only option now [for venture capital companies to exit an investment] is a trade sale . . . but it’s a long process,” says Cathy Yen, general manager of AsiaVest Partners, referring to the practice of selling shares/assets of a company privately to a strategic investor.

The new board will provide an IPO platform for technology and other small and medium-sized enterprises – Beijing policymakers put high priority on encouraging innovative companies.

China’s new market comes as the financial crisis is presenting a unique opportunity for other exchanges to challenge Nasdaq in the US as the destination of choice for start-ups, particularly among technology companies.

“Nasdaq has always been the first choice but that is starting not to be the case . . . now people are naturally forced to think about other boards,” says Tina Ju, managing partner of the Chinese arm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the US venture capital fund.

That is largely because of the difficulties of pulling off a successful public offering in current market conditions. There have only been two listings in Nasdaq so far this year compared with 11 over the same period last year, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

China’s new market comes as other exchanges in the region eye up similar opportunities.

Japan now has its own Aim market. A joint venture by the Tokyo and London stock exchanges, it received its licence this month and is targeting about five listings in its first year although the initial focus appears to be on Japanese companies.

The Taiwan stock exchange, recently revitalised by the island’s warming of relations with China, is also aggressively pursuing listings by Taiwanese companies that had moved to mainland China.

Chi Schive, Taiwan stock exchange chairman, says that, while “Shanghai and Shenzhen are respectable rivals . . . for the time being I don’t think that threat is very strong [in attracting Taiwanese companies]”.

While Japan and Taiwan are only now gearing up their efforts, other markets in Asia have made similar attempts before – with little success.

Singapore’s Aim-style exchange, known as Catalist, has failed to gain much traction since it was set up in December 2007 to replace Sesdaq, the city state’s secondary board.

Catalist has attracted few new listings since its launch, which Singapore Exchange officials blame on the global financial turmoil.

Similarly, Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) attracted some initial attention but trading volume has since fallen drastically.

For China’s new board, there is concern over how many of the companies lined up for funds “are genuine, viable long-term businesses” says Fraser Howie, China stock market expert and author of Privatising China: Inside China’s Stock Markets. “Is the competition driving standards lower?”

For many, China remains “a gamble market”. While some companies can fetch very high valuations, “the question would be how sustainable this would be and right now we just don’t know”, says Ms Yen.

Mr Huang says the biggest concern for prospective listings is that “China is the one stock market where you cannot control your [listing] time-frame” because of the government influence over market operations. “In China, the biggest risk is policy,” he adds.

Source: Financial Times, 23.06.2009 by Robin Kwong Additional Reporting by Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai, Lindsay Whipp in Tokyo, John Burton in Singapore and Sundeep Tucker and Xi Chen in Hong Kong

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TOKYO AIM Approves First J-Nomads

TOKYO AIM Inc., (“TOKYO AIM”) today approved six securities firms to operate as ‘Japanese Nominated Advisers’ (J-Nomads) on the new market:

Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. Ltd.
Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., Ltd.
Mizuho Investors Securities Co., Ltd.
Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.
Nikko Citigroup Limited
Nomura Securities Co., Ltd.
(alphabetical order)

Tetsutaro Muraki, President and CEO of TOKYO AIM, said: “We are delighted to announce the first group of J-NOMADs based on the formal applications we have received. Reaching this crucial milestone means that companies can now start to prepare listing applications for the new market. J-NOMADs will be an integral part of the effective operation of TOKYO AIM, and we will build this exciting new stock exchange in partnership with them. We look forward to working closely with the J-NOMADs to welcome companies from Japan and the region with strong growth potential, providing them with a venue to raise much needed capital from professional investors.”

David Shrimpton, Chairman of Tokyo AIM, said: “The J-Nomads announced today include some of Japan’s leading securities houses. We are grateful for their close involvement and support throughout the development of TOKYO AIM and believe it provides a strong indication of their confidence in the potential of the market model. This market represents a unique opportunity in the region for issuers and advisers. As the market continues to develop, we expect to see the network of international participants expand further.”

J-Nomads are corporate finance advisers approved by TOKYO AIM. Their role is integral to the TOKYO AIM regulatory model and central to preserving the reputation and integrity of the market. Any company wishing to list on TOKYO AIM must appoint a J-Nomad who will manage the admission process. The J-Nomad will also confirm the overall appropriateness and suitability of the company to list on the market. Companies are obliged to retain a J-Nomad at all times while on TOKYO AIM, and to work closely with the J-Nomad who will provide the company and its directors with advice and guidance in respect of ongoing compliance with the TOKYO AIM rules.

Source:MondoVision, 11.06.2009

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London Stock Exchange has signed shareholding with Tokyo Stock Exchange on TOKYO AIM Joint Venture

Further to its announcement on 29 January 2009, the London Stock Exchange plc is pleased to confirm that it has now signed a shareholders’ agreement with Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. (“TSE”), which formalises the funding and governance of the joint venture company to develop TOKYO AIM, a new market for growing companies in Japan and Asia.

TOKYO AIM, Inc. will be owned 51 per cent by TSE and 49 per cent by the London Stock Exchange and will be incorporated and operated in Japan. The London Stock Exchange will invest Yen 980 million in cash (approximately £7 million) into TOKYO AIM. This will form 49 per cent of the Yen 2 billion (approximately £14 million) gross assets of TOKYO AIM, which will fund the regulatory capital and medium term trading requirements of the company.

TOKYO AIM will combine TSE’s knowledge of the region and the London Stock Exchange’s growth market expertise, enabling it to offer the highly successful AIM model to a wider range of Japan and Asia’s growth companies. This will provide these companies with access to a capital market specifically tailored for their needs and to a wider investor base, while creating new investment opportunities for Japanese and international professional investors.

It is envisaged that TOKYO AIM will commence its operation after receiving its market operator’s licence from the Japanese Financial Services Agency.

David Shrimpton will be Chairman of TOKYO AIM, and Tetsutaro Muraki will be Chief Executive. Marcus Stuttard and Hiroki Kurihara will also be directors of the company.

Source: MondoVisione, 14.05.2009

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MetaBit launches Exchange Simulator for upcoming TSE arrowhead – メタビット、東証arrowhead対応の取引所シミュレーターをリリース

Tokyo, 28 April 2009 – MetaBit announces the launch of its Exchange Simulator (EXSiM), which emulates the behaviour of the order and execution interface (API) to TSE’s new arrowhead exchange trading system.

The timing of the product release – eight months prior to the live date of arrowhead, will create a welcome value proposition for sell side brokers and software vendors alike that are developing exchange connectivity against the upcoming arrowhead.  This product launch is the latest addition to MetaBit’s suite of EXSiM – Exchange Simulator software – catering for Japan’s securities exchanges.

EXSiM for arrowhead supports sell side brokers in and outside Japan to prepare their internal software products, including order management systems (OMS), algorithms and exchange connectivity, in preparation for the launch of TSE’s arrowhead exchange system, scheduled to go live in January 2010. “EXSiM for arrowhead is an agnostic software product that emulates the exact behaviour of the new arrowhead trading API.  EXSiM’s strength lies in its independence of underlying operating system and hardware.  The simulator can be installed by a client’s IT development team inside or outside Japan,” explains Daniel Burgin, MetaBit CEO.

“EXSiM is delivered with a console where a user can script specific exchange behaviour, such as rejections and partial fills of orders that might prove difficult to produce during an exchange test.  The timely availability of EXSiM for arrowhead before formal exchange tests are made available, is due to MetaBit being a Pilot User of arrowhead for its own, ultra low latency (below millisecond) FIX exchange connectivity gateway.”

EXSiM for arrowhead is a Java based software.  The product creates benefits to sell side member firms, software vendors and offshore brokers that plan to become remote members of TSE’s arrowhead.  The new simulator product does not replacing formal exchange tests, but aims to reducing time to market for a participants’ development cycles. EXSiM for arrowhead will continue as a standard MetaBit exchange simulator post live date of TSE’s new exchange system.  It will join the suite of other available EXSiM products such as for Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE).

2009年4月28日 メタビットシステムズ株式会社(本社東京)は、東証の新取引システム「arrowhead」に対応した取引所メッセージシミュレーター(EXSiM)をリリースしました。EXSiMはarrowheadへの注文・ 約定のインターフェース(API)のメッセージ制御を正確にエミュレートします。arrowheadの正式稼働予定日の8ヶ月前という今回の製品リリースのタイミングは、現在社内開発をすすめている取引所会員やソフトウェアベンダーにとって、先行して利用し開発の進捗を早めることに寄与する魅力的なバリュー・プロポジションをもたらすものといえます。この製品はメタビットが提供する日本の各取引所に対応したEXSiM-取引所シミュレーターソフトウェア・スイートに新しく追加されたものです。

arrowheadに対応したEXSiMは、国内外の証券会社に対して東京証券取引所により告知されている2010年1月稼働予定の東証の新取引システムであるarrowheadの正式稼働にあわせた自社の注文管理システム(OMS)、アルゴリズム取引システム、取引所接続などのソフトウェア製品に対するより効率的な準備ができるようになります。

メタビットCEOダニエル・ブルギン氏は、「arrowhead向けのEXSiMは、arrowheadの取引APIの動作を正確にエミュレートする他のシステムに依存せず単独で稼働するソフトウェア製品です。EXSiMの優位点の一つは、使用するOSやハードウェアに依存せずに稼働する点です。このシミュレーターは、国内の社内IT開発チームまたは海外でもインストールが可能です。EXSiMは、ユーザが注文の拒否・一部出来など、取引所テストでの再生が難しい取引所システム特有の動作のスクリプトを書くことがコンソール上できるようになっています。今後予定されている正式なテストにむけた、今回のタイムリーなarrowhead向けEXSiMの利用環境は、自社のミリセカンド未満を実現する、ローレイテンシーなFIX取引所接続ゲートウェイ製品の開発のためにarrowheadのパイロットユーザでもあるメタビットの位置付にも関係があります。」と述べています。

arrowhead対応のEXSiMは、Javaベースのソフトウェアです。この製品は、取引所会員、ソフトウェアベンダー、またarrowheadのリモートメンバーになることを検討している海外の会社にとって大きな利点を提供するものとなります。この新しいシミュレーター製品は、正式な取引所テストの代替手段とはなりませんが、arrowheadに向けた参加者の開発サイクルを早め、製品化までの時間(タイムー・トゥー・マーケット)を削減することを目指しています。

arrowhead向けのEXSiMは、東証の新取引システムの稼働後も、メタビットの標準取引所シミュレーターのライナップに追加されます。大阪証券取引所向けなどの他のEXSiM製品とともに製品の一部となります。

Source: MetaBit Systems, 28.04.2009

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New AIM for Tokyo

A new market for professional investors modelled on London’s AIM is set to launch in Tokyo this spring following a rule change last year. In this co-published article, Japanese law firm Nagashima explains how it will work.

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the Japanese financial and capital markets, the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) was amended in 2008. One of the main points of the amendment to the FIEA was to allow for the creation of a new market for professional investors. The amendment made it possible to establish new, relaxed exchanges, in which participants are limited to professional investors, referred to as “Newly Created Professional Markets”.

The Newly Created Professional Markets target emerging companies that find it difficult to become listed on the existing exchanges because of the substantial preparation period required for the listing, as well as foreign companies that do not wish to be listed on the existing Japanese markets because of the heavy burden of disclosure requirements.

Under the amended regulations, the current strict disclosure requirements will not be imposed on issuers in the Newly Created Professional Markets. However, issuers will be required to provide and disclose some information to the targets of solicitation and the owners of the securities when issuing securities – and for each fiscal year thereafter. How to disclose this information will not be heavily regulated; style, language, and accounting standards will be left to self-regulations by the exchange. In order to ensure the accuracy of such information, criminal penalties, administrative monetary penalties and civil liabilities will be imposed on companies that provide false or misleading information or statements.

In addition, because the above principles apply only to specified professional investors, certain requirements to notify the targets of solicitation will be imposed, and usual and strict disclosure regulations will be imposed regarding the solicitation of general investors with respect to such securities, beyond the world of specified professional investors. Also, restrictions will be imposed on the sale and purchase of such securities and of derivatives based on them, as well as on financial instruments business operators acting as intermediaries on such transactions for general investors.

Tokyo AIM
Following the FIEA amendment in 2008, the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) announced on January 29, 2009 the establishment of a new market that will be called the Tokyo AIM (Tokyo Alternative Invest Market). The new market is modelled after London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), and the launch of Tokyo AIM is expected to take place in spring 2009, subject to the granting of a license by the Financial Services Agency of Japan.

Tokyo AIM, like its London counterpart, will offer flexibility in its regulatory approach. Issuers will be permitted to use either Japanese or English for the disclosure of information, and will have the option to use either International Accounting Standards or US GAAP in addition to Japanese GAAP. Due to the principles-based regulatory approach used by Tokyo AIM, the cost of listing should also be lower as issuers will not be required to file Internal Control (J-SOX) Reports or Quarterly Securities Reports. These features are intended to attract newly developing overseas companies, especially those in Asia, to the Japanese market.

Nominated advisors
A nominated advisers system, referred to as “J-Nomad”, will be introduced for Tokyo AIM and will be based on the nominated adviser system (Nomad) which is central to the regulatory structure of London AIM. J-Nomad has been approved and will be monitored by the TSE. Its function is to assess the suitability of a company for the public market and to ensure the company’s ongoing compliance with the Tokyo AIM rules, in particular with regard to disclosure obligations. The key characteristic of the system is that issuers on Tokyo AIM will report or submit documents and will execute certain other procedures through the J-Nomads, which will act in a guardianship-type role. Once a company is on Tokyo AIM, it must retain a J-Nomad at all times.

The J-Nomad must be a corporation, and it must employ at least three qualified persons whom the TSE approves as J-Qualified Executives (J-QE). These are individuals who, in addition to other requirements, have practical experience in the provision of corporate finance advice. The J-QE position is modeled after the Qualified Executives of London AIM, and it is expected that J-QE will play a core role in Tokyo AIM. It is assumed that most of the J-Nomads will be investment banks, just as they are on London AIM.

Tokyo AIM is expected to play an important role in providing opportunities to fund growing Asian companies in Japan, which will strengthen Japan’s competitiveness in the global capital markets.

Source: FinanceAsia.com & by Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, 22.04.2009

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LSE and TSE publish rulebook of new Tokyo AIM market

The Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc. (“TSE”) and the London Stock Exchange Group plc. (“London Stock Exchange”) today published the rulebook for their new growth market for public comment, and confirmed the market’s name: TOKYO AIM. The rulebook, which was developed following extensive discussion with market participants, sets out the regulations for securities on the market as well as the rules for Nominated Advisers (J-Nomads).

Established and operated as a joint venture between the TSE and London Stock Exchange, TOKYO AIM will provide a new funding option for growing companies in Japan and Asia, giving them access to a capital market specifically tailored for their needs and to a wider investor base, while creating new investment opportunities for Japanese and international professional investors. The creation of TOKYO AIM became possible following the revision of the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Act passed in June 2008. It is anticipated that the launch of TOKYO AIM will take place in spring 2009 subject to the granting of a license by the Financial Services Agency of Japan.

Adopting the AIM regulatory framework, the J-Nomad system will be central to the regulation of TOKYO AIM. J-Nomads will be selected and approved by TOKYO AIM and will be required to assess companies’ suitability for the market both prior to admission and on an ongoing basis, guiding them in meeting their obligations as public companies. In addition to the support provided by the J-Nomad system, companies will also benefit from:

  • a choice of either Japanese or English for the disclosure of information;
  • the use of International Accounting Standards and US GAAP in addition to Japanese GAAP; and
  • the potential to reduce costs as a result of a principles-based regulatory approach that does not demand compliance with J-SOX or the filing of quarterly accounts.

Atsushi Saito, President & CEO of the TSE, said: “We are delighted to be able to publish the rulebook for our new joint venture market, as well as to announce its official name: TOKYO AIM. Our strong partnership with the London Stock Exchange has enabled us to make steady progress towards the launch of TOKYO AIM. The new market will be a platform that attracts and connects companies and investors from around the world. The development of this new market structure in Tokyo is another step towards the further strengthening of Japan’s competitiveness in the global capital markets.”

Clara Furse, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange, said: “A stock exchange’s central purpose is to ensure that companies have access to capital to finance innovation, growth and employment. TOKYO AIM will play an important role in providing that funding for growing companies in the region. In particular, it will provide a suitable framework in which they can develop long-term relationships with professional investors, making it easier for them to gain access to capital throughout their development; an advantage that has been underlined in recent months as public companies in a number of markets have increasingly turned to equity markets to raise additional capital through further issues”.

To serve as a vehicle for the organisation and management of a growth market in Japan and related activities, TSE and the London Stock Exchange have formed a Japanese-incorporated company, held 51 per cent by TSE and 49 per cent by the London Stock Exchange. The London Stock Exchange has made an initial cash subscription of Yen 98.0 million (£728,100 on the date of subscription) for its interest in the company.

Source: MondoVisione, 29.01.2009

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