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The Tokyo Stock Exchange said Tuesday it will abolish its foreign section to lure overseas companies.

The TSE said it has only begun hearing opinions from the securities industry and the 32 firms listed on the foreign section, including IBM and PepsiCo Inc., and has not set a date for the measure.

TSE officials said the move has long been under consideration as a way of enhancing the bourse’s attractiveness to overseas companies.

The TSE’s foreign section was established in 1973. It had 127 issues listed at its peak in 1991.

The officials said some companies listed on the foreign section have complained that their shares suffer lower recognition among investors compared with those on the TSE’s mainstay first and second sections.

These companies hope their shares will receive a boost in trading if they are listed alongside blue-chip Japanese issues, the officials said.

The TSE also said Tuesday it has named former TSE Vice President Takuo Tsurushima as president. The appointment will take effect pending a shareholders’ meeting April 1.

The TSE’s top post has been vacant since the death of Masaaki Tsuchida in January.

The appointment of Tsurushima, 66, will mark the first time the bourse has been headed by someone promoted from within, even though he no longer works for the TSE.

The TSE still has not announced the much-anticipated nomination of its chairman. Honda Motor Co. Chairman Yoshihide Munekuni reportedly has been tapped for the position.

At a news conference the same day, Sadao Yoshino, TSE senior managing director, denied that the bourse plans to create a new chairman post. The board has has not discussed the issue, he claimed.

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