• Kyodo News


Online brokerage kabu.com Securities Co. is fighting an uphill battle to attract investors to its nighttime trading platform set up on Sept. 15 to enable stock trading between 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., company officials said.

In the month since the market was created, the daily value of its trades has averaged just 90 million yen, or 1 percent of the firm’s daytime trading value and well below its target figure of 20 percent, they said.

It is hoping the nighttime market will draw many more salaried workers who are too busy to trade stocks during regular market hours.

Although kabu.com offers online trading of 300 issues, including the 274 from the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, an average of only 54 issues a day have been changing hands.

“Unless institutional investors start taking an active part in transactions at the venue, kabu.com will not be able to achieve a sizable increase in trading volume,” an official at a major brokerage said.

Market analysts traced the site’s failure to attract more investors to the lingering “Livedoor shock.” Livedoor’s stock, which was popular with small investors, plunged when prosecutors carried out a raid in January on the Internet firm and its affiliates. Founder Takafumi Horie was arrested later that month for alleged accounting fraud.

That raid and subsequent Nikkei plunge undermined investors’ confidence in trading generally.

“We will seek to stimulate trading at our marketplace by allowing market participants to conduct margin trading,” kabu.com Securities board member Takeshi Amemiya said.

The brokerage is also hoping the participation of three others in the trading site, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., Goldman Sachs Japan Co. and BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Ltd., will expand market volume.

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