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Osaka Securities Exchange Co., which plans to merge with the Jasdaq Securities Exchange Inc. in April, expects more startups to go public this year than in 2009 as economic conditions recover.

“Quite a few companies are showing interest in listing on the merged Jasdaq exchange,” Michio Yoneda, the president of Osaka Securities, Japan’s second-largest stock market, said Monday in an interview.

There were 19 initial public offerings on the Jasdaq Securities Exchange, the OSE’s Hercules market and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc.’s Mothers board last year, one-tenth of about 200 IPOs in 2000 when the dot-com bubble was at its peak, Yoneda said.

After merging with its Jasdaq subsidiary in April, the Osaka exchange plans in October to consolidate the startup market by acquiring Hercules. The new bourse would host about 80 percent of the nation’s venture companies, with around 1,000 stocks listed.

The Osaka exchange aims within five years to rank in the top 10 exchanges worldwide in terms of derivatives trading volume, Yoneda said.

The volume in 2008 was 163.7 million contracts, the highest in Japan and the 15th in the world.

After-hours trading of stock index futures and other products runs from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exchange plans to extend the hours to 11:30 p.m. by the middle of this year, Yoneda said.

To rank in the top 10, “the hours will be extended further by about March next year,” allowing investors to trade options and futures nearly around the clock.

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