The Tokyo Stock Exchange

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is the largest stock exchange in Japan, accounting for about 80% of total trading. There is no specialist system on the TSE. Instead, a saitori maintains a public limit-order book, matches market and limit orders, and is obliged to

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follow certain actions to slow down price movements when simple matching of orders would result in price changes greater than exchange-prescribed limits. In their clerical role of matching orders saitoris are somewhat similar to specialists on the NYSE. However, saitoris do not trade for their own accounts and therefore are quite different from either dealers or specialists in the United States.

Because the saitoris perform an essentially clerical role, there are no market-making services or liquidity provided to the market by dealers or specialists. The limit-order book is the primary provider of liquidity. In this regard, the TSE bears some resemblance to the fourth market in the United States in which buyers and sellers trade directly via ECNs or networks such as Instinet or Posit. On the TSE, however, if order imbalances would result in price movements across sequential trades that are considered too extreme by the exchange, the saitori may temporarily halt trading and advertise the imbalance in the hope of attracting additional trading interest to the "weak" side of the market.

The TSE organizes stocks into two categories. The First Section consists of about 1,200 of the most actively traded stocks. The Second Section is for less actively traded stocks. Trading in the larger First Section stocks occurs on the floor of the exchange. The remaining securities in the First Section and the Second Section trade electronically.

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