CORRECTED: UPDATE2: Tokyo Stock Exchange to extend daily trading hours by 30 minutes

© Kyodo News

Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. said Wednesday it will extend its regular trading hours by 30 minutes, possibly starting in the second half of fiscal 2024, to make the bourse more competitive internationally and attractive to investors.

It will be the first extension of closing hours in about 70 years. With the change, the market will operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with an hourlong lunch break, according to Japan Exchange Group Inc., the parent of the bourse's operator.

The planned extension from the current 3 p.m. close is also aimed at helping investors secure trading opportunities in case of any trouble such as a system outage, said the world's third-largest bourse that has around 3,700 listed companies.

The bourse suffered an unprecedented all-day system shutdown in October last year, which also halted all trading of equities listed on stock exchanges in Sapporo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

"The extension is significant in strengthening the resiliency of the bourse, expanding trading opportunities for investors and stepping up international competitiveness," JPX CEO Akira Kiyota told a press conference.

But the TSE will still offer a shorter daily trading period than the world's other major bourses, such as the New York Stock Exchange's six and a half hours and the London Stock Exchange's eight and a half hours.

Following last year's outage, the TSE studied the viability of extending trading hours in conjunction with securities houses and institutional investors.

Ideas for extensions longer than 30 minutes faced skepticism during the talks. Many investment trust firms and some listed companies voiced concern that it would force them to extend their business hours as well, the TSE said.

Investment trust firms determine prices for investment trusts following market closing, while listed companies often disclose earnings or other information after trading ends.

The bourse has decided to introduce the increased operating hours along with a major system upgrade that is scheduled for three years later.

The TSE has repeatedly sought longer hours since 2000 but failed as securities houses that offer face-to-face transaction services expressed concern about increased costs.