Friday, December 09, 2005
I think this might be a fire-able offense:|
TOKYO - Japan's government rebuked the Tokyo Stock Exchange and one of the country's biggest brokerage firms Friday after a typing error caused Mizuho Securities Co. to lose at least 27 billion yen, or $225 million, on a stock trade.
The glitch roiled the Japanese market, and jitters over the reliability of the exchange's trading system contributing to a 1.95 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index Thursday. The index, up 33 percent this year on optimism about the nation's recovery, was trading mostly flat Friday.
Trouble began Thursday morning, when Mizuho Securities tried to sell 610,000 shares at 1 yen (less than a penny) apiece in a job recruiting firm called J-Com Co., which was having its public debut on the exchange.
It had actually intended to sell 1 share at 610,000 yen ($5,041).
Worse still, the number of shares in Mizuho's order was 41 times that J-Com's true outstanding amount, but the Tokyo Stock Exchange processed the order anyway.
Mizuho says it tried to cancel the order three times, but the exchange said it doesn't cancel transactions even if they are executed on erroneous orders.