Tokyo Stock Exchange plans new trading system

Tokyo Exchange will spend $384M over the next three years to upgrade its information systems

Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to spend about ¥45 billion ($384 million) over the next three years on upgrading and replacing its information systems, according to the bourse operator's latest mid-term plan.

The exchange has been severely criticized in recent months for a series of IT-related problems or missteps that culminated in the early closing of the market on Jan. 18 -- a first in the exchange's history.

The new plan, which was published on Thursday, calls for capital spending of ¥62 billion over the period 2006 to 2008, of which the majority will be on IT. About ¥15 billion will be spent on upgrades to the current system and then ¥30 billion on a new system, the exchange operator said.

IT woes at the exchange began on Nov. 1 when an incorrectly applied software patch caused the trading system to crash during a monthly back-up routine. That problem forced the exchange to scrap morning trading and was followed in December by a debacle over an erroneous sell order. The exchange software was called into question after it accepted an order to sell 610,000 shares of a newly listed company, and then refused a request to cancel the order despite the amount being 40 times the number of issued shares.

Then in January the exchange operator called an early close to trading after a large number of trades came close to pushing the exchange computer system past its capacity

The exchange's president, Takuo Tsurushima, resigned after the first two problems and the early close resulted in the appointment of a chief information officer, the first in the exchange's history.