Exchange crashes lead to IT systems probes


Exchange crashes lead to IT systems probes

Christian Annesley

Japan's Financial Services Agency has ordered all six of the country's stock exchanges to scrutinise their electronic systems and report their findings, after a second systems failure in a week hit a Japanese bourse.

Hiroaki Kurokawa, president of Fujitsu, the IT supplier to both exchanges, said his firm accepted responsibility for both failures. The Fujitsu board will shortly consider whether to reduce the pay of all its senior executives in light of the incidents.

Fujitsu has also set up a 20-strong special project inspection group headed by Kurokawa to try to take steps to ensure the failures do not reoccur.

Nagoya Stock Exchange halted trading before it was due to open at 9am on 4 November 2005, after a glitch in the platform that provides market rates. The problem was resolved within two hours, but trading was not restarted until the scheduled opening of the afternoon session, some three-and-a-half hours later.

The failure occurred only three days after the Tokyo bourse was forced by a systems failure to stop trading in stocks and bonds for more than four hours - the most serious crash since the exchange went electronic in 1999.

The Tokyo exchange failure was caused by the failure to issue certain instructions linked to a software upgrade carried out in October by Fujitsu subsidiary Tosho Compter Systems.

"Part of a necessary step was missing in the instruction," said Takuo Tsurushima, the exchange's president and CEO.

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