News

    Tokyo Stock Exchange Forced to Close Early After Massive Sell-Off

    For the first time, the Tokyo Stock Exchange suspended all trading early to prevent a system crash after a surge in transactions. Heavy trading followed news that an Internet company popular with investors is under investigation for fraud. The benchmark Nikkei index closed down about 465 points - nearly 3 percent for the day.

    The Tokyo bourse ended all trading 20 minutes before the scheduled end of Wednesday's session.

    At a news conference in the afternoon, the exchange said it had been swamped by sell orders for a second day and warned its computers could only handle 4.5 million orders each day.

    Exchange officials asked for restraint by investors and brokers, calling the situation a potential emergency, but the announcement merely prompted an even greater spike in orders.

    Tokyo Stock Exchange President Taizo Nishimuro says it is obvious what caused Wednesday's surge.

    Nishimuro says the situation was caused by the start of the unexpected criminal probe into the Internet company, Livedoor, and its subsidiaries.

    A three-day sell off has now evaporated some $300 billion worth of shareholder value. And exchange officials warn they may shorten trading hours in the days ahead if the unprecedented deluge of orders continues.

    Livedoor was suspended from trading Wednesday morning because of the criminal investigation.

    The company grew into Japan's most famous dot-com business through mergers and stock swaps and made its chairman, Takafumi Horie, a celebrity and - to many young people - a national hero.

    The chairman of the Japan Securities Dealers Association, Hiroshi Hoshida, says the Livedoor founder now has a lot to answer for.

    Hoshida says Livedoor should feel deeply responsible for damaging confidence at a time when Japanese investors were just beginning to move their money from savings to stocks.

    Media reports Wednesday say the allegations the company is facing include falsifying earnings results and spreading false rumors to manipulate stock prices.

    Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda, who also heads Japan's most influential economic group, the Japan Business Federation, says if Horie or his company are found guilty of any crimes, they would be ousted from the association.

    Okuda says the organization made a mistake by admitting Livedoor prematurely.

    After the early close of Wednesday's trading session some analysts say selling pressure will continue, unless the exchange restores confidence by upgrading its computer system to handle a glut of orders. But others say many investors will realize the massive sell-off now offers a number of bargains.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora