Back to Contents of Issue: December 1999

Taking the Club Approach

by Noriko Takezaki

NASDAQ Japan, scheduled FOR launch late next year, appears to be falling out of the limelight as the TSE enjoys growing popularity, attributed to the establishment of Mothers (Market Of The High-growth Emerging Stocks), a stock exchange dedicated to venture companies. As a result, the Softbank -- headed NASDAQ Japan Planning Co. has hurriedly started to court startups to commit to a future NASDAQ listing. The venue? The NASDAQ Japan Club.

"According to our research, 70% of venture companies in Japan have indicated their interest in being listed on NASDAQ Japan or NASDAQ," says Masayoshi Son, also president of NASDAQ Japan Planning. "In order to promote healthy and creative competition in this society, we firmly believe that it [the formation of NASDAQ Japan] is meaningful."

The NASDAQ Japan Club was formed in October, starting with some 3,137 member companies. The Club is organized around working groups who are now formulating rules for the new stock market, including regulations related to IPOs, purchases and sales of stocks, and settlements. The club will also establish a self-regulating body to oversee NASDAQ operations. In addition, the club comprises a study group planning the NASDAQ Japan disclosure policies, consisting of ten certified public accountants.

The Club will organize study meetings four times a year, to which listed companies, audit corporations, accountants, and lawyers will be invited. In addition, from November, the club is hosting weekly business plan presentations by member venture companies, to which VCs, angels, audit corporations, consulting firms, recruiting companies, and other interested parties supporting venture businesses will be invited. Membership is free.

Does this "clubbing" work? The point will be whether venture companies are willing to waste one year to wait for the launch of NASDAQ Japan.

Noriko Takezaki ( is senior editor at J@pan Inc.

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