Well, it seems some bright spark at Mizuho Securities, the brokerage arm of Mizuho Financial Group, imputted a trade incorrectly and the firm is now staring at a $223m loss. And the final bill could be higher, perhaps to $250m.
In what could end of as one of the most expensive mistakes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it seems that the firm mistakenly sold $2.7bn worth of shares in recruitment company J-Com, a business that has only recently IPO'd on the smaller companies market. A sell order was apparently received for the sale of one share at Y610,00. Instead, the order went out to sell 610,000 shares at Y1 each! The order represented 42 times the number of shares that J-Com has in issue.
But it gets worse. Investors first started to hear rumours of the error early yesterday morning. As, at that stage, no-one know which firm was sitting on a big loss, investors started dumping shares in firms which they thought might have made the c.ck up. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell almost 2% as a result.
And Mizuho Securities President, Makoto Fukuda, may well end up falling on his sword over the affair. He said Friday that 'this is a matter I take very seriously, and I want to do the utmost to solve all the problems related to this trade.....After solving this problem, I will consider my future at the firm'.