Firm Sues Over $345m Trading Blunder

It's taken almost a year, but Mizuho Securities has finally filed a lawsuit against the Toyko Stock Exchange (TSE) following that $345m loss-making 'fat-fingered' trade executed in error last December.

A trading assistant, believed to be a local Japanese lass, is said to have accidentally sold 610,000 shares in recruiting firm J-Com for 1 yen each, rather than 1 share at 610,000 yen. The resulting chaos caused Mizuho to loose out to the tune of $345m. But the loss, it seems, could have been avoided, as Mizuho quickly realized what had happened and made efforts to cancel the transaction. A systems error, so we are told, at the Tokyo Stock Exchange prevented the deal being cancelled. The Japanese securities firm is now suing the TSE for $352m (the amount of its losses and other charges).

The TSE has already admitted partial responsibility for the chaos which followed the execution of the trade, and three senior officials, including the President of the Exchange, resigned over the affair. The very fact that Mizuho has decided to take legal action is thought to be something of a landmark decision in Japan, where companies usually try to negotiate their way around and out of disputes, rather than take their cases to court.

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