Japan's two major bourses have agreed to merge in about January 2013, creating the world's second-largest stock exchange, according to reports.
The presidents of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) on Friday reached a basic agreement on the merger, the Nikkei business daily reported, citing unnamed sources.
The two will integrate their operations within a few years after the merger by reorganising into four units specialising in cash stocks, derivatives, settlement and self-regulation, the Nikkei and Yomiuri newspapers reported.
The exchanges both declined to confirm the reports, but the Nikkei and Yomiuri said the companies would both hold board meetings on Tuesday.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the biggest stock exchange in Japan, while the Osaka exchange serves as the nation's largest market for derivatives trading.
They have agreed to value the Tokyo exchange at about 1.7 times the value of the Osaka bourse, the reports said.
The merger will create the world's largest stock exchange after NYSE Euronext, they added.
Companies listed on TSE and OSE had a total market capitalisation of around $3.7 trillion as of the end of September, the newspapers said.
The merger is aimed at boosting Japan's competitiveness, as regional bourses, such as Singapore, have successfully lured international firms for listings.
TSE will carry out a tender offer for the OSE shares around mid-2012 after gaining approval from the Japan Fair Trade Commission for the integration plan, the Nikkei said.