The Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Market signed a deal Thursday for a future tie-up as competition heats up among major bourses.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the two markets will study areas of cooperation in a bid to expand trade at both bourses, the Japanese market said in a statement.
"I sincerely hope that this MOU would further develop both markets," Atsushi Saito, chief executive officer of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, said in the statement.
Officials at the Abu Dhabi market said the agreement should improve services and help diversify risks for investors who are considering investing at either market, while contributing to the long-term stability of both.
The agreement came as the Tokyo Stock Exchange hurries to form alliances with other major markets to fend off competition from regional rivals, such as bourses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Market watchers fear foreign investors are increasingly shying away from Tokyo even though Asia's largest bourse is home to blue-chip global firms such as Toyota and Sony.
Japan has been seen as lagging behind other nations in marketing the Tokyo bourse to foreign investors in part due to tight regulations, taxes and insufficient use of information technologies.
The trend pushed down the headline Nikkei index towards the end of 2007 and the index has continued to fall this year, hit by the US subprime mortgage crisis.
The Tokyo exchange has reached business alliances with the London and New York stock exchanges.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange last year acquired a stake of about five per cent in the Singapore stock exchange operator and signed a cooperation deal with Vietnam's rapidly growing bourse. (AFP)
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