It seems trading errors on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are contagious. After local trader Mizuho Securities triggered a panic sell-off in a local recruitment company in December by incorrectly inputting order instructions, another large Tokyo trading firm, Nikko Citigroup, mistakenly purchased one thousand times more shares in a company than it intended in January.
First prize for trading error of the month, however, goes to Daiwa Securities SMBC. The firm placed a sell order for the wrong company entirely, triggering a sharp fall in the share price before realizing its error and buying back the shares already sold.
Although the financial cost of Daiwa’s mistake might pale compared with the vast sum dropped by Mizuho or even Nikko Citigroup’s losses, its embarrassment was, if anything, greater.
Red faces from Daiwa accompanied the revelation that the shares mistakenly sold were in SMFG, the firm’s parent company. Perhaps Daiwa’s traders know something the market doesn’t?