TOCOM to cut number of board members in December

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Tokyo Commodity Exchange is planning to slash the number of board members to 10 from the current 31 when it becomes a shareholder-owned company in December, its chairman said on Wednesday.

TOCOM has been preparing to become shareholder-owned in a bid to raise its competitiveness after struggling to increase turnover following a change in the law in 2005 designed to improve trading transparency and investor protection.

The exchange unveiled the names of 10 board members including former Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui, Sumitomo Corp Managing Director Hiroyuki Takai and Goldman Sachs Japan Managing Director Eiji Ueda.

The board members are to take their posts from Dec. 1 after receiving approval at a general meeting scheduled for later in the month.

“I think this is a good mix in the board, which includes a market member, someone from a brokerage and a foreign member. I hope we can receive support from the members,” TOCOM Chairman Masaaki Nangaku told a news conference.

The exchange,in which gold, platinum and gasoline futures are among those most heavily traded, has been left on the sidelines of the biggest global bull run in commodities in decades.

Turnover on the top Japanese exchange specialising in commodities slipped 6.9 percent to 21.47 million contracts during the first six months of the year from the same period last year.

“We’ve taken a various measures but unfortunately we haven’t moved out of the stagnant situation,” Nangaku said.

The exchange’s measures include an extension of trading by two hours from the start of the year and a widening of daily trading limits.

TOCOM also said it will add gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange 8697.OJ as an eligible margin on the exchange.

In February, the Osaka bourse and TOCOM signed an accord to cooperate in exchanging information on trading systems, marketing and product development. (Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Michael Watson)