The Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange were given the nod from their shareholders Tuesday for a merger that will create the world\'s third-largest bourse, the Tokyo exchange said. \"The TSE and the OSE each held an extraordinary shareholders\' meetings today and got approvals for the merger,\" said a TSE spokeswoman. The exchanges will merge on January 1 and the combined group will be third largest in terms of market value behind NYSE Euronext, which operates the New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq OMX Group. The bourses hope the newly-formed Japan Exchange Group will save costs and boost the nation\'s securities market amid stiff competition from overseas rivals and a flurry of merger announcements. The Osaka exchange is derivatives-trading focused while Tokyo\'s exchange is the centre of share trading in Japan with leading names including Toyota, Sony, Panasonic and Canon.