Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. (TSE) and Osaka Securities Exchange Co. merged their cash stock markets on Tuesday, creating the world\'s third-largest stock market. The first day of trading began after the formation of the Japan Exchange Group Inc., a holding company for the two exchanges, in January. The two bourses\' cash stock trading was consolidated into the TSE, while derivatives are scheduled to be integrated at the Osaka exchange in 2014. The number of companies listed on the TSE increased from 2,323 to 3,423, by adding 1,100 firms transferred from Osaka\'s first and second sections as well as the Jasdaq start-up market. According to the Japan Exchange Group, the merger will help cut costs by USD 70 million annually. The merged entity plans to use the cost savings for upgrading trading systems. \"I am relieved as trading started smoothly,\" TSE president Akira Kiyota told a news conference. \"We will exert utmost efforts to make the TSE not only a surviving market but a winning market,\" said Kiyota, pointing out that the merger comes amid fierce competition among the global stock exchanges. With the merger, the TSE has become the world\'s-third bourse in terms of market value after NYSE Euronext, which operates the New York Stock Exchange, and second-ranked Nasdaq OMX Group. The merger of nation\'s two main bourses is a part of the government\' plan to form Asia\'s biggest comprehensive exchange that will trade stocks, commodities and other securities to attract funds from both Japanese and foreign investors. Although the TSE is currently the Asia\'s biggest in terms of market value, other regional competitors, such as the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses, are growing rapidly.