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Timing change puts off

business Updated: Dec 17, 2009 20:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bombay Stock Exchange

Yielding to protests by market players, the country’s top two stock exchanges on Thursday postponed their plans to extend trading hours to January 4.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) had on Wednesday announced that markets would open at 9 am from Friday.

On Tuesday, BSE had said it would advance trading by 10 minutes and was due to start at 9.45 am instead of 9.55 am. The NSE promptly switched to a 9 a.m. start from 10 a.m, attracting criticism from market players facing extra burden and costs.

“There was a massive outcry resulting in deferment,” said a broker who did not want to be identified.

BSE and NSE set aside their rivalry to issue a joint statement that said they will both start trade at 9.55 a.m. until January 4 “based on market feedback.” Regulator SEBI had allowed a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. slot last October.

The short notice of 48 hours to change timings was apparently a key glitch.

“There was no need to hurry on extending trading time,” said Raamdeo Agrawal, Director and co-founder, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, adding, “Deferment of decision now gives more time for players to adjust to the new cycle, though it is more of a mindset change that is required than anything else,” said Agrawal.

Indian bourses have already been under pressure to advance trade timing in order to avoid some of the business going to Singapore, which wakes up ahead of India. “The basic problem is infrastructure. Our banking and other infrastructure are not able to cope with the changes in capital market,” said Rakesh Goyal, senior VP of Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.