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    Mar 2009


    Default Brokers miffed over extended trading hours

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    Kolkata, Dec 27 (IANS) Poor infrastructure and the fallout of longer work hours for the broking community will frustrate the decision of the country's two major bourses to advance and increase trading hours from Jan 4, stakeholders maintain.

    "Nothing great will come of this extension," said Bijay Murmuria, Sumedha Fiscal Services director, commenting on the decision by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to commence trading 55 minutes earlier from 9 a.m., while keeping the closing time unchanged.

    "The infrastructure is still not geared up to handle such a thing. Human capital will be adversely affected due to this extension of time," Murmuria told IANS, adding it did not make sense to force the same set of people to work longer.

    "Any introduction of shift duty could make trading an unprofitable business."

    The BSE and the NSE advanced the market opening to lure derivatives traders in Hong Kong and Singapore to their platforms.

    The two bourses had initially announced that the new timing would be effective from Dec 19, but agreed to delay it following negative "market feedback".

    However, the market feedback still seems to be far from positive.

    "Human capital is a major issue," Murmuria said, adding: "In Mumbai, it takes on an average a couple of hours to reach office. With the extension of trading hours, brokers need to leave home very early and stay for longer hours after markets are closed."

    Additionally, he said, as a majority of banks -- both nationalised and private -- open at 10 a.m., there would be problem in clearing of payments.

    Brokers last week demanded that the two bourses reconsider their decision to advance the daily trading sessions.

    In a statement issued in Mumbai, the BSE Brokers Forum said it opposed the move as there was no clear benefit for traders, stockholders, institutions and retail investors.

    The forum said it would submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and seek meetings with the heads of both the BSE and the NSE to air their concerns.

    "If the exchanges start operating at 9 a.m., I need to open my office at least by 7.30 a.m.," said Binay Kumar Agarwal, a director of the Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE).

    "The infrastructure is not yet ready for trading to begin at 9 a.m. If I find my broadband connection is not working, I cannot get an engineer to fix it so early. Besides, banks don't operate at 9 a.m."

    Added gastro-enterologist Indronil Saha: "This extension of trading hours will add to the stress, which will lead to gastro-enterological problems."



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