Brokers don't want longer trading hours: report

The effort of the Securities and Exchange Board of India to extend trading hours for stock exchanges by up to two-and-a-half hours seems to have come a cropper with brokers and money managers opposing the move.

On Wednesday, SEBI chairman C B Bhave said the permission given to the bourses to extend trading hours from 9 am to 5 pm would help investors, especially from overseas. The current hours are 9.55am to 3.30pm.

Most market participants oppose the change, and the bourses won't extend timings until there is a consensus, reports quoted Ravi Narain, chief executive officer at the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, as saying.

SBI suggested an extension in the trading hours in order to attract foreign funds and sustain the biggest rally in equities in 18 years. Investors opposed the plan because it would "fatigue" traders and back-office staff, and would be insufficient for international investors.

"For capturing all news flows globally, a 24-hour market will be required," said Anoop Bhaskar of UTI Asset Management, India's oldest money manager. "I'm not sure longer trading hours will result in higher volumes."

The National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia's oldest, trade for five hours and 35 minutes a day, against four hours on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and 6.5 hours on the Singapore exchange.

Deutsche Boerse AG, operator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and Turquoise, an equity dealing system, abandoned plans for an earlier start last year after pressure from customers to leave trading hours unchanged, according to Bloomberg.