Oslo cuts trading hours amid volume drought

Low volumes have led the Oslo Børs to slash its opening hours for equities and derivatives trading.

Low volumes have led the Oslo Børs to slash its opening hours for equities and derivatives trading.

From 6 August for a six month trial period, the bourse will close at 16:30 CET in a bid to improve quality and liquidity throughout the trading day.

Oslo Børs, which claims to be the “strongest Nordic market for capital issues”, believes the shorter hours will also allow more time for fundraising after hours.

“After dialogue with market participants, we believe reduced opening hours will contribute to concentrated trading and thus to higher quality in the order book during the day,” said Bente A. Landsnes, president and CEO, Oslo Børs. “This may also attract new volume. We consider this positive for both market participants and market competitiveness.”

As a result of increased competition and challenging market conditions, the bourse said total volumes had been lower. In shortening the trading day, the bourse said it was following proven trends which show trade volumes are highest at the beginning and end of the day.

“Time windows companies have to raise capital are becoming ever shorter as a result of the turbulent market conditions. Oslo Børs has recently launched an offer of ‘fast track’ listing of new companies to remedy this situation,” the company said in a press statement. “Shorter opening hours will further strengthen the primary market in Oslo and create an advantage for companies that are listed or plan to be listed in this market.”

The new opening hours mean continuous trading in shares, equity certificates, ETPs and warrants on both Oslo Børs and Oslo Axess will proceed until 16:20 CET. Closing auction will now be between 16:20 CET and approximately 16:30 CET. Reporting of after exchange trades can be done until 17:30 CET. The trading day for derivatives will also be reduced by one hour and end at 16:20 CET. For the fixed income market there is no change and trade will continue to end at 16:00 CET.

“The Oslo capital market is known to be effective, even under difficult market conditions. We want to further enhance this advantage. This will benefit both our customers in the financial market, and companies that issue stocks and bonds in our market,” said Landsnes.

In addition to pan-European multilateral trading facilities, such as BATS Chi-X Europe, Turquoise and Nordic-only platform Burgundy, Norwegian shares are also tradable on domestic exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Nordic's Stockholm market.