The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has become the latest Asian bourse to announce plans to lengthen its trading day in a bid to boost trading volumes.
The extension to the PSE's trading hours will occur in two phases. The first, effective 1 October 2011, will extend the trading day until 13.00. Current trading hours at the PSE are from 09.30 to 12.10.
The second phase, starting from the beginning of next year, will see the introduction of an afternoon trading session that will run from 13.30 to 15.30.
“This move will align the PSE with its peers in the region and is a positive signal that the local market is ready to take off,” said Hans Sicat, president and chief executive officer, PSE. “Afternoon trading is also expected to boost liquidity as it enhances the ability of investors to react to developments in other markets in a different time zone.”
According to the PSE's own data, the value of trading so far this year is around P5.3 billion (US$123.5 million) per day. According to Thomson Reuters Equity Market Share Reporter, the PSE has traded US$14.96 billion in the first six months of this year.
The PSE has engaged in a number of recent initiatives in an effort to develop its market. The bourse moved to a new trading platform supplied by NYSE Technologies, the commercial technology subsidiary of exchange group NYSE Euronext last year, and is also part of the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN) trading link. The ASEAN project, initially involving the PSE, Singapore Exchange (SGX), Bursa Malaysia and the Stock Exchange of Thailand, recently selected technology firm SunGard to provide the infrastructure for the link, which is expected to go live in Q1 next year.
“We are optimistic that with the initiatives we have put in place prior to this move such as a new trading system, introduction of new products to boost volume, regulatory approvals, and more listings and follow-ons, we will be able to enhance investor interest in the stock market,” added Sicat.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing are also preparing to bring in a longer trading day by shortening or eliminating their lunch breaks. From 1 August 2011, SGX will scrap its lunch break, allowing continuous trading from 09.00 to 17.00, while HKEx is also planning to cut its two-hour lunch break, first to 90 minutes and then one hour. The TSE has delayed its implementation of longer trading hours until 21 November from May, following the earthquake that rocked Japan in March.