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Will BSE, NSE extend trading hours till 5 pm?

The Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) on Tuesday said it will extend the closing time of trading hours on its equity capital market segment to 5pm from the current 3.30pm with effect from Friday.

But, on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) postponed extending the closing time of trading hours on its equity capital market segment to 5 pm from 3.30 pm.

While rivals National Stock Exchange of India and the BSE have not announced a change in timings, brokers said that they would be forced to follow suit after MSEI’s move.

In 2009, capital market regulator Sebi had allowed exchanges to extend trading hours till 5pm. On December 16, 2009, the BSE had made the first move, saying that it would open for trading at 9.45 am.

The very next day, NSE had said it would commence trading 55 minutes early. Finally, both stock exchanges decided to open to stock exchange at 9 am. However, both of them then decided not to extend the timing beyond 3.30 pm due to resistance from the brokers because of the cost implications.

An NSE source said the exchange has spoken to the brokers and the initial feedback has not been positive. “If the brokers favour it then the exchange would not have a problem in changing the closing timing,” the source said. BSE said they will study the circular and then decide.

Brokers said that while MSEI is looking to revive trading on the exchange by extending the trading hours, it will not help much if the bigger players also extend timings.There was no trading on the MSEI on Tuesday. Only 211 stocks are available for trade on the exchange.

“MSEI is extending the timings to re-launch itself. I don’t see how NSE and BSE will forego their turf. They will be forced to keep trading on till 5pm,” said Alok Churiwala, managing director, Churiwala Securities.

For the broking industry, the move could lead to higher costs with no proportionate increase in revenues, said brokers. “Prima facie, the costs will outweigh the benefits. But it is the regulator’s prerogative,” said Uttam Bagri, chairman, BSE Brokers’ Forum.