Leading bourses have proposed to extend the timing of stock trading up to 7.30 pm to better align Indian markets with global trends and boost business, but several brokers are opposing the move citing logistics and employee-related issues, market sources say.
Currently, trading commences on the bourses at 9 am and closes at 3.30 pm, with 15 minutes each of pre-open and post-closing sessions.
There is also a proposal to align equity market timings with that of commodity derivatives which are traded till late evening hours though exact trade hours are different for different commodities. Various proposals on the table include extending trade hours till 5 pm, 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm.
Exchanges have earlier also proposed to extend the timings, but all such proposals have always met with a strong resistance from brokers while regulator Sebi has so far maintained a neutral stance and want any move to be based on views of all stakeholders, including bourses and market intermediaries.
Some brokers said they would have to call employees in two different shifts for a longer trading period of over 10 hours and all their clients would have to be assigned at least two relationship managers.
"Imagine a scenario when an investor calls in a buy order in the morning at 10 am but want to place a sell order later at 6 pm. In this case, he will talk to one relationship manager in the morning, but the evening person may not have any idea about the early morning order," one broker said.
Exchanges, however, feel that technology advancements have made it easier today to successfully follow a longer trading period and the reservations are misplaced against the move that would help better align Indian markets with global ones.
While most major Asian markets open before Indian exchanges, trading in India fail to capture the prevailing trend from most of the European markets while the trends in the American markets get reflected next morning only, said officials at the exchanges.
Last month, Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) issued a notice announcing extension of trading hours in the equity segment from 9 am to 5 pm from July 7.
However, within a day of announcing the extension of trading hours up to 5 pm, MSEI withdrew the circular on the same.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in October 2009, had permitted the stock exchanges to set the trading hours between 9 am to 5 pm.
The BSE and the NSE had the advanced market open timing to 9 am in December 2009, from 9.45 am earlier.