Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Asia’s oldest bourse, said it will extend trading time by 10 minutes to attract overseas investors.

BSE will open for trading at 9.45am instead of 9.55am from 18 December, the bourse said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday. The exchange didn’t change the closing time of 3.30pm.

“We have major order flows from investors based in Hong Kong and Singapore," Sayee Srinivasan, head of product strategy at BSE, said in a phone interview. “In order to capture their orders before they break at 10am India time, we decided to give them 10 minutes more to put in their trades."

Head start: The Bombay Stock Exchange building. The exchange will open for trading at 9.45am instead of 9.55 am from 18 Dec. Abhijit Bhatlekar / Mint

Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore break at 12:30 local time, coinciding with the opening of the Indian stock markets.

“By opening 10 minutes early, we hope to increase focus on the launch of our mid-month derivatives contract on the coming Friday, December 18, 2009," said Madhu Kannan, managing director and chief executive, Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd.

Overseas investors bought a net $16.8 billion of Indian equities this year, approaching the record $17.2 billion they purchased in 2007.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India on 23 October allowed bourses to extend trading from 9am to 5pm, adding 2 hours 25 minutes. Bourses won’t extend until there’s a consensus on timing and most market participants oppose the change, Ravi Narain, CEO at the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, said last month.