New Delhi: Leading bourses have proposed to extend the timing of stock trading up to 7.30pm 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 9am and closes at 3.30pm, 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 5pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

Exchanges have, in the past, proposed to extend the timings, but all such proposals have always met with a strong resistance from brokers, while regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has so far maintained a neutral stance and wants 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 10am but want to place a sell order later at 6pm. 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 fails to capture the prevailing trend from most part of the European markets while the trends in the American markets get reflected next morning only, said officials at the exchanges. Last month, the Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) issued a notice announcing extension of trading hours in the equity segment from 9am to 5pm from 7 July.

However, within a day of announcing the extension of trading hours up to 5pm, MSEI withdrew the circular on the same. Sebi, in October 2009, had permitted the stock exchanges to set the trading hours between 9am to 5pm. The BSE and the NSE had advanced market open timing to 9am in December 2009, from 9.45am earlier.

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