Stock markets in India will continue to be open for 6.15 hours (between 9.15 am and 3.30 pm) and there is no extension of trading hours on hand, Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE, said on Wednesday.

Chauhan was categorical that there was no proposal lying with the exchange or any of its sub-committees on this issue. He termed the issue as an emotional one built up by media frenzy.

Pointing out that there were several layers to this issue, Chauhan said that there was a demand from some quarters for a level-playing field with the commodities market, which was open till late night as well as a demand for a level-playing field with stock markets in other countries.

He said there were no technical problems in increasing trading hours, since it had been done in the case of its subsidiary India INX in GIFT city, Gandhinagar.

Is there a flip side to longer trading hours? “Regulators will have to work longer. Exchange employees will have to work longer. Other supporting infrastructure (clearances/settlements) will have to be organised. And while costs may increase, business may not increase commensurately,” said Chauhan.

Investors’ interest foremost

While acknowledging that there was a theory that news must be converted into price immediately for those who wanted to act on it, and the absence of longer trading hours could sometimes leave investors feeling disenfranchised, he pointed out that the decision would have to be an involved and iterative one, taken after due consultation with all stakeholders.

“What is correct for Indian investors, and not just for intermediaries, will be done,” he added.

But there is nothing on the table for the moment.

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