It’s finally happening. After more than 2 years of planning to extend trading hours, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) will implement starting next week an additional one (1) hour before fully extending trading hours to 3:30 p.m. by January 2012.
The PSE announced that effective Monday, October 3, stock trading in the local bourse will last until 1 p.m. Currently the Philippines is one of the countries in the world with the shortest trading hours — that is, only 2 and 1/2 hours, running from 9:30 a.m. until 12:10 p.m.
The move to have longer time for trading is meant to prepare the local stock market with the planned cross-border trading with other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
The new PSE trading hours will be as follows:
- 9:00 am — Pre-Open
- 9:30 am – 12:47 pm — Continuous Trading
- 12:47 – 12:50 pm — Pre-Close
- 12:50 – 1:00 pm — Run-Off / Trading-at-Last
- 1:00 pm — Close
The proposal for longer trading hours has been in place since 2009. The PSE then believed extended trading time would allow more foreign investors to invest in the country’s stocks. The proposal was shelved, however, when stock markets around the world succumbed to global recession.
It was revived in June 2011 when the PSE board “arrived at a consensus to reactivate the policy on afternoon trading to align local markets with the rest of the world.”
This will not be the first time the PSE extended trading hours. In 2002, the PSE approved trading hours until 2:30 p.m. but when expected foreign investments did not materialize, it decided to revert to the original 2 1/2-hour trading schedule.
We’re not sure if foreign investments will flock to the country considering current uncertainties in Europe and in the US but we support the PSE’s plan to link with other Southeast Asian exchanges that will supposedly enable people to invest and trade directly in the stocks of our neighboring countries.
It may not be a good time at present to jump into equities but the planned cross-border trading is a good start for Filipinos to diversify and gain access to other investment opportunities.