Trading glitch hits bourse anew

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) encountered yet another technical glitch yesterday and was unable to start trading on time, marking the latest in a series of trading halts and glitches that have affected the bourse since August.

Trading started at 10:35 a.m. yesterday, the PSE announced in an advisory but did not explain the reason for the delay, which lasted for more than one hour.

“It’s a delay to ensure that we have a full data upload,” PSE president Hans Sicat told reporters later in the day, noting another technical glitch.

In its adjusted trading schedule, the PSE said the market pre-opened at 10:20 a.m., while actual market open was at 10:35 a.m. Market recess was at 12 noon and resumption at 1:30 p.m. The pre-close was 3:15 p.m. while run-off was at 3:20 p.m. The actual market close was 3:30 p.m.

Prior to yesterday’s glitch, the PSE imposed temporary trading halts on Aug. 18, 24 and 25.

Market analysts expressed disappointment over the incident, saying it has become frustrating.

“It’s a source of irritant,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc.

The technical glitch occured even after the PSE said it has already put in place measures to restore normal operations in the market.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the corporate regulator, earlier asked the PSE to explain the reasons behind the technical glitches that resulted in three trading halts last month.

Of the three times trading was halted, the longest was on Aug. 25 when the PSE put the breaks on trading for nearly five hours, or from 10:02 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., after technical issues were noted on the transmission of trading data in the front-end trading terminals of the PSE.

PSE officials said while the trading engine provided by Nasdaq was fully functioning, the front-end trading terminals used by trading participants as their primary order execution interface or as their back-up system were experiencing technical issues.

Despite the glitches, Sicat had assured that the halts had nothing to do with the market volatility, especially the Aug. 24 bloodbath when the index fell below the 7,000 level.

Sicat said the bourse recognizes the impact of these technical problems to the investing public and the various stakeholders and it exerts all efforts to resolve the technical issues with utmost urgency.

He also called on the investing public and market participants for understanding as he assured the PSE continues to monitor the situation to avert similar incidents from happening in the future.

ACIRC ASTRO FIRST GRADE FINANCE INC HANS SICAT MARKET PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE PSE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION SICAT TECHNICAL TRADING
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