It has been months since the government lifted its lockdown, but the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has no plans of going back to its regular five-hour trading schedule any time soon.
The PSE conducted an informal survey among member brokers a few weeks ago and the majority was happy with ringing the closing bell at 1 pm.
Some PSE members clamored for the extension of trading hours from 1 pm to 3:30 pm after the fixed income and currencies markets went back to their regular trading schedule before the pandemic.
Most brokers don’t want to add more trading hours because the surge in volume could further swamp their backroom offices that are already operating to the hilt.
While the lockdowns have long been lifted, brokers are still operating at limited capacity because of the health protocols that have kept their full staff from going to the office.
The PSE adopted shortened trading hours – from 9:30 am to 1 pm – in mid-March 2020 after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a lockdown in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon to contain the spread of the coronavirus.