Hong Kong Exchange extends trading hours

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) announces that its Board of Directors has decided to extend the trading hours of the securities and derivatives markets in two phases beginning in March next year, subject to regulatory approval and market readiness.

HKEx believes the proposed changes will improve the price discovery function for Mainland-related securities by increasing the overlap of trading hours with the Mainland exchanges. This will also strengthen HKEx’s competitiveness by narrowing the gap between its trading hour duration and those of regional competitors.

Starting on 7 March 2011 (the first Monday of the month), the continuous trading session of HKEx’s securities market will be from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon and then from 1:30 pm until 4:00 pm. Beginning on 5 March 2012 (also the first Monday of the month), the continuous trading session of HKEx’s securities market will be from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon and then from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.

HKEx’s derivatives markets1 and the auction sessions of both the securities and derivatives markets will start earlier along with the continuous trading session of the securities market. For more details, please refer to the table at this link.

HKEx made the decision after careful consideration of the responses to its consultation paper on the proposed changes to the trading hours of its securities and derivatives markets published on 17 September 2010. The consultation period closed on 29 October 2010. HKEx received a total of 556 submissions from a wide spectrum of respondents, including HKEx Participants, brokerage industry associations, listed companies and a related association, professional bodies, a banking industry association, other entities and individuals.

The vast majority of respondents supported an earlier opening time in the morning. There was widespread support for changes to the lunch break, however responses were mixed with advocates for each of the proposed Option 1 (1-hour lunch break from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm) and Option 2 (1.5-hour lunch break from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm). There was also support for eliminating the lunch break altogether and for no change to the current lunch break.

Based on the feedback received, HKEx proposes a phased approach to change the trading hours as follows. The phased implementation approach is aimed to give the market time to adjust to the revised trading schedule.

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