Business

Banks propose shorter trading day in Europe

LONDON Banks and fund managers want the European stock trading day shortened by 90 minutes, saying it would improve market efficiency and staff well being.

The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), a banking industry body, and the UK-based Investment Association (IA), which represents asset managers, said Europe had some of the longest trading hours in the world at 81/2 hours.

AFME and IA, whose members include Goldman Sachs, Barclays, BlackRock and BNP Paribas, account for the bulk of share trading, said they were talking with major European exchanges to explore the idea.

The opening bell would be rung at 0900 GMT (5pm Singapore time), an hour later than at present, with the close 30 minutes earlier at 1600 GMT (midnight Singapore time).

The first hour of trading currently attracts light volumes, making it more costly to trade, with over a third of trading in the final hour.

"Shortening the hours would concentrate liquidity leading to more consistent trading costs and provide greater time for traders and the market to digest corporate announcements," AFME and IA said.

Long hours affect the mental health and well being of traders and hinder recruiting more diverse staff, especially those withcare-giving or family commitments, they added. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE