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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009


    Default Fewer holidays, longer hours for Indian stock traders

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    Indian brokerages and traders will not only have to put in longer hours this year but also contend with fewer holidays going by the list of weekdays on which the markets will remain closed in 2010.

    As opposed to 19 holidays in 2009, the number this year has been fallen to just 11, including the first day of the year.

    'This is certainly not by design. Eight holidays this year -- including Dussehra, Guru Nanak's birthday, Christmas, Independence Day -- fall either on a Saturday or Sunday,' said an official at the Bombay Stock Exchange.

    'It's only that we have mentioned them on our holiday list.'

    According to SMC Capital's Jagannadham Thunuguntla, the Securities and Exchange Board of India was already contemplating a cut in the number of holidays to align the Indian markets with other peers, where trading holidays are restricted to six-seven a year.

    'This year, coincidentally, this has fallen in place. Many festivals and events are on weekends. That's why, if you notice, today has been declared a holiday as a consolation to us,' Thunuguntla told IANS.

    The authorities at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have also decided not just to advance the opening bell this year but also increase the trading hours by 55 minutes.

    Beginning Jan 4, trading will commence at 9 a.m., while the closing bell will ring at 3.30 p.m. in a move intended to woo foreign funds from other major Asian markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.



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