Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) announced today (Monday) that it has received approval from the Securities and Futures Commission to extend the trading hours of its securities and derivatives markets in two phases as planned.
Starting on 7 March this year (the first Monday of the month), the trading sessions of HKEx’s securities market will start earlier and run 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 afternoon trading session will be from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Trading in HKEx’s derivatives markets1 and the auction sessions of the securities and derivatives markets will also start earlier from7 March. Please refer to Tables 1 and 2 attached to this news release for details.
Revised publication windows for issuers’ announcements through the HKExnews website
As a result of the extension of trading hours, the publication windows for listed issuers to make Listing Rules-related announcements through the HKExnews website2 will be revised. From 7 March this year, the morning window will be between 6:00 am and 8:30 am on normal business days, while the window during the lunch break will be between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm during phase one of the extension and between 12:00 noon and 12:30 pm after phase two begins. The window in the evening will continue to be between 4:15 pm and 11:00 pm. Details of the revised publication windows are set out in Table 3 attached to this news release.
Market simulation sessions for EPs
Implementation of the extension of trading hours will not require any structural changes to market systems as changes to trading hours occur from time to time due to typhoons and black rainstorms. However, as a prudent measure, HKEx will offer optional market simulation sessions next month to assist Exchange Participants (EPs) in verifying their operations before the phase one extension. EPs will be informed of the detailed arrangements of the simulation sessions through circulars that will be issued after the close of trading today.
HKEx believes the extension of trading hours will improve the price discovery function for Mainland-related securities listed in Hong Kong by increasing the overlap of its trading hours with the Mainland exchanges’ trading hours. HKEx also believes the changes will strengthen its competitiveness by narrowing the gaps between its trading hours and those of its regional competitors.
1. Derivatives market refers to HKEx’s stock futures, stock options, index futures and index options markets.
2. Issuers are required to publish their Listing Rules-related announcements on the HKExnews website.
Table 1: Extended trading hours for securities, stock futures1 and stock options1 markets