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( As on 11/09/2017 07:48) Sebi panel to mull stock market trading hours extension

An advisory committee of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to discuss a proposal for extending stock market trading hours, even as several brokers feel any such move would increase cost and logistics burden for them.

The stock market in India currently opens at 9 am and closes at 3.30 pm, but there is a view, including among stock exchanges that the trade hours could be extended till up to 7.30 pm to better align domestic trading with global markets.

The proponents of this proposal feel extended hours can help boost trade volumes, thus generating greater revenue for exchanges, and help deepen the equity markets in the country.

The proposal is likely to be discussed by Sebi's Secondary Market Advisory Committee, which is scheduled to meet on Monday. Various proposals on the table include extending trade hours till 5 pm, 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm.

Any change to the trade timings is likely to be made only after a detailed consultation process with all concerned stakeholders, a senior regulatory official said, while observing that the consultation by Sebi's secondary advisory committee would only be the first stage.

The 19-member committee is led by Jayanth R Varma, Professor, IIM Ahmedabad. The members of the committee include representatives of stock exchanges, depositories, brokerage firms, as also independent experts and officials from Sebi and the government.

The panel is mandated to review all developments in secondary market and recommends measures for changes and improvements in market structure.

It also recommends measures for improving market safety, efficiency, transparency and integrity, as also measures for reducing transaction costs.