For traders in Singapore, it appears lunch isn’t for wimps.
The days of closing the stock exchange for a meal have long since died out in London and New York but SGX, operator of the main Singapore market, on Tuesday bowed to a group of small local brokers who had led a long-time campaign for its reintroduction.
From November the equity market will break from 12.00pm to 1.00pm, SGX said. Furthermore the exchange will introduce minimum bid sizes for securities in the $1.00 to $1.99 price range; there will also be wider tick sizes, or trading increments, for some stocks to boost trading volumes.
The tradition was one of a series of initiatives SGX had been exploring as a way to revive local stock trading.
Many locals felt they had been sidelined as SGX focused on its lucrative derivatives businesses, such as Chinese and Japanese index futures that are widely traded by international investors. By contrast the number of initial public offerings in Singapore has dried up in recent years while a crash in so-called penny stocks in 2013 also contributed to a loss of confidence in Singapore’s financial markets.
“We would like to thank market participants for supporting the changes to the equities market structure,” said Loh Boon Chye, chief executive of SGX. “We will be monitoring the impact of these changes post-implementation,” he added.