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Restricted Market Trading Comments

By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot

With many markets still under lockdown and some going out on Easter holidays this week, we continue to see amended trading hours. The most notable change has been in India with a reduction in trading hours, while in Nigeria we saw a small amount of liquidity being released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Below are our updates for the week. Please get in touch if you would like further information or to discuss any of these markets.

India: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the market will reduce their operating hours across market products between April 7 until April 17. All markets will be open from 10:00am local time to 2:00pm local time. For any clients actively trading this market, please make note of the reduced window for FX execution.

Nigeria: Liquidity remains scarce with the CBN being the single largest provider of USD to Foreign Portfolio Investors. Until today’s small allocation, the CBN had not provided USD to FPIs since March 19.  There are persistent delays in executing repatriation requests flows. We continue to monitor the liquidity situation and will provide updates as they are received.

Indonesia: Bank Indonesia reduced FX and bond market trading hours from March 30. Where previously the market was open for trading from 8:00am until 4:00pm local time the revised hours are now 9:00am until 3:00pm local time.

Vietnam: Still no further updates following last week’s headlines that the country is preparing for a nationwide lockdown. Full details and an effective date have yet to be confirmed. The FX market has been experiencing limited foreign currency liquidity. Local banks have advised delays in repatriations are possible.

Philippines: The market continues to see reduced operating hours from 9:00 to 14:00. The cut off for FX activity remains 2:00 pm local time.

Sri Lanka: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) remains closed until further notice, especially given a number of holidays this week. Foreign exchange trading continues to be permitted between the hours of 8:30am and 1.15pm local time.

Kenya: FX market trading hours were reduced from March 30. FX market will operate from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm local time until further notice. The market has been experiencing limited USD liquidity and local banks warned about possible delays in repatriations.

Ghana: The FX market has been experiencing limited foreign currency liquidity. Local banks warned about possible delays in repatriations trades.

Morocco: There is no change of status for Moroccan Dirham (MAD). The Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Bank al Maghrib (BAM) shortened their FX and securities deadlines to 2:00 pm local time until further notice.

Kuwait: From March 23, the Council of Ministers extended their previously declared market holiday by a further two weeks to April 9. This has resulted in local FX markets closing at 12.30pm local time instead of 1.30pm local time.

Mauritius: The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) resumed trading and operations on April 6. While the market remains in a lockdown mode, a working from home policy has been adapted across the market and there should be no impact to trading and settlement.

Pakistan: Effective April 3, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) announced additional reduced trading hours for Fridays. Going forward, they will operate a single trading session only on Fridays from 10:00am local time to 1:00pm. There will be no change to the already reduced trading hours on Monday to Thursday from 10:00am local time to 4:00pm.

Bangladesh: Effective April 5, the government announced a complete market shut down until April 9. There is no trading, settlement or FX activity during this time.

Saudi Arabia: A nationwide curfew remains in place in Saudi Arabia daily from 3:00 pm until 6:00 am local time. Trading hours have been reduced and the market now closes at 4:00 pm local time.

Chile: The Chilean interbank FX market reduced its operating hours. The FX market will close at 1:00 pm local time until further notice.

Egypt: Effective March 25, the government announced a 15-day nationwide curfew. While cash and securities deadlines have been reduced so far there has been no impact to our FX executions.

Serbia: Effective March 24, the Republic of Serbia has been in a State of Emergency. Banks are working on reduced operating hours and now close at 3:00pm local time.

Oman: Effective March 29, the Muskat Securities Market (MSM) reduced trading hours in response to the Corona virus. The market will now close at 12:00pm.

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About Win Thin
Win Thin
Win Thin is a senior currency strategist with over fifteen years of investment experience. He has a broad international background with a special interest in developing markets. Prior to joining BBH in June 2007, he founded Mandalay Advisors, an independent research firm that provided sovereign emerging market analysis to institutional investors. He received an MA from Georgetown University in 1985 and a B.A. from Brandeis University 1983. Feel free to contact the Zurich office of BBH
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