Mexican Stock Trading Outage Irks Traders Amid Earnings Season

  • Two halts totaled about 90 minutes of downtime on Friday
  • Mexican interruptions had been declining over past two years

A 90-minute interruption in Mexican stock trading during the peak of earnings season drew fire from traders Friday.

“It’s very hard when things like this happen,” said Rogelio Ramos, an equity sales trader at Interacciones Casa de Bolsa SA in Mexico City. “From the time you come in, people, companies, foreign clients, everyone is asking us: ‘Hey, what’s happening? When is the market going to open? What time is it going to open? Why did it stop again?”’

The start of trading on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, the country’s main stock exchange, was delayed by more than an hour, an outage that was followed by another later in the day that lasted about 20 minutes. Trading volume was 53 percent below the 30-day average at the close of the market on Friday as officials from the exchange blamed unspecified technical errors for the interruption and pledged to fix the problems.

After a spate of disruptions in 2012 and 2013, the number of trading outages in Mexico has declined in the past two years. Still, Friday’s debacle frustrated many investors at the height of Mexico’s corporate earnings season as companies from Grupo Televisa SAB to Grupo Bimbo SAB held morning calls with analysts to discuss their results.

“When we first noticed it wasn’t trading, we thought ‘How long is this going to last?’" said Juan Carlos Minero, a hedge-fund manager at Black Wallstreet Capital in Mexico City, which oversees 23 billion pesos ($1.3 billion) in assets. “I know I didn’t lose money, but I did not win."

So far in 2016, in Mexican stocks have dodged a global selloff in emerging-market equities as analysts predict faster growth in the U.S., the nation’s top trading partner, will boost the economy. Still, the peso’s tumble has sapped returns for foreign investors who have pulled $117 million from Mexico’s biggest exchange-traded stock fund this year.

The benchmark IPC gauge rose 0.1 percent to 43,473.37.

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