India’s BSE to Probe Cause of Record Trading Halt

India’s BSE Ltd. said it will probe the cause of a technical error that led to a three-hour trading halt, the longest on record for Asia’s oldest bourse.

A network failure prompted BSE to shut trading from about 9:42 a.m. Mumbai time, the exchange said in a statement. It was the “longest trading halt that BSE has ever faced,” Yatin Padia, an exchange spokesman, said by phone today.

The disruption hampers efforts by BSE to compete with National Stock Exchange of India Ltd., where trading proceeded without interruption today. The halt follows a trading system snag that delayed order execution on the BSE twice in April, after the bourse started a new platform to increase speed. BSE, India’s largest exchange until 1995, now handles about 17 percent of trading in cash equities and about 20 percent in derivatives.

The halt “makes no sense and it gives a wrong picture to global investors,” Nilesh Dedhia, a director at Vidhi Wealth Management Ltd., said by e-mail. “We shouldn’t be having this problem.”

The S&P BSE Sensex Index slipped 0.1 percent at the close in Mumbai, paring a 0.3 percent gain before the halt. Several users were logged out abruptly due to a malfunction of some components in the BSE network, the exchange said. The BSE and its vendors will prepare a report analyzing the cause and submit it to the securities market regulator and the bourse’s board of directors, the exchange said.

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