Mexican Stock Exchange Fails Twice After Tech Chief Leaves

  • Suspension of trading is fourth similar incident this year
  • Outages follow departure of head of information technology

Mexico’s stock exchange broke down for the second time this week on Thursday, knocking out trading for almost an hour on a day when volumes soared in most markets.

A technological failure stopped trading on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores at about 10:30 a.m. local time, according to a notice send by the exchange. Trading was halted Tuesday for 20 minutes because of similar problems, which the exchange didn’t describe in detail.

The failures come as the stock exchange looks for a new information technology chief and braces for the imminent arrival of a new exchange operator in Mexico. Former head of information technology Luis Carballo departed the firm Aug. 31 and a replacement hasn’t yet been named, said Alberto Maya, a spokesman for the stock exchange.

"This isn’t supposed to happen," said Juan Carlos Minero, a hedge-fund manager at Black Wallstreet Capital in Mexico City. "The longer it is down, the more worried I get that I’ll be stuck with positions in the portfolio that aren’t intended to stay there."

Thursday’s outage came on a day when volumes were above average on all the major stock indexes in Europe and as much as 40 percent higher than normal on the Dow Jones Industrial Average following the release of key economic data in the U.S. and a policy announcement by the Bank of England. After a spate of disruptions in 2012 and 2013, the number of trading outages in Mexico has declined in the past two years. Before the two stoppages this week, the Mexican exchange saw two outages in its operations earlier this year in February and August. 

The exchange announced in July that Carballo intended to leave the firm for "personal and professional" reasons and that his departure would be effective "in the coming months."

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