Confidence in Singapore stock market likely to take a hit from latest mishap, say investors and traders

Confidence in the Singapore bourse, one of Asia's largest, is likely to take a hit even as trading resumed smoothly on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half hour delay resulting from a software problem. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Confidence in the Singapore bourse, one of Asia's largest, is likely to take a hit even as trading resumed smoothly on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half hour delay resulting from a software problem. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Confidence in the Singapore bourse, one of Asia's largest, is likely to take a hit even as trading resumed smoothly on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half hour delay resulting from a software problem.

The Singapore Exchange announced it will brief the media on the delay in the stock market's opening at 5pm on Wednesday.

SIAS president and chief executive David Gerald told the Straits Times: "It is not good for the confidence in the market as it appears to be happening one too many times."

"Investors are in a quandary. The Singapore Exchange needs to address this problem urgently to avoid a recurrence, especially in this period of low market volume. There has been much investment on the trading system and one should, therefore, be confident of not expecting frequent computer glitches."

Another trader noted: "This is not how a world-class stock exchange should function. Someone should take responsibility for the disruption to the market trading routine because this doesn't inspire confidence in market participants."

Remisier Desmond Leong said trading resumed smoothly at the opening and that the delay in updating trade settlement reports didn't affect him much. "We started a bit later. There were some trade settlement reports that weren't updated yet, but we still have access to the previous day's trades through our own records. Our IT systems captured trades that we and our clients keyed in."

But he added: "I think it does affect confidence in general. When you're trading, consistency is key. For me, not being able to trade on Nov 5 for several hours is a bigger deal. We weren't able to react to news when it came out."

Wednesday's 3-1/2 hour market delay comes less than a month after SGX halted trading for more than three hours on Nov 5 because of a massive power-supply failure.