Trading hours poll results
27 October 2010
This article will be submitted to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx, 0388) in response to its consultation paper on proposed changes to trading hours, together with our article Hong Kong's broker siesta of 14-Sep-2010 and the full results of the Webb-site opinion poll. Readers may note that we have introduced cross-tab analysis, so that the matrix of responses to any pair of questions can be analysed.
Like all our polls, the poll was open to anyone who submitted their e-mail address to receive a PIN number, to deter multiple voting. We received 592 responses. In summary:
- Over 83% agreed that some change was needed to trading hours, while 16% disagreed and 1% were undecided.
- 53% said that the lunchtime trading break should be abolished (an option not even contemplated by HKEx), while 44% wished to retain it.
- If the lunchtime break is kept, then 54% favoured 1 hour, 23% want 90 minutes, and 19% want 2 hours, with 5% undecided. There's a clear majority in favour of 1 hour, and we note in the cross-tab that 40 respondents who wanted to scrap the lunch break did not bother to answer this question. Most of them would be in favour of 1 hour too.
- Despite claims from brokers that they need two hours to entertain their clients, only 17% of respondents said a broker had taken them to lunch in the last year. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the cross-tab, those who had received lunch were 83% against scrapping the lunch break, while those who had not received lunch were 60% in favour of abolishing the lunch break. So brokers take note: if you've got them by the stomach then their hearts and minds will follow.
- On the issue of opening time, only 19% wanted to keep the status quo of 10:00, while the most popular option (49%) was 09:30. However, 31% favoured either 09:00 or earlier.
- On closing time, 39% wanted to keep 16:00, but 37% wanted 16:30 and 19% chose "later than 16:30". That adds up to a clear majority of 56% favouring extending hours to 16:30 or later.
Based on the results of this opinion poll, Webb-site concludes that Hong Kong is not quite ready to abolish the lunch break, but that it should be shortened to one hour. Opening time should be brought forward to 09:30, and closing time should be extended to 16:30. That would result in a 6-hour trading day, 50% longer than the present 4 hours. We note that Singapore Exchange on 19-Oct-2010 launched a consultation on abolishing its own lunch break to achieve an 8-hour day from 09:00-17:00.
If you wish to make your own submission to HKEx, then write to email@example.com by this Friday, 29-Oct-2010.
© Webb-site.com, 2010