Articles: Dealing costs

SGX said to consider giving traders their lunch break back
Singapore Business Times, 24-Feb-2017
They reportedly also propose widening the bid-offer spread, which is a sure-fire way to reduce liquidity, not increase it. This is another sign of desparation after the proposal to list second-class shares. Who is running SGX these days? What next - introducing minimum commissions? Rather than fiddle with trading hours and rules, consider allowing competing exchanges, then let the market discover which hours and spreads it wants.
Presentation on HK securities market reform
These are the slides from a presentation by David Webb to accountants hosted by legislator Kenneth Leung this evening. (16-May-2016)
You are silly, Yuhua
Yuhua Energy (2728) proposes a 2 for 1 bonus issue and a 4.5-fold board lot increase that it wrongly claims will reduce the market value per board lot and thereby enhance trading liquidity. In fact it does the opposite. (17-Sep-2015)
Give public access to ALPs
We need your help! The SFC is proposing to ban retail investors from accessing Alternative Liquidity Providers, which could provide faster and better execution than just placing the order with SEHK. Webb-site urges the SFC to give the public the same options that institutional investors enjoy. They almost did with HSBC's ill-fated Stockmax. We also urge the Government to abolish SEHK's statutory monopoly and allow competition to drive down fees and innovate. (15-Apr-2014)
Why did the SFC kill HSBC's Stockmax?
Two years after the SFC shut retail investors out HSBC's automated trading system, an SFC announcement gives some indication of what happened, but still leaves retail investors wondering why a pioneering service which offered potential price improvement and competition for HKEx's monopoly stock market was not allowed. (20-Dec-2013)
HSBC's StockMax becomes StockMin
It was a false dawn for retail investors - the SFC has caved in to pressure and amended the license conditions of HSBC's Stockmax Crossing platform to restrict it to "professional investors" only. History will prove them wrong. (14-Aug-2011)
StockMax and competition for HKEx
We look at the implications of HSBC's proposed StockMax dark pool with retail investor participation. It's a wake-up call to the Government, SFC and HKEx that we need to move forward with allowing competition to innovate services both inside and outside HKEx. We propose measures to achieve this while preserving fair and orderly markets. (7-Aug-2011)
Reforming HK Markets - the Political Realities
A presentation by David Webb to the FIX Protocol conference. (25-May-2011)
LCQ: the competitiveness of the Hong Kong stock exchange
HK Government, 6-Apr-2011
Comment: nothing prevents a "flash crash" in HK, and indeed we had a mini-version of this in HSBC on 9-Mar-2009. There are no circuit-breakers on SEHK. Regarding trading spreads, HKEx U-turned on that in 2007 and there has been no progress since then.
SGX scraps lunch break, opens from 09:00-17:00 from 1-Mar-2011
Company media release, 18-Jan-2011
Truly pointless bonus issues and splits
Why do boards propose bonus issues and stock splits? We look at the drawbacks and the false and misleading reasons often advanced for such actions. If liquidity is really a concern, then a reduction in board lot size is the simplest and best way to go. Splits and bonuses are more a sign of desperation than of a sophisticated, value-focused board. (27-Dec-2010)
Webb on "Hong Kong Today" re trading hours poll
RTHK, 28-Oct-2010
Trading hours poll results
We analyse the results of the Webb-site opinion poll on trading hours, which will be submitted to HKEx today. The results favour a trading day from 09:30 to 16:30 with a 1-hour lunch break. (27-Oct-2010)
Hong Kong's broker siesta
We need your help! Read our article on the debate over HK stock exchange trading hours, and then take our opinion poll. The results will be submitted to HKEx, without names. (14-Sep-2010)
Arculli's rant against competition for HKEx
The HKEx Chairman has apparently launched a campaign to exempt it from the Competition law currently going through LegCo. We dissect his factually flawed and technophobic arguments. Investors in HKEx should not expect its monopolistic profit margin to continue forever. Let the competition begin. (29-Jul-2010)
HKEx keeps wide spreads
The Board of HKEx (0388) today decided to keep wide bid-offer spreads for stocks below $5, cancelling its plan to improve market efficiency after intense lobbying by some small brokers, who also campaigned against the elimination of minimum commissions in 2000-2002. Once again in Hong Kong, political expediency trumps logic and commitment. We call on good companies to now distinguish yourselves by consolidating your shares to get into the efficient price zone above HK$5. (14-Feb-2007)
Cut the Spread!
We need your help! Please use our form to support the reduction of minimum bid-offer spreads on HKEx. This will improve market efficiency and make it easier for buyers and sellers to meet. If you don't support it now, it will be many years before you have another chance. (4-Oct-2004)
Commission Deregulation: No More Delays
How ironic that in a week in which Hong Kong was again named the World's freest economy, the Government was talking about further delaying the abolition of minimum commissions to protect the inefficient small broker cartel. So much for letting the market pick winners. If the Government believes in free markets, it must allow brokers and clients to negotiate their rates. (13-Nov-2002)
Government Backs Cartel
In a move which highlights the fallacy of its claim to promote a free market economy, the HK Government has told HKEx, whose board it controls, to delay plans to scrap the minimum commission rule. We look at the wider aspects of what this says for competition policy in Hong Kong, and at the way vested interests dominate the debate on market reforms when investor representation is absent. We call again for the government to adopt the HAMS Proposal. (24-Jan-2002)
Cut the Spread
From 1-Apr-02, Hong Kong brokerage rates will be negotiable, as they should be in a free market. Now it's time to focus on another inefficiency - HK's gaping spread table, which keeps an artificially wide gap between the bid and offer. Webb-site.com calculates that the average spread in the table is 0.78%, and even the HSI stocks have an average spread of 0.47%. We calls on regulators to cut the spread table to no more than 0.1%, and we explain how to achieve this. (6-Jan-2002)
Smoking Gun
Webb-site.com has obtained a letter which provides an exclusive look at Legislator Henry Wu's anti-competitive attempt to maintain the brokerage cartel's fixed commission rates. In other jurisdictions, this kind of collusion and price-fixing would be illegal. Hong Kong badly needs a competition law. (5-Nov-2001)
Scrap the Cartel
Small brokers are launching a last-ditch effort to continue the indefensible minimum commission rate set by the SEHK, due to be scrapped on 1-Apr-02. Webb-site.com urges the Government to ignore them - the market is run for customers, not for brokers. Let the competition begin! (31-Oct-2001)

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