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Singapore to extend trading hours for Nikkei 225 derivatives.

SINGAPORE, Sept. 29 Kyodo

Singapore Exchange Ltd. said Wednesday that it will extend the electronic trading hours of Nikkei 225 futures and options contracts on its platform from Nov. 1.

The exchange will offer electronic trading of these products during the regular Japan stock market trading hours, making it the only exchange in the world outside Japan to do so.

Currently, it is providing electronic trading only for a few hours after the Japanese market closes each day, and also daytime trading on the open outcry system.

The extension is intended to cater to rising demand.

Last month, the exchange began installing a more powerful trading engine, SGX Quotation and Execution System, which is expected to cost about S$16 million (US$9.45 million) when fully completed.

The exchange's president, Ang Swee Tian, said in a statement, ''With the availability of Nikkei 225 futures and options contracts on the electronic trading platform, we hope to reach out to a wider base of customers, especially those who trade derivatives products electronically and expand the usage of SGX Nikkei contracts as an effective trading and risk management instrument among global traders and investors.''

From November, Nikkei 225 contracts can be traded electronically on the exchange in Singapore between 7:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in addition to the current electronic trading hours of between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., after the Japanese market closes.

The exchange has no plan to scrap the open outcry trading system of these products.

To lure market players, it will waive all clearing and licensing fees for the Nikkei 225 futures and options contracts traded electronically for the first two weeks after launch. Thereafter, it will offer a 50 percent rebate on clearing fees.

''We are the only place outside of Japan that will be offering the electronic trades during the Japanese stock market trading hours,'' said the exchange's spokesman Mark Lee.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 4, 2004
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