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Swine flu threat to stock market trading

Update: August, 10/2009 - 00:00

Swine flu threat to stock market trading

(11-08-2009)

HA NOI — If a quarter of the securities companies on the HCM City or Ha Noi stock exchanges suspended trading activities because of the threat of A/H1N1 flu, it would force the State Securities Commission to suspend all market trading.

The commission said yesterday such measures, which would be the strictest part of preventive measures it would develop to combat the threat, were outlined on its website.

If transaction agencies or headquarters of stock exchanges, securities depository centre or securities companies were in threat of A/H1N1 flu and needed isolating, any trading activities would be suspended. The offices must report the situation to the commission within a day.

The commission encouraged investors to apply for online or telephone trading and urged securities companies to instruct investors to follow health recommendations on the flu when they used trading floors and to develop a plan to prevent the disease being spread on their premises. Observers at some securities trading floors said investors rarely use mufflers for protection.

"Coming to the floor is our habit, to exchange information and to chat. The mask makes it uncomfortable for us to talk and trade," said Nguyen Hai Dang, an investor at Saigon Securities Inc.

Events in exchanges seemed much more important than the flu story, said Dang.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, an analyst at a HCM City-based securities company, said the commission aimed to prevent investors from spreading the epidemic.

"The call psychologically spurs investors as it shows the care needed from market regulators to investors."

The trading suspension could cause securities companies a significant loss turnover.

The possibility of market closures could lessen investors’ interest with securities, especially when global market moves created an advantage for local traders, Hai said. — VNS

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