‘Technical glitch’ halts PSE trade


The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. on Friday morning halted trading because of technical issues, but said that these were not the same as the glitches that occurred last year and vowed to determine the root cause of the problem.

On Friday morning at 10:28 am, the Philippine Stock Exchange decided to halt trading in the market, resuming trade after 41 minutes at 11:10 a.m.

Hans Sicat, president and chief executive officer of the Exchange, told reporters that the halt was due to a third-party network issue, and was not the same problem as affected the exchange last year.

“Clearly, we are evaluating what exactly happened. In layman’s term, the connection of various servers got cut. We always test [our system], and in fact the decision to halt was ours, because we saw some instability in the system,” Sicat said.

When asked whether the trading halt was the same as the “technical glitch” that happened twice last year, Sicat said, “I think that’s a different thing. We already said that the SEC was wrong to say that it [technical glitch]was not resolved. It was resolved, we had a third-party provider that validated that the issues [last year]were fixed.”

The technical problems suffered by the exchange was cited as a factor in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s denial of the bourse’s application for exemptive relief to enable it to acquire the PDS Holdings Inc., which owns bond market Philippine Dealing and Exchange System.

Sicat said that the PSE is now investigating the cause of the technical difficulty to ensure that the problem be addressed promptly and hopefully would not happen again.

“The whole point is that you want a stable system so that everyone gets the same data,” he explained.

SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa also said her agency will determine the cause of the trading halt.

“It would be unfair on the part of the PSE if we comment now since we do not know what really happened. We will investigate,” Herbosa said on the sidelines of the PPP Forum held in Makati said.

Last year, the PSE suffered several technical glitches, including a five-hour stoppage on August 25 last year, when trading was halted from 10:02 am to 2:55 pm.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) on Friday closed minimally higher, gaining just 0.20 percent or 14.23 points to close at 7,247.20, while the wider All Shares had a more productive session, adding 0.98 percent or 41.34 points to end the trading week at 4,260.84.

Most of the sub-indices ended higher, except for Mining and Oil firms and Financials, which shed 0.91 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively.

Total value turn over was low at P6.548 billion, with winners outnumbering losers 102 to
75, while 57 issues remained unchanged.

Jonathan Ravelas, market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc., said that the market’s performance on Friday was unaffected by the trading halt.

“I don’t think it is a factor at all. A trading halt can be a problem, but it had nothing to do with the market’s performance today [Friday],” Ravelas said.


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