Tel Aviv Stock Exchange eyes change to Monday-Friday trade
* Shift from Sunday-Thursday would be in line with global markets
* Bourses estimates Friday trade would increase volumes
* Listings have dropped sharply, some cos prefer NY listing
JERUSALEM, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The board of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) supports shifting the bourse's trading week to Monday to Friday to align itself more with global markets, the TASE said on Monday, as it seeks ways to boost trading volumes and attract more listings.
Under the plan put forward by new chief executive Yossi Beinart, trading would run from Monday to Friday rather than the current Sunday through Thursday, which reflects the local work week.
Friday trade would end at 2 pm (1100 GMT), which would shorten the trading week from currently. However, the bourse estimates that the move would still increase its trading volumes as it would overlap with European markets for 4-5 hours on a Friday, which it doesn't get by being open on Sundays.
The board has asked bourse members - banks and brokerages - to assess the consequences of the change to staffing, logistics and other issues. A TASE spokeswoman estimated it would take about two months to receive feedback on whether the change would make sense and then the board will make its final decision.
Market participants have yet to give feedback.
The number of companies listed on the TASE has shrunk to 475 from 654 since 2007, while average daily trading volume has fallen sharply during the past two years. Some Israeli firms prefer to head straight to New York and bypass Tel Aviv to raise money.
Disagreements on how to revive the TASE cost the jobs of both the bourse's chief executive and chairman last year. Beinart has said he aims to add another 100 companies to the exchange in the next five years and to cater more for small and medium-sized companies.
Beinart, a former president and CEO of the North American Derivatives Exchange (NADEX), took the reins at the TASE in January after longtime CEO Ester Levanon stepped down along with Chairman Saul Bronfeld amid criticism for not doing enough to boost trading volumes. (Reporting by Steven Scheer and Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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