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One day after a technical glitch triggered a three-hour trading halt at the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), its chairman wrote to employees, acknowledging that it has been a tough year for the country’s top bourse.“

Challenges (were) on the organisational front, stress over the legacy technology issues, (and) re-energising of relations with stakeholders across the spectrum, from the regulator to shareholders,” chairman Ashok Chawla wrote in the letter.

NSE has been dogged by controversies in the past year-and-a-half. Monday’s trading halt—the longest ever on the exchange—came in the wake of a regulatory probe into allegations that it had allowed some traders preferential access to its high-speed trading systems. NSE and its shareholders have differed over listing plans and the exchange faced accusations by the market regulator of corporate governance failure, evasion of scrutiny and not cooperating with investigations. In December, NSE announced the resignation of CEO Chitra Ramkrishna for “personal reasons”.

Chawla termed Monday’s glitch that led to the trading halt as “one more straw on the camel’s back”.“While such a situation is a Black Swan event, it unfortunately puts the NSE in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. We have handled this effectively, which is indeed our responsibility as the largest exchange of the country,” said Chawla.

Meanwhile, NSE’s risk supervision team is finalizing a report on what caused the technical snag, and the report will be submitted to the regulator on Wednesday, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

A spokesperson for NSE declined to comment.The Nifty 50 index on Tuesday hit a record 9,830.05 points during the day, before closing at an all-time high of 9,786.05. The cash segment recorded 9.74 million trades worth Rs26,456 crore, in which 1.45 billion shares changed hands.

With key exits, NSE’s founding team is no longer part of the exchange, and the management has undergone a revamp. The exchange, which is currently functioning under interim CEO J. Ravichandran, has faced difficulties in securing a regulatory clearance for the appointment of Vikram Limaye as CEO because of his continuing role on a panel appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the functioning of the Indian cricket board.

“It is always good to introspect in times of crisis and NSE doing this at a time when the exchange is facing challenges is a welcome step,” said Deena Mehta, managing director at Asit C. Mehta Investment Intermediates Ltd and a former director of rival exchange BSE. “Probably, the chairman is wanting the employees to don their thinking hats to find a resolution of the lingering issues...”

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 July 2017

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