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February 24, 1999

NYSE MULLS 19-HOUR DAY TO ATTRACT FOREIGN STOCKS

By CBR Staff Writer

The president of the New York Stock Exchange is once again venturing the possibility of extending the exchange’s trading hours – only this time he is proposing a 19-hour day, up from the current six and a half hours, reports the New York Post. NYSE president Richard Grasso has expressed his wish in the past to extend the day by a half hour or an hour, but now he is talking about extending it to the point where shift work would be required. He would like to see it happen by June 2000, when NYSE plans to consolidate all its non-US shares on a separate trading floor. The idea would be to split the trading day into three chunks: 4am to 9am for European stocks, 9.30am to 4pm for US stocks and 6pm to 12 midnight for Asian investors. The NYSE is facing increasing competition from the Nasdaq stock exchange, which merged with the American Stock Exchange last November (11/03/98) and now comprises a hybrid electronic and physical ‘open outcry’ exchange. The NYSE is after a boost in trading volume that would come with the increased activity in foreign stocks. Any changes to trading hours would have to be approved by NYSE’s board of directors and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), however, and traders the Post spoke to don’t give the plan much chance of succeeding at this point.

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