The Board of Directors of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) approved new trading hours in its meeting held on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

The extension of trading hours will be implemented in two phases. Effective October 1, 2011, trading will be until 1:00 PM. By January next year, afternoon trading will run from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Opening of the trading session remains at 9:30 AM.

“This move will align the PSE with its peers in the region and is a positive signal that the local market is ready to take off. Afternoon trading is also expected to boost liquidity as it enhances the ability of investors to react to developments in other markets in a different time zone,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said.

Value turnover year-to-date is averaging P5.30 billion daily. The PSE index or PSEi reached a new all time high last July 5 at 4,439.61.

“We are cognizant of the benefits of extended trading, and we are also well aware of the challenges that it provides. We are optimistic that with the initiatives we have put in place prior to this move such as a new trading system, introduction of new products to boost volume, regulatory approvals, and more listings and follow-ons, we will be able to enhance investor interest in the stock market,” Mr. Sicat said.

“This initiative requires the help and participation of all stakeholders and we are grateful for the active support of the trading participants,” Mr. Sicat added.

Currently, trading in the PSE is a continuous session from 9:30 am to 12:10 pm daily. (PSE Memo Release July 04,2011)