Indonesia shortens stock trading hours for first time in history hinh anh 1Employees pass a screen displaying stock movements at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta on March 2, 2020. (Photo: Antara)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) will shorten trading hours, starting March 30, as one among measures to reduce market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first time in history that the IDX has made such a move. It has suspended trading for a few days, but it has never shortened the trading hours before.

In its announcement, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) said that stock trading hours will be shortened to four hours from five-and-a-half hours previously. The bourse will open from 9:00 – 11:30 and 13:30 – 15:00.

The statement stressed that the move aims to support the Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic and to harmonise policies of the financial services sector.

The OJK also limited the over-the-counter bond trading (SPPA) period from 9:00 to 15:00 and the securities reporting period from 9:30 to 15:30.

It has also asked the Indonesian Clearing and Guarantee Corporation (KPEI) and the Indonesian Central Securities Depository (KSEI) to adjust the settlement process period and other operational activities.

The OJK said the new policy was in line with changes in the schedule for operational activities and public services at Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank.

The IDX's new opening times will last until the OJK lifts the restrictions.

Indonesia's stock market has endured huge hits from the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed foreign investors into panic selling. 

The Jakarta Composite Index has dived more than 31.1 percent this year, its worst performance since the global financial crisis in 2008./.