India's Bombay Stock Exchange halts trading after network problem

Trading was stopped on Thursday morning for three hours on India's oldest stock exchange

The Bombay Stock Exchange, India's oldest exchange, halted trading early Thursday after it encountered network problems.

The exchange, which closed the market shortly after start of trading, resumed trading within about three hours.

A number of users were logged out abruptly because of the "misbehavior" of some of the components in its network, BSE said in the afternoon after trading had resumed. It did not say what led the components to malfunction.

The BSE network links to over 10,000 primary connections, of which over 8,000 connections log in each day. Each of these primary connections link to between a few tens of traders and several thousand, depending on the network configuration of the members, the exchange said.

On Thursday, the number of primary connections had dropped to below 2,000, prompting the exchange to close the market in line with current regulations.

Yatin Padia, a spokesman for the stock exchange, said it was not known at this point what was the nature of the network failure, which will be arrived at by the BSE and its service providers through a "root cause analysis."

The analysis will address details of the incident, its cause, information on how it was repaired, and steps being taken to eliminate recurrence of such events. The report will be submitted to India's Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Padia could not say when it will be submitted.

The exchange was set up in Mumbai in 1875, and the 5,413 companies listed on the exchange have a market capitalization of about US$1.53 trillion.

BSE had another glitch less than a month ago, which briefly delayed updating of index data, but it did not lead to a shutdown in trading.

In April, the exchange changed its equity trading system to a new one from Deutsche Boerse, which it said was providing 200-microsecond response time with a throughput capacity of 500,000 orders per second. It had earlier used this system for its currency derivatives, interest rate futures and equity derivatives. BSE said the open-source software provided the lowest-cost operating framework for the exchange.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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