In an unprecedented move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday revised trading hours of the money markets due to the ongoing countrywide lockdown aimed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The trading hours of the government bonds and currency markets have been revised to 10 am to 2 pm, which will come into effect from Tuesday (April 7). These revised timings will continue till April 17.
Currently, the money market functions from 9 am to 5 pm.
“Staff and IT resources have been severely affected, posing operational and logistic risks. The thinning out of activity is impacting market liquidity and increasing volatility of financial prices,” the RBI said in a statement.
“In order to minimise these risks and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks and supervisory control while optimising thin resources and ensuring safety of personnel, it had been decided to revise trading hours for various markets,” the central bank’s statement added.
Markets who’s timings have changed to 10 am to 2 pm:
- Call/notice/term money
- Market repo in government securities
- Tri-party repo in government securities
- Commercial paper and Certificates of Deposit
- Repo in Corporate Bonds
- Government Securities (Central Government Securities, State Development Loans and Treasury Bills)
- Foreign Currency (FCY)/Indian Rupee (INR)
- Trades including Forex Derivatives (other than those traded on recognised stock exchanges)
- Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (other than those traded on recognised stock exchanges)
The RBI, however, maintained that the timings for the banking services like RTGS and NEFT, e-Kuber and other retail payments will continue to be available as per extant timings.
All private and public banks have been constantly requesting their customers to use online banking systems and avoid visiting their branches in line with government’s and health officials’ norms of social distancing to prevent spread of the Coronavirus.