24 August 2019
Many brokerages said their systems were overwhelmed by the surge in trading volume. Photo: HKEJ
Many brokerages said their systems were overwhelmed by the surge in trading volume. Photo: HKEJ

Investors complain as stock trading surge jams brokerage systems

Hong Kong stocks soared on its first post-holiday trading day on Wednesday, but not all investors were happy about it.

A number of trading systems operated by banks and brokerages were seriously jammed, leading to slow response to trading orders, while other investors could not even log in, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index surged 961.22 points or 3.8 percent to close at 26,236 on a turnover of HK$250.03 billion (US$32.25 billion), a new record surpassing the previous peak in October 2007.

Amid the feverish trading, several banks and brokerages such as Chong Hing Securities, Bright Smart Securities, I-Access Investors and Standard Chartered saw their platforms run into trouble. Many investors said they were unable to log in while others complained the systems were too slow.

Some brokerages, such as Bright Smart Securities and I-Access Investors, have trading systems which were designed to allow 10 log-ins at the same time in order to save cost and lower transaction fees for investors.

On Wednesday, many of the systems could not take the huge volume of trading, which slowed the processing of orders.

Industry insiders said it is not surprising to see systems jam during peak trading as a result of the cost-saving measure.

They said low-cost brokerages need to consider adjusting their system capacity based on peaks and troughs during a trading day.

While trading systems must be improved and their capacity enlarged, individual investors also should be careful in choosing which system to trade on, industry players said, adding that both trading cost and system reliability should be taken into account.

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