By Dara O’Sullivan, Derrick Leonard, and Ilan Solot
We have seen a quieter start to the week, but many FX markets remain under severe operational pressure. With lockdowns already in place in many countries, we have seen India move to a working from home scenario while Indonesia have implemented reduced operating hours. Below are some of the key points we are seeing. Please get in touch if you would like further information or to discuss any of these markets.
Indonesia: Effective today, Bank Indonesia has reduced FX and Bond market trading hours. Where previously the market was open for trading from 8:00am until 4:00pm local time the revised hours will now be 9:00am until 3:00 pm local time.
India: Despite the market moving to working from home, we have not seen any impact on our ability to execute FX transactions. A three-week nationwide lockdown was announced across India effective March 24th. Spreads remain wide and liquidity tight, but the market is otherwise functioning well. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as they occur.
Vietnam: The Prime Minister announced that the country is preparing for a nationwide lockdown. Full details and an effective date have yet to be confirmed. The FX market has been experiencing limited foreign currency liquidity. Local banks have advised delays in repatriations are possible.
Philippines: The market continues to see reduced operating hours. The cut off for FX activity remains 2:00 pm local time.
Sri Lanka: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced again today it will not be open for trading. While they did not mention the status for the remainder of the week, officials confirmed that foreign exchange trading is permitted between the hours of 8:30am and 1.15pm local time.
Nigeria: Liquidity remains strained in the market and the Central Bank has been the single largest provider of FX to Foreign Portfolio Investor’s. We have noticed a delay in repatriation requests being filled. Previously liquidity issues in Nigeria resulted in a first in first out (FIFO) queueing system to repatriate funds before the introduction of The Investors’ & Exporters’ FX Window (I&E FX Window) in 2017. While this FIFO queueing system has not been announced we continue to monitor the liquidity situations in these markets and will provide updates as they are received.
Kenya: Effective today, the FX market trading hours were reduced. Going forward until further notice the FX market will operate from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm local time.
Morocco: There is no change of status for Moroccan Dirham (MAD). The Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Bank al Maghrib (BAM) shortened their FX and securities deadlines to 2:00 pm local time until further notice.
Kuwait: Effective March 23, the Council of Ministers extended their previously declared market holiday by a further two weeks to April 9. This has resulted in local FX markets closing at 12.30pm local time instead of 1.30pm local time.
Mauritius: The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) has advised it will continue with its suspension of trading until April 3. However, banks will remain open with no impact to FX transactions.
Pakistan: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) temporarily revised trading hours for 15 calendar days. Banks in Pakistan have also confirmed reduced working hours from 10:00am to 4:30 pm local time.
Bangladesh: Effective March 29, the government announced a complete market shut down until April 2. There is no trading, settlement or FX activity during this time.
Saudi Arabia: A nationwide curfew remains in place in Saudi Arabia daily from 3:00 pm until 6:00 am local time. Trading hours have been reduced and the market now closes at 4:00 pm local time.
Chile: The Chilean interbank FX market reduced its operating hours. The FX market will close at 1:00 pm local time until further notice.
Egypt: The government announced a 15-day nationwide curfew, effective March 25. While cash and securities deadlines have been reduced so far there has been no impact to our FX executions.