India markets closed

India enters a 21-day lockdown but day to day operation on BSE to continue

Kshitij Bhargava

As India enters into a 21-day lockdown period from March 25, to curb the spread of Coronavirus, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) will continue to operate as usual. Ashishkumar Chauhan, Chief Operating Officer of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Tweeted saying, "BSE day to day operations will continue." India will continue to be under a lockdown till April 14, as the number of Coronavirus cases in India continues to surge. Although India's financial capital, Mumbai is already under lockdown, stock exchanges have been operating normally. Chauhan commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi's lockdown announcement.

In a televised announcement, Prime Minister Modi emphasized on the need for social distancing to control the spread of Coronavirus. So far India has over 500 cases of the virus with over 10 people have succumbed to their illness. "If we are not able to manage the upcoming 21 days of nationwide complete lockdown, we will be pushed back 21 years. You have to remember that a Coronavirus infected person initially appears to be normal and doesn’t show symptoms. So maintain precautions and stay at home," Modi added.

Earlier in the week, Jimeet Modi, Founder & CEO, Samco Securities said that closing the bourses would result in the complete loss of reputation and confidence from a global standpoint. " Most markets are trading online including India. Shutting down India’s markets when the rest of the world ( including Italy, Spain, etc) still operates online would mean and send a signal that we can’t have minimal BCP as compared to the rest of the world?" Jimeet Modi said. He had further stressed that closing the equity markets would be disastrous for those who would like to liquidate their positions to pay for hospital expenses. Modi suggested reducing trading hours if the need strikes.

Although the lockdown will continue to be in place till April 14, along with the Bombay Stock Exchange essential services too will remain operational. However, there is no update on how the National Stock Exchange will function during the 3-week lockdown period.