Abolish the useless circuit breaker rule

Trading was halted in five Junior Market stocks this morning as a result of the stock exchange circuit breaker although, all are halted at prices they frequently traded at in recent weeks.
Caribbean Assurance  Brokers was frozen at $2.95, the stock traded at that price on Monday, Consolidated Bakeries was frozen at $1.53, iCreate is frozen as the price dropped to 75 cents, Jetcon Corporation freeze took place at $1.08 and KLE Group at $2.30 from $3.10 on Monday but it traded as low as $2 on the 25th of the month. None of the stocks traded outside the recent range, so what is the Stock Exchange preventing these stocks and many others from trading freely as there is no information that is not already known to the market.
Leaders are supposed to lead as such when things they control is no longer meaningful, they should adjust them, the leaders at the helm of the Jamaica Stock Exchange don’t seem to get it.
Stock exchanges are markets that allow companies to raise capital and owners of shares to give a reasonable view that if they want to sell their stock there is an organised market to do so. Today’s modern stock markets are listed companies and the frequency of trading allows them to make money.
Some years ago, in response to the global market sharp decline, several stock exchanges put in place a circuit breaker rule that resulted in a halt to trading if a stock or the market moved too fast in a session. The JSE put one in place and modified it a few years ago. The rule has not done anything to protect investors since its introduction. In fact, it made investors worse off as they are prevented for traded stocks during the hour of halting of trading that takes place.

JSE response to Express Catering trading fiasco article

Kino Williamson (l), Head of Finance, Cable Bahamas Ltd. points to the USD label while Scotia Investment CEO, Lissant Mitchell points to the JMD label. Also sharing the moment (from left) are Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director Jamaica Stock Exchange, John Gomez, COO Cable Bahamas and Dylan Coke, VP Originations & Capital Markets, Scotia Investments

Mrs. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange responded to articles on Express Catering that were published on July 21, 2017 by IC Insider.com
The response to the Article
Article Sentence 1: “The Jamaica Stock Exchange indicated that the maximum price Express Catering could trade at on Friday was $1.86 which came about from a 15 percent average, of the price that triggered the circuit breaker which is $1.75 and the IPO price of $1.50.”
JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: This statement is partially incorrect. The price that triggered the circuit breaker was $1.74 and not $1.75.

The maximum trade price of $1.86 for ECL on Friday is correctly stated. With reference to the circuit breaker rule, which states that “No stock should trade +/-15% from the close price…” and noting that the previous close price is the current day’s open price, the (open) price of $1.50 was used to determine the trade range for ECL. With reference to the following section of the circuit breaker rule, which states that “…a simple average of the trigger price and the close price, will be used to determine the trade range for the remainder of the day” an average of the price of $1.50 and the trigger price of $1.74 was calculated to determine the trade range for the remainder of the day. The average price was $1.62 and the trade range for ECL on Friday was $1.38 to $1.86, which was +-15% of $1.62.

Article Sentence 2: “Had the first trade, taken place at $1.95 it would have shut down trading in the stock for an hour, but that price would have stood, being 30 percent above the IPO price.”

JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: This statement is correct. The price of $1.95 is within the 30% range and the trade would have remained if it was the trade that triggered the circuit breaker.

Article Sentences 3 to 5: “Regardless, investors placed a large number of bids to acquire the stock which was heavily oversubscribed, when the shares were issued to the public. The attached picture shows the bids above $2.20 at the close which are expected to be cancelled, with the closing bids limited to $2 which is the indicative starting price on Monday. That price will determine the maximum price the stock can trade at on Monday.”

The Jamaica Stock Exchnage subsidiary

JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: This is correct. The Price Limitation of the Close Bid and Close Ask policy states that “the close bid should not be more than 15% of the close price…” Consequently all bids greater than 15% of the close price of $1.74 were cancelled from the trading system. 134 buy orders were cancelled and the respective traders were advised of the cancellations. $2.00 is 15% of ECL’s close price of $1.74; the highest price permitted for the ECL close bid. The close bid at $2.00 is the effective close price on Monday, July 24, 2017 and will be used to determine the trade range.

Article Sentences 6 to 9: “Something must be wrong if investors can place orders into the system only to see them manually cancelled by the exchange after trading ends. This development is public relations and bad news for the exchange, but not many persons seem to care. The circuit breaker rule put in place to try and prevent wild daily movements in a stock prices seems to have out lived its life. It is not working well with new listings as it is preventing orderly trading in most new listings in the early days of trading.”

JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: The practice of manually removing orders that fall outside of the 15% limit has been in place since the implementation of the Price Limitation of the Close Bid and Close Ask policy.

Article Paragraph 3: According to an extract sent by the Jamaica Stock Exchange the Circuit Breaker Rule states that “No stock should trade +/-15% from the close price or the effective close price at the opening of the market. The effective close price is determined whenever the closing bid is greater than the close price or whenever the closing ask is less than the close price. Use the closing bid as the effective close price, if the value is greater than the close price or use the closing ask as the effective close price, if the value is less than the close price. However, during the day if the Circuit Breaker is triggered for a security, the trades at prices outside of the original prescribed band for the security will be disallowed for an hour to allow for the release of market news and a cool down period. The price of the trade that triggered the Circuit Breaker should not be +/-15% outside of the original prescribed price band. After the hour has passed the security will be released for trading within a new prescribed price band based on the new reference price, which is a simple average of the trigger price and the close price. The new reference price will be used to determine the trade range for the remainder of the day. The stock will not be allowed to trade +/- 15% of the new reference price.”

Starbucks one of the brand Express Catering will sell at the Montego Bay Airport.

JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: The circuit breaker rule.

Article Paragraph 4: “If it is were conceded that there is need for a daily price limit, the above rules have been made more complex than needs be the case. There is no logic in limiting one stock to trade at a 30 percent above the last traded price or indicative price and another to be limited to a lesser amount on the same day because an investor buys a stock at 30 percent above the prior days last price another at 15.1 percent above it which limits the trading for the rest of the day to less than 30 percent in the latter case. The new rules that were approved by the stock exchange in 2014 made no reference to a limit to the bid or offer that can be made during the day, exchange personnel have decided amongst themselves to improperly invoke the additional change that limits trading unnecessarily. The stock exchange should make good sense prevail and allow the above rules to be implemented fully as stated without the introduction of rules that the updated regulations do not include and from all indications were not signed off by the stock exchange council, went the change was submitted for approval. If that is done, it would remove the nonsense that now prevails in the Express Catering trading, with a huge line up of bids above $2 that are slated to be cancelled after trading today.”

JSE Market Operations & Trade Response: The Price Limitation of the Close Bid and Close Ask policy was implemented in 2014 after the circuit breaker rule was amended in order to effectively apply the revised circuit breaker rule, specifically the section of the circuit breaker which states that “The price of the trade that triggered the Circuit Breaker should not be +/-15% outside of the original prescribed price band.”

Summary
The amended circuit breaker rule has been consistently applied over the last three years. It was amended to provide increased liquidity during any one trading day. The amending of the circuit breaker rule was done to ensure that there was adequate cooling off period and adjust to market conditions.

In the case of the trading in ECL, there was no trading fiasco. The circuit breaker rule was properly applied and had no bearing on any issues with the new trading platform.