One of world’s last “open outcry” trading pits shuts in Singapore

SINGAPORE, Sept 28, 2006 (AFP) – They curled their fingers, raised their arms, and tapped their heads while their throats went dry from hours of shouting. In front of the pictures, a mannequin wears a red jacket and a chunky identity tag. His hand is sideways, making one last offer in the pit.

– by Ian Timberlake “Buy all!”

“Buy 20!”

The traders in the pit of the Singapore Exchange had a language of their own.

On Friday, their voices will be silenced forever when one of the world’s last remaining “open outcry” trading facilities — and probably the last in Asia — closes its doors.

A tradition which traders say dates back hundreds of years will end when all of the exchange’s transactions are conducted electronically after the close of business on Friday.

“I think we probably would be the last in Asia,” said Rama Pillai, senior vice president of the Singapore Exchange.

The chaos in the world’s trading pits became a symbol of 20th century capitalism.

It was a business where physical stamina counted as much as intellect.

“It’s very exciting, especially when the market’s moving and the adrenaline just drives, and y