Singapore to shut ‘open outcry’ facility, one of last in Asia

SINGAPORE, July 25, 2006 (AFP) – There will be no more shouting or waving of hands in obscure signals from September when one of Asia’s last traditional “open outcry” exchange trading facilities is closed in Singapore. The Singapore Exchange said Tuesday its open outcry facility will shut at the close of business on Friday September 29 when all of the exchange’s trades will be conducted electronically.


The 40 to 50 traders still working the floor have dealt in Euro-yen futures and options.

When they leave the pit they will continue their work from behind computer consoles, said Magdalyn Liew, a spokesman for the Exchange.


“There are still traditional hand signals” in the Singapore trading pit, Liew said.


In the open outcry system, traders stand in a pit to call out their offers, using hand signals to make themselves understood over the noise.

The chaos in the world’s trading pits became an appropriate symbol of the cut and thrust of 20th century capitalism.


The Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the United States still uses open outcry trading providing a spectacle unmatched elsewhere, especially since trade has progressively moved onto computer systems since the 1980s.


Singapore’s Exchange launch