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Swiss stock exchange considers shorter trading day

Just a month after the launch of its pan-European platform, virt-x, the Swiss stock exchange is considering shortening the trading day by 30 minutes because of low volume. Some analysts say the announcement is a setback for the new London-based venture.

The proposal to cut trading hours is under discussion with the exchange's members. If approved, it will take effect on August 1.

Virt-x was launched in June in a bid to break the mould in cross-border trading and to challenge the dominance of Europe's long-established national exchanges. The merger of the Swiss Exchange and the British electronic platform, Tradepoint, offers investors a one-stop pan-European system to trade shares across the region.

The SWX was the first exchange to shift trading in its blue-chip shares to a foreign location.

As part of the changeover, trading hours in Swiss shares were extended one hour to 1800 central European time. But SWX spokesman Leo Hug says volumes have been extremely low in the last half hour of the session.

"At the moment we can't make any money and neither can the banks," says Hug.

Swissinfo with agencies


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