The Reserve Bank of India has said that the amended trading hours (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) shall remain in place till further notice. Earlier, the period for which the trading hours were amended was capped at April 30. Now that period has been extended until further notice.
"In view of persisting operational dislocations and elevated levels of health risks warranting continuing restrictions on movement, work from home arrangements and business continuity plans, it has been decided that the amended trading hours i.e., from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm for RBI-regulated markets that were effective till the close of business on Thursday April 30, 2020 vide press release dated April 16, 2020 shall be extended till further notice," a press release issued by RBI read.
The market timings had been revised in order to "minimise these risks" and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks and supervisory controls while optimising the resources and ensuring safety of personnel.
The continuation of the amended trading hours comes in the backdrop of an extended run of shutdown of businesses across the country in lieu of the coronavirus outbreak.
RBI has also extended Fixed Rate Reverse Repo and MSF window as well as Regulatory Benefits under SLF-MF Scheme.
"Reserve Bank had vide Press Release 2019-2020/2147 dated March 30, 2020 extended the window timings of Fixed Rate Reverse Repo and MSF operations. In view of the continuing disruptions caused by COVID-19, it has been decided to continue with the revised timings till further notice," the release further said.
On the matter of extends regulatory benefits under SLF-MF scheme, the RBI issued a 3-point notice.
On April 27, 2020, the Reserve Bank announced a special liquidity facility for mutual funds (SLF-MF) to ease liquidity strains on Mutual Funds (MFs), which intensified in the wake of redemption pressures related to closure of some debt MFs and potential contagious effects.
Based on requests received from banks, it has now been decided that the regulatory benefits announced under the SLF-MF scheme will be extended to all banks, irrespective of whether they avail funding from the Reserve Bank or deploy their own resources under the above-mentioned scheme. Banks meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs by (1) extending loans, and (2) undertaking outright purchase of and/or repos against the collateral of investment grade corporate bonds, commercial paper (CPs), debentures and certificates of deposit (CDs) held by MFs will be eligible to claim all the regulatory benefits available under SLF-MF scheme without the need to avail back to back funding from the Reserve Bank under the SLF-MF.
The bank claiming the regulatory benefits as detailed above would be required to submit a weekly statement containing consolidated information on entity-wise and instrument-wise loans and advances extended or investment made to eligible entities to Financial Markets Operations Department (email) and to Department of Supervision (email) on every Monday till the closure of the scheme.