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The Efficiency of Trading Halts; Evidence from Bursa Malaysia

Listed author(s):
  • Bacha, Obiyathulla I.
  • Mohamed, Eskandar R.
  • Ramlee, Roslily

This paper undertakes a comprehensive evaluation of the efficacy of firm-specific trading halts in the Malaysian context. The paper examines a total of 291 trading halts that occurred over the five year period 2000 to 2004. In addition to examining the three variables commonly impacted by trading halts, stock price reaction, volatility of returns and trading volume, we also examine four additional parameters that could have material impact. These are (i) the type of halt whether voluntary or mandatory, (ii) type of news released, (iii) duration of halt and (iv) frequency. Based on our overall sample, trading halts result in a positive price reaction, increased volume and volatility. We find evidence of information leakage, significant difference between voluntary and mandatory halts and the type of news released during halt to have a huge impact. The duration of halt has isolated impact and is largely inconsequential. The frequency of halts does not seem to matter. While these results broadly conform with previous studies of trading halts in other markets, our refined analysis by subcategory showed some interesting differences. The two key differences were the significantly positive price reaction for the sample of mandatory halts and the lower volatility for voluntary halts. We attribute the positive price reaction of mandatory halts to the peculiarity of regulation and the resulting survivor bias. We argue that the lower volatility for voluntary halts particularly for those in the good news category, imply that these stocks are being repriced. With the exception of some subsets, our overall results appear to be strongly supportive of The Price Efficiency hypothesis of trading halts which argues that trading halts help disseminate information and enhance the price discovery process.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13077.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
Publication status: Published in The International Journal of Banking and Finance 2.5(2008): pp. 125-148
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13077
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  1. Hopewell, Michael H & Schwartz, Arthur L, Jr, 1978. "Temporary Trading Suspensions in Individual NYSE Securities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(5), pages 1355-1373, December.
  2. Ruth Tan & W. Y. Yeo, 2003. "Voluntary trading suspensions in Singapore," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 517-523.
  3. William G. Christie & Shane A. Corwin & Jeffrey H. Harris, 2002. "Nasdaq Trading Halts: The Impact of Market Mechanisms on Prices, Trading Activity, and Execution Costs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1443-1478, 06.
  4. Lifan Wu, 1998. "Market Reactions to the Hong Kong Trading Suspensions: Mandatory versus Voluntary," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3&4), pages 419-437.
  5. Howe, John S. & Schlarbaum, Gary G., 1986. "SEC Trading Suspensions: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 323-333, September.
  6. Haiwei Chen & Honghui Chen & Nicholas Valerio, 2003. "The effects of trading halts on price discovery for NYSE stocks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 91-97.
  7. McDonald, Cynthia G. & Michayluk, David, 2003. "Suspicious trading halts," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 251-263, July.
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