With the worldwide panic surrounding the Covid-19 virus, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has opened up its platforms to bankers, stockbrokers and asset managers as well as individuals, wishing to trade from their homes.
In what could be the biggest test to the NSE’s automated trading system (ATS) in the coming days or weeks, traders are now being advised to access the bourse from remote locations or their homes.
But log ins from home or other outside locations to the NSE will only be possible through designated computers that can be accessed through a secure remote connection
A significant fraction of traders and dealers could relocate to working from home, in what experts warn could affect liquidity, volumes and prices at the NSE.
Around the world, more equity markets have shut down their physical locations as a precaution, leaving traders with the option of accessing the trading floor electronically.
Trading participants are advised to designate dealing PCs, that can be remotely-accessed over secure internet virtual area networks (VPNs) to facilitate traders’ access to equity trading platform from home.
At present, access to the automated trading platform is restricted to specific pre-configured user IP address within the broker network. As a result, it is not technically viable to access it directly without using a stockbroker network.
In a statement from its IT team, the NSE is advising traders to designate dealing personal computers that can be remotely accessed over a secure internet platform to facilitate their access to the Automated Trading System (ATS) from home. The NSE IT team has assured brokers that they will be assisted through phones and email contacts.
The NSE said access to Bonds and Derivatives Automated Trading System are provided over the internet. As such users of these platforms can access the said applications from any location that has a stable internet link.
There are those who operate their Broker Back Office systems from the NSE. These applications can only be accessible through a secure link from the stockbroker to the NSE trading floor.
Online share trading, which has been an option at the bourse, is not expected to be impacted as it is provided over the internet.
In the past, delays in linking the ATS and the Broker Back Office as well as the CDS has been an area of concern. How remote log in to these platforms will affect the bourse remains to be seen.
The NSE has told trading participants that it can be reached on +2542831000 or [email protected] for anybody seeking more information or clarification.