Software glitches continue to plague online system

  • Stock investors have been facing problems since the system was launched four months ago
- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu

Mar 2, 2019-

Share investors are having a hard time using the automated online trading system launched by the Nepal Stock Exchange in November due to a number of software glitches.

According to investors and stockbrokers, there are problems like the software hanging frequently, wrong information being displayed on the interface, failure to receive the password instantly, and settlement of financial transactions without integration with banks and related institutions.

Only around 500 investors are using the platform currently due to the problems. As per the Nepal Stock Exchange, 172,000 investors conduct trading on the secondary market on a regular basis.

The Nepal Stock Exchange launched full-fledged online stock trading in a bid to allow investors to trade shares conveniently from their own homes. The system permits investors to place buy and sell orders over the internet without having to pay a visit to their stockbrokers. But it has been beset with problems from the day it was introduced, according to investors.

Rajan Lamsal, general secretary of the Nepal Investors’ Forum, said investors were not able to get their user ID from their brokers easily. “Brokers have been delaying providing access to users citing the limited customer reference numbers provided by the Nepal Stock Exchange,” Lamsal said. According to him, the software still displays false trading reports. “The software has displayed wrong information on the sale and purchase orders of stocks on the secondary market several times,” Lamsal said.

Stakeholders said the bourse had not been able to integrate banks, brokers, depository participants,

investors and CDS and Clearing in the new system. As a result, individual investors have not been able to carry out financial transactions via the internet.

Bharat Ranabhat, president of the Stockbrokers’ Association of Nepal, said many of the faults had been resolved. “However, the system sometimes shows market trends that are just the opposite of what is actually happening, which discourages potential investors,” said Ranabhat. The regulator should take the initiative to solve such problems besides integrating the institutions related to financial transactions to facilitate smooth operations, he added.

The Nepal Stock Exchange claimed that it had been providing an adequate number of user IDs as per demand. “As of now, we have issued 3,000 customer reference numbers,” said an official. As per the source, many investors who used to trade stocks by taking an advance from their stockbrokers are not keen to use the online trading platform. “When investors use the online system, they have to update their details, and they cannot conduct transactions using credit from their stockbrokers,” the source said.

The Securities Board of Nepal said it had started an investigation following a growing number of complaints from investors about the hassle-prone online trading system. As per a senior officer, the regulator has formed a taskforce under Deputy Executive Director Nabaraj Adhikari to look into the issue. “The Securities Board of Nepal is concerned that software problems have not been solved even after four months,” said the source. The regulator sees the existing problem in the system as one of the major causes for the bearish trend in the secondary market, he added. 

Published: 02-03-2019 09:54

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