July 29, 2015

Excellent post on algorithmic trading in India

The arrest of a London based algorithmic trader, Navinder Singh Sarao, on charges of triggering the US flash crash of 2010 has once again brought regulatory concerns on high frequency trading (HFT) to the forefront. With the underlying fear that the use of high speed complex algorithms can pose systemic risk, regulators worldwide are considering actions to tighten their grip on HFT. The Indian securities markets have not remained immune to such concerns, and the securities market regulator, SEBI, has indicated that steps will be taken to keep the level of algorithmic trading (AT) in check. Very recently, even RBI in its annual Financial Stability Report expressed its concerns regarding high levels of algorithmic orders in the Indian securities market.

Despite all the fears and the measures that are being taken to curb HFT, one needs to note that the evidence regarding how HFT (or AT) hurts the market is yet to be established. Concerns such as higher percentage of algorithmic orders creates higher level of systemic risk in the financial system are not backed by strong empirical evidence. Studies examining AT/HFT trading only find evidence contrary to this popular notion (Brogaard et al., 2015; Thomas and Aggarwal, 2014). Other studies (Biais and Faoucault, 2014) examining the overall effect of AT/HFT on market quality find that higher levels of AT/HFT improves market quality by increasing liquidity and price efficiency. In spite of this overwhelming evidence on the effect of AT, regulatory fears on how increased market complexity can disrupt the financial markets remain.

Read complete article at http://ajayshahblog.blogspot.in/2015/07/the-changing-landscape-of-equity-markets.html

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