Indian Regulator Plans HFT Conference

Sebi has become increasingly vocal about HFT and algorithmic trading in recent years.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has announced plans for a two-day conference next week, aimed at discussing the market risks associated with algorithmic and high-frequency trading (HFT).

The event program highlights growing concern about the effect of electronic trading strategies on market stability in the region. India has had a number of events in recent years, including minor flash crashes on its popular Nifty index, that have resulted in criticism of the market oversight regime, and proposed limits on HFT. Sebi's speaker list includes persons from the regulator, banks and exchanges, and will be hosted in Mumbai on January 27.

"While technology is the proximate driver, a robust regulatory framework is the need of the hour for the current automated market structure, and a sound regulatory policy will most certainly influence the direction of future technological developments in trading," says Sebi, in a statement attached to the conference program.

Persistent rumors regarding the future of India's regulatory landscape reached new levels this week, amid media reports that Sebi would combine with the Forward Markets Commission, India's commodities regulator. The latest reports followed a collapse at National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL), where a payments failure caused widespread disruption, and led to the arrest of senior management figures at the bourse.

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