JERUSALEM, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) said on Thursday its board has approved a plan to extend its daily trading session by nearly an hour to overlap more with stock and bond trading hours in Europe and the United States and attract more foreign investors.
The TASE aims to end the sessions on Monday-Thursday at 5.30 pm (1530 GMT) instead of 4.30 pm. Trading on Sundays will be shortened to end at 2.30 pm and the start of trading will be moved to 10 am from 9.45 am.
"The changes decided by the board are expected to contribute to an increase in the turnover of shares, to growth in activity by foreign and local arbitrage players, to improve the liquidity of shares included in the main indexes in general and in dual-listed stocks in particular, and making the market more attractive to foreign investors," the TASE said in a statement.
No date has been set for the change yet since the plan still needs the approval of Israel's securities regulator but the TASE is aiming for the first half of April. In 2009 the TASE shortened its trading day by an hour to 4.30 pm.
Chairwoman Ester Levanon had already said in December that the bourse was looking to extend its trading day to attract more European investors and boost volumes.
The TASE said it had studied the changes in volume for periods of trading where there was some overlap with Europe and the United States - in March and October 2012 when Israel's summer and winter times didn't coincide.
In March stock turnover rose by 15 percent during the extra hour of trade while turnover jumped by more than 30 percent in October, the TASE said. There was no change in bond market trading volumes.