Asia sees minimal impact from Nasdaq's Facebook IPO glitch

Region's brokerages and traders not affected much by confusion caused by software glitch during public listing last Friday as they kept wait-and-see approach, with some transactions prearranged and not in real time.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Asian brokerage firms and investors experienced minimal impact on their Facebook-related trades last Friday after a software glitch on Nasdaq's end delayed the social networking giant's public listing debut and affected certain transactions.

Technical issues on the stock exchange in the United States meant it was initially unable to deliver some trade execution messages to traders--leaving them clueless on whether their orders had been fulfilled--before normal operations resumed within hours. Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld has since apologised and blamed a backlog caused by its software design fault, according to the report byNew York Times Sunday.

However, the impact faced by brokerages in Singapore that ZDNet Asia spoke with appeared to be relatively more muted.

OCBC Securities said: "Since the Nasdaq trading glitch last Friday affecting Facebook's IPO, OCBC Securities has been following up closely with its customers via e-mails, SMS and phone calls, to address their concerns on their Facebook order status."

Another firm CMC Markets, which specializes in contracts-for-difference (CFD), said its operations had minimal disruption and there was little confusion because its customers understood that the problems stemmed from the U.S. exchange. It added that the nature of its financial products meant the company did not rely on the underlying market prices.

One Singapore investor, Casey Ong, who was keen on buying Facebook shares, said that he was not particularly concerned when he started hearing news. "My plan was to just look at the prices to see how they fare, and buy it another day at a better price," he explained.

A broker, who declined to be named, added: "There was probably less of a reaction in this part of the world because of the time zone difference, which meant that most people either left their orders with their brokers to settle with target prices in mind, and were not monitoring or trading the prices in real time."

At the close of markets on Friday, Facebook shares ended
at US$38.23 per share, just above its offer price of US$38 a share. Nasdaq remained closed for trading at the time this article was published.

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