Trading Halts and the Advantage of Institutional Investors: Evidence from the Istanbul Stock Exchange

51 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2005

See all articles by Recep Bildik

Recep Bildik

Borsa Istanbul (Istanbul Stock Exchange)

Date Written: December 1, 2004


Firm-specific trading halts have become a common practice in many international stock markets during the last two decades. However, the effects and effectiveness of trading halts remain controversial among academics and regulators. In this debate, it seems crucial to understand how the trading behavior of institutional and individual investors, the market microstructure and the duration of the halts are related to the effects of the trading halts. By considering these factors, this paper assesses the efficiency of trading halts by examining the return, volatility and volume behavior around news-initiated trading halts through the unique microstructure and trade-by-trade data of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). It also investigates, for the first time, the trading behavior of different types of investors such as individuals, mutual funds and brokerage houses around trading halts.

Findings show that most of the new information is absorbed by prices within fifteen minutes (almost completely in an hour) following the resume of trading after a halt. Reaction of investors to bad news is slower and stronger than good news. Our results are robust to time-of-halt and duration-of-halt effects. Price discovery mechanisms based on fully computerized trading, non-existence of monopolist specialists and opening batch mechanisms, and restrictions on order cancellation during trading are some of the factors that accelerate the speed of adjustment in prices. In spite of halts, institutional investors would take the price advantage of new information during the halt period ahead of the individual investors by doing better timing in trading after halts. Institutional investors systematically buy and sell at more favorable prices around halts than individual investors do. Finally, overall evidence suggests that trading halts are effective in dissemination of valuable information and play an important role in enhancing the efficiency of the price discovery mechanism.

Keywords: trading halts, microstructure, price discovery, regulatory effectiveness, institutional investors,

JEL Classification: G14, G15

Suggested Citation

Bildik, Recep, Trading Halts and the Advantage of Institutional Investors: Evidence from the Istanbul Stock Exchange (December 1, 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Recep Bildik (Contact Author)

Borsa Istanbul (Istanbul Stock Exchange) ( email )

Borsa Istanbul
Resitpasa, Emirgan
Istanbul, 34467
90-212-298 21 93 (Phone)
90-212-298 25 00 (Fax)

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