Coronavirus outbreak: Stock exchanges activate disaster recovery sites

According to a regulatory source, stock exchanges have put in place adequate mechanisms to ensure that operations are not hampered
Stock exchanges have activated their disaster recovery sites because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is in line with the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi’s) guidelines on business continuity plan (BCP) and disaster recovery (DR) for market infrastructure institutions (MIIs), which includes stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories. The objective is to ensure exchange’s preparedness in the event of a natural calamity, so that any disruptions should not affect market integrity and investor confidence.

According to a regulatory source, stock exchanges have put in place adequate mechanisms to ensure that operations are not hampered. The governments, both the Centre and state, as well as the regulators have been working overtime to ensure coordination across the department, which are inter-linked with each other, the source said.

Under Sebi’s framework, exchanges asked employees to work from different locations to ensure business continuity in case the situation aggravates at the Mumbai headquarters.

“An internal group of Sebi has reviewed all exchange infrastructure companies’ business continuity plans and submitted the report to the regulator,” said an exchange official.

The NSE, BSE, and Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) conducted recovery drills from its DR sites earlier this month.

NSE had completed live trading and other operations from the DR site on March 2 and March 3.The entire technology and business operations were executed from the DR site, which is located in another city and is a replica of the main production site in Mumbai,” NSE said.

The BSE had last week activated the business continuity process facility in Belapur, outside of Mumbai. A senior exchange official said that around 100 people are now working from there to ensure smooth functioning of exchange business and all systems and servers are accessed from there to oversee all functions. BSE’s disaster recovery site is running according to the regulatory requirement from Hyderabad, which is fully linked with Mumbai’s main server (having a replica network of Mumbai) and can be activated immediately, officials said. The BSE is currently working with 60 per cent staff in Mumbai, while the rest of them are connected through a virtual private network.

The MCX, too, has its disaster recovery site at GIFT City, Gandhinagar. About 50 personnel capable of running the exchange network have been stationed there. MCX began implementing business continuity plans since March 6, and now 80 per cent staff have been asked to work from home, except those working in critical departments.

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