Stock Exchange Failure in Hong Kong was "Y2K-related", officials admit : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Article at (for about another week): .html?s=asia/headlines/000127/technology/newsbytes/Hong_Kong_Futures_Exchange_Outage_Was_Y2K-Related.html

The failure of a computer system of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE) on January 4, 2000 was Y2K-related, according to a Hong Kong Government official. The statement was made in response to questions by Sin Chung-kai in the SAR's Legislative Council on Wednesday.

The computer system controlling the options pricing system of the open outcry system for the trading of Hang Seng Index options contracts encountered date-related problems shortly after the opening of the market on January 4.

The system made erroneous calculations of the number of days between the trading day and the expiration dates of each series of options traded. The problem caused difficulties with accuracy and reference prices used in trading. Once the problem was discovered, the HKFE had to manually compile theoretical options prices.

An automated workaround to the problem was implemented before the opening of the second trading session on that day.

According to a written reply to questions in the Legislative Council as to why the public had not been informed of the incident, Hong Kong Secretary for Financial Services, Rafael Hui, said that the HKFE had decided the incident was not critical, it was not immediately known if it was Y2K-related and that it had been quickly corrected.

"As part of the normal process in managing their operations, the market operators of the major shared financial systems in the securities and futures industry have set up comprehensive procedures and contingency plans to deal with computer problems which may occur to their systems," read the response. "In the event of a computer breakdown, the affected organization would follow its own procedures and contingency plans to deal with the problem."

"Where the incident is critical, the organization will consider issuing a separate press release to inform the public," said the secretary. "Each organization's management is responsible for making the decision and the corrective measures to remedy the problem as well as handling the publicity surrounding the matter."

-- Antoine Neron (, January 27, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ