The futures & options (F&O) traders using digital platform of one of India's largest brokers -- Zerodha -- were in for a shock on Thursday, when they couldn't place any fresh orders for at least 35- 40 minutes on the F&O expiry day.
The traders took to social media to express their frustration and share the mark-to-market hit that had accrued on their trading positions due to the technical issue.
One of the traders shared a screenshot of his account, highlighting MTM losses of more than Rs 2,00,000. While the exact number of affected traders couldn't be ascertained, a recent report by HDFC Securities shows that Zerodha is market leader when it comes to the number of active clients. At the end of FY19, the broker had 0.9 million active clients on its platform.
The losses shared by the traders are MTM losses and the final impact could differ.
Nithin Kamath, founder and chief executive officer of Zerodha, said, "Around 10.05 am, our execution management system that connects us with exchanges went down. When something crashes, you need to reboot the servers that took us 30-35 minutes. Majority of traders were unable to place fresh orders for 35-40 minutes. For some, the time might have been slightly longer."
Between 10.05 am and 10.40 am, the market benchmark Nifty corrected 0.4 per cent. In the same time-frame, Bank Nifty was down 0.6 per cent.
"At present, we trying to get through the day. We will take a look at why the system crashed and fix it to avoid such a scenario in the future," Kamath added.
According to market sources, some of the traders were looking to wind up their positions on the expiry day, while some had placed fresh bets.
This is not the first time that users of Zerodha clients have faced technical issues. As recently as February, 2019, the platform faced a connectivity issue that led to a pile-up of orders.
The discount broking platform has gained significant trading volume over the years due to its flat-brokerage structure and online platform. For futures, Zerodha charges 0.01 per cent brokerage or Rs 20 per executed order or whichever is lower. For options, it charges flat Rs 20 for every executed order on its platform.