Financial workers in Mumbai are stopping work early this afternoon as traders join what may be a record Indian television audience for the nation's cricket World Cup semi-final against Pakistan.
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), Bharti Axa General Insurance and Pramerica Asset Managers Pvt. are among companies that allowed staff in India's financial capital to watch the event that began 2.30 p.m. local time in the northern state of Punjab. In Pakistan, the Karachi Stock Exchange closed 90 minutes early and government workers were given the afternoon off.
"The market has virtually gone to sleep at the moment, all eyes are on the TV screens," said Sandeep Bagla, senior vice president in charge of rates trading at ICICI Primary Dealership, who is watching the match in his office. "It has been a very long time since I saw markets this quiet."