Equities traders in Hong Kong may soon have to say goodbye to lunches of sauteed ostrich and crispy pigeon and settle for a sandwich at their desks.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Charles Li wants to cut in half the two-hour break — the longest of the world’s 20 largest bourses — to bring trading in line with China’s financial markets. Bankers like Alex Wong say the break is useful for meeting clients and attending presentations.

The two-hour lunch break, in place since the stock exchange was formed in 1986, harks back to a slower pace of life during colonial days, said Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities.

“Back in the colonial days, those expatriate bankers — super emperors — had to live an easy life,” he said. “They couldn’t take things too quickly.”

“One hour just isn’t enough,” said Wong, asset-management director at Ample Capital, whose lunch haunts include the Golden Leaf at the Conrad Hotel and restaurants at the Four Seasons, Shangri-La and Marriott. “The time will have gone by the time I’ve walked out of the office — waiting for the elevator alone could take 10 minutes during lunch.”