Nepal | September 29, 2020

SEBON directs Nepse to halt trading till May 18

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, May 14

Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) has directed Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) — the sole stock market of country — to halt trading activities from today (May 14) till May 18.

Due to the sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 pandemic cases across the country, the government has tightened security to safeguard the general public from this novel disease. Citing the same, SEBON has communicated to Nepse to suspend trading activities from today till the end of the lockdown period announced by the government.

Earlier, SEBON had allowed the opening of trading amid the ongoing lockdown on May 12 after an interval of 50 days. However, on both the trading days Nepse had plunged by the prescribed level of two per cent to close at 1,201.57 points on Wednesday.

Many investors, including Uttam Aryal, chairperson of Investors Association of Nepal, had been against the government’s decision to open Nepse at a time when not everyone can easily benefit from trading activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aryal mentioned that the decision to open trading activities at Nepse was an autocratic move as a large number of investors are not active in online trading. “If the situation remained the same for a few more days the index would have dropped below 1,000 points benchmark and we would have to forcefully close the market,” he said.

Any decision that SEBON makes has a direct impact on a huge amount of capital assets of hundreds of investors in the secondary market. So, the regulatory body must be responsible towards investors’ sentiment and needs to be more mature while taking any decision, he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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