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Trading in Sri Lanka stock market halts as stock prices drop

25/04/2022 at 7:14 PM

New Delhi, Apr 25: Trading in Sri Lanka’s stock market on Monday went into a halt again after the index of liquid stocks dropped, with the All Share Price Index falling 9.6 per cent and the Standard & Poor’s Sri Lanka 20 (S&P SL20) plunging 12.64 per cent, according to a media report.

This is the second time the stock market in Sri Lanka halted today amid sharp falls in stock stock prices.

The trading in the stock market was initially halted till 11.00 am amid sharp falls when the stock exchange started, while prices continued to plummet, prompting the market to declare a halt for the rest of the day, Xinhua reported.

Notably, the stock market opened for the first time on Monday after a weeklong Sri Lankan New Year holiday and a subsequent five-day trading halt following the central bank’s move to increase the interest rates by 7 per cent.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) had temporarily closed the stock market for a period of five business days starting April 18.

This comes as the CSE has been adversely affected by the economic crisis in the country and the index has fallen 26 per cent by the end of March compared to the end of 2021, Xinhua reported.

Sri Lanka has been gripped by an economic crisis, considered the worst since the country gained independence in 1948. Due to energy shortages, some parts of Sri Lanka have rolling blackouts. Sri Lanka’s foreign debt is estimated at USD 51 billion.

The country appears to be on the edge of a “humanitarian crisis”, according to the United Nations Development Programme, as its financial troubles grow, with rising food prices, and the country’s coffers have run dry.

According to World Bank estimates, five lakh people in Sri Lanka have fallen below the poverty line since the onset of the crisis.

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