Colombo Stock Exchange closed on Thursday to abide by public holiday

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will remain closed on Thursday (19th March), according to the CSE.

This decision has been made due to concerns about staff safety, as the government is encouraging social distancing, and to conform with the 3-day holiday declared by the Government on Monday.

Late Monday night the Government declared a 3-day public holiday from 17th to 19th March to prevent people gathering and to facilitate social distancing to contain the spread of Covid-19.

This applies to all government institutions apart from the health, food supply and transport sectors, as well as the provision of essential services, banks, Government Agents and District Secretariat offices.

It has requested the private sector to provide this holiday to its employees as well.

The decision to keep the market closed has been taken by the SEC in consultation with the CSE.

Speaking to us on Wednesday, Colombo Stockbrokers Association (CSBA) President Kosala Gamage said that a majority of the CSBA were in favour of keeping the CSE closed till Thursday in light of recent developments.

The 3-day public holiday was announced by the Government late Monday night amidst growing calls on social media for a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The market was closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday owing to the public holiday declared by the Government.

Regular trading at the CSE was halted for 30 minutes on three days last week after the S&P SL20 index, which includes the 20 largest companies by total market capitalisation listed on the CSE, fell by 5% on each day.

Global stock markets in US, Europe and Asia too have been battered by the global Covid-19 pandemic over the past few weeks.