Share market to reopen from next week

Published On: June 27, 2020 09:07 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Sebon’s board meeting scheduled for Sunday to decide modality and exact day for resumption of share trading  

KATHMANDU, June 27: The Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) is preparing to reopen the stock market from next week. According to a Sebon source, the apex regulatory body of the securities market is planning to reopen the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) — the sole stock market of the country — for trading from this week after a hiatus of one and a half months.

A board meeting of Sebon scheduled for Sunday will take a formal decision to reopen the stock market and finalize a modality of trading during the pandemic, said a source at Sebon.

“The board will take the formal decision on when the market will be reopened. We are making preparations to open the market next week, possibly from Tuesday,” said the source, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak about the plan publicly.

The market remains closed for nearly one and a half months due to the reluctance of Sebon citing containment measures introduced by the government to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Though Nepse was earlier reopened on May 12 after being closed for nearly one and a half months amid relaxation of the lockdown, the stock market was again shut after two trading days. There has been no trading of shares or securities from March 14. Following the instruction from the government, Sebon had told Nepse to close the secondary market during the lockdown until it issued another directive. 

The decision to close the stock market even after the relaxation of the lockdown has sparked criticism against Sebon.

Investors and analysts say that the closure of Nepse that is largely based on an automated online trading system risks eroding the credibility of the secondary market. 

Sebon has also been accused of closing the market at the behest of some investors who are worried about the possible stock market crash and loss of their stocks’ value.

When the market was opened for two trading days in May, Nepse benchmark index nosedived 49.9 points to close at 1,201.57 points.


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