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Stock shock

Sep 19, 2011 3:32:09 PM - www.ft.lk
  • CSE cancels full day trading on technical glitch but regains position as Asia’s best
  • Irate brokers fault bourse
  • Trading to resume today

In an eventful day, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) for the first time ever cancelled trading yesterday over a technical glitch, but regained its position as the best bourse in Asia. 

CSE cancelled trading for the entire day due to a technical glitch that saw the stock market close minutes after trading opened in the morning.
Cancelling trading at the CSE is unprecedented, brokers pointed out to Daily FT, recalling that even the World Trade Centre (WTC) bombing by the LTTE in 1997 did not stop the bourse.
Nonetheless Reuters reported that CSE regained Asia’s best position with a return of 3.54 percent on the year, after Indonesia fell with most Asian markets on global concerns after a weekend meeting to solve the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis ended without progress.  Yet local brokers were incensed over the failure and blamed the administration of the CSE for the system failure.  The CSE in a posting on its website noted that trading was halted because of a hardware failure in the automated trading system.
“The database servers had been affected shortly after the open auction. All orders entered and trades executed are declared invalid. The systems recovery is taking much longer than expected, hence we regret to inform you that trading will not take place today,” it said.
However, a broker speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “The CSE has never been known to halt trading for a day. We need to know what the problem was; the investors and other stakeholders need to know what happened.”

“All our clients are screaming that they couldn’t trade. There was a huge backlash and there wasn’t any proper feedback from the CSE,” he remarked, adding, “Even after the World Trade Centre was bombed, there was trading. Clients who wanted to sell and recover funds and others who wanted to sell were just left in limbo.”
Industry sources stated that a new Chief Information Officer had been appointed over existing personnel, leading to miscommunication and limited information disseminating from the CSE. For several hours after the trading stopped, it was unclear as to what had gone wrong and how soon it would be fixed.
“We hope to be back in operation tomorrow,” Investor Relations and Branch Operations Assistant Manager Nishantha Batagalle emphasised when contacted.
Sri Lanka’s rupee currency ended steady at 110.09/10 a dollar as a State bank, through which the Central Bank directs the market, sold dollars at 110.10 amid slight importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.

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