Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday it will ease a margin trading ban for stock investors after complaints from brokers, helping send the share index more than 3 per cent higher. The island nation’s regulator had earlier directed all brokers to phase out margin trading by end of this year, a change which has hit trading volumes and which brokers blame for cooling business and prices on the bourse. “The SEC reviewed the restriction imposed on stock brokers in extending credit to investors and has decided to relax the said restrictions subject to certain prudential requirements being met by licensed stock brokers, in order to facilitate retail investors to have access to credit,” the regulator said in a statement.Speculation of SEC relaxing credit restriction lifted the CSE All-Share index by 3.1 per cent to a near two-month high. “It’s a positive move. As long as we can manage our capital, we can lend,” Prashan Fernando, the Chief Operating Officer at Acuity Stockbrokers told Reuters. Retail investors account for around 60-70 per cent of the bourse’s volume and 15 per cent of its value, stock brokers said.
From / Gulf Today