The Colombo share market was down on Friday amidst panic selling when retailers as well as institutional investors cashed in on their investments with brokers saying that mafia was allegedly selling with the latest developments in the capital market.
This came on the back of Nalaka Godahewa, the controversial chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally stepping down on Friday, afterdefiantly staying on and refusing to budge.
Expectations were running high that Thilak Karunaratne, who left as chairman of the SEC under pressure some years ago, was being recalled to the position, they added.
Maithripala Sirisena’s government is yet to show results in terms of the reforms it was to carry out and to fight corruption with analysts saying that today’s selling may have been by the stock market mafia who were at a last ditch attempt to get their remaining cash out as Mr. Karunaratne’s impending appointment to the SEC may have shaken them. “Traders are always wary of a new regulator being appointed and most are in anticipation of a new chairman at the SEC,” a broker said.
Institutional interest was seen on Banking sector counters with retail interest in low valued counters towards market’s close.
The core ASPI recorded a marginal0.72 per cent to close at 7,276.63 while the S&P SL20 index decreased 0.6 per cent to close at 4,078.89. The turnover was at Rs 987.3 million.