Against the backdrop of market volatility last week, which at one point led to the suspension of trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Friday last, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met representatives of the Colombo Share Market Brokers' Association.

Soon after the opening on November 25, the Milanka Price Index dropped over 5 per cent from the previous close, prompting the CSE to suspend trading for 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. At the end of the day, the index closed 1.04 per cent down, following an error in a trade that led to panic selling, the CSE said.

While a large part of the discussions between the government and the representatives was kept under wraps, the Presidential Media said that the “President pointed out the need to attract not only local investors but also foreign investors to the share market and said that the present day, with 8 per cent economic development rate is the most appropriate time for this purpose. The representatives of the association who participated in the discussion said that increased benefits could be achieved from the share market after the eradication of terrorism.

One market source said that the brokers had demanded that some regulations be relaxed to make sure events of last week did not recur. Riding on the optimism of the meeting, the all share price index rose a little over 3.6 per cent at close on Monday.