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Bourse announces new trading suspension policy on brink of bear market

Bourse announces new trading suspension policy on brink of bear market Signage is displayed inside the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in Jakarta, Indonesia, in April 2019. (Bloomberg/Dimas Ardian)
News Desk
Jakarta   ●   Wed, March 11, 2020 2020-03-11 10:25 427 7f440ff09e92db75a02bbad2069ca475 1 Business jakarta-composite-index,JCI,Indonesia-Stock-Exchange,IDX,trading-halt,COVID-19,coronavirus,oil-price Free

The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) has announced a new trading suspension policy amid a volatile domestic equity market following the spread of the coronavirus and the ensuing oil price war.

In the policy, made public on Tuesday evening, the bourse will halt stock trading for 30 minutes if the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), falls by more than 5 percent. If the index keeps falling to more than 10 percent after the first suspension is lifted, the bourse will halt trading for another 30 minutes.

Trading will be stopped for the whole session if the JCI continues to plunge deeper than 15 percent. The suspension can last for more than one day with approval or upon instruction from the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

Read also: Indonesian bourse caps stock drops at 10% as equities start to rebound after bruising day

“In order to maintain orderly, fair and efficient stock trading, it is deemed necessary to change trading halt guidelines on the Indonesia Stock Exchange,” the bourse's statement reads.

Under a 2012 IDX board of directors decree, the bourse can halt stock trading in an emergency situation, such as a natural disaster, political emergency, technological and infrastructure disruptions as well as steep declines in the JCI.

The decree stipulates that if the index plunges 10 percent, the bourse will halt trading for 30 minutes. If the decline continues to 15 percent after the first suspension, the IDX will stop trading for an entire session or longer with approval from the Indonesian Capital Market and Nonbank Financial Institutions Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK), now the OJK.

The JCI has lost 17.12 percent of its value so far this year, with foreign investors selling Rp 7.12 trillion worth of stocks more than they bought during the period. The index crashed 6.58 percent to a three-year-low on Monday amid fears over the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing oil price war between oil titans Saudi Arabia and Russia.

It now tiptoes on the brink of a bear market as the index has fallen almost 21 percent from its record high in January 2018.

The JCI closed Tuesday’s session with a 1.64 percent jump on Tuesday and opened 0.54 percent higher at 5.249.27 on Wednesday. Stocks of state-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) and Bank Mandiri jumped by more than 1 percent in the early session.

Read also: Panic selling hits Indonesia, Philippine stocks set for bear run

The issuance of the new policy is part of a series of efforts to calm the market. On Monday, the IDX issued a new auto-rejection regulation that capped stock prices falling to a maximum of 10 percent for stocks at all price ranges from a variation of 20 percent to 35 percent depending on the price range. The policy came into force on Tuesday.

The bourse also decided to temporarily halt short selling on Monday until further notice to help anchor the index. It stops publishing the list of stocks available for short selling and advises brokerage firms to refuse short sell requests from their clients.

Short selling is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in the price of a particular stock or other security. It is often used by investors and portfolio managers as a hedge against the downside risk of a long position in the same security or a related one.

On Monday evening, the OJK also announced it would allow listed companies to buy back shares up to 20 percent of paid-up capital without a prior shareholders meeting to ease market volatility. 

“This is as an effort to stimulate the economy and reduce the impact of the significantly fluctuating market,” the OJK said in a statement.

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry spokesperson Arya Sinulingga told reporters on Tuesday that a total of 12 state-owned companies would buy back shares worth around Rp 7 trillion to Rp 8 trillion. 

“A few state-owned enterprises believe that their fundamental value exceeds the transaction value in the market,” Arya explained, adding that the buyback had started. (ydp)