March 17, 2020 – The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) announces it is shutting down trading starting today, March 17, 2020 until further notice, reports various news outlets. A report from Bloomberg said the PSE chief Ramon Monzon intends to reopen on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
The announcement is in line with the government order regarding the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon with the intention to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. PSE said shutting down is to ensure its employees and traders’ safety.
News site Bloomberg said the Philippines is the first country to shut financial markets because of the pandemic. Bourses around the world had either closed trading floors or paused trading, but not a blanket market halt like that of the PSE, reports Reuters. The news outlet also said that while the closure is done for health reasons, it raises the prospect that other exchanges may follow.
Under the Enhanced Community Quarantine, mass transportation is suspended, including trains, jeepneys, buses, taxis, etc. Everyone must stay at home and must leave the house only to buy food, medicine, and other necessities. Only 1 person from the household can go outside. Only establishments like food and medicine are open. Businesses are asked to tone down or stop operations.
PSE is targeting to re-open on Thursday, said PSE Chief Ramon Monzon on Bloomberg TV.
In 2001 after the September 11 Attacks, the US closed the Stock Market for a week.
Other countries, like South Korea and Indonesia said they have no plans to halt trading.
This article is published on BitPinas: Philippines Shuts Financial Market Amidst Enhanced Community Quarantine