Tuesday, 1 February 2011

* Sri Lanka stock website shuts after regulator warning

A Sri Lanka stock investment website has closed after warnings against misleading investors by the capital markets regulator, whose officials said they were cracking down on such sites.

An official at the Securities and Exchange Commission said they warned the people operating the website, saying misleading advice that influence share prices could violate SEC regulations.

The operator of the site, investnow.lk, decided to close last week after the warning by the regulator.

A notice posted on the website said it was "temporarily suspending" the forum in order to "rework" its strategy and create a "professional entity that will continue to help investors navigate the great depths of the market and act to be a credible guide with the help of you all, the community."

It said it would act in a manner that "best serves the community . . . and be free from manipulative control through education and creating awareness."

The site offered to refund members for any services paid for that are still valid.

The SEC official said they were also monitoring other websites that offer advice on investing in the stock market which has been on a bull run since the island's 30-year ethnic war ended in 2009.

The SEC was also investigating stock brokers believed to be behind some of the websites that offer advice to investors, he said.

The Colombo bourse was Asia's second-best performing market last year

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