KARACHI/LAHORE - Furious investors of the Karachi Stock Exchange, who had been enduring unprecedented losses over the last three months, resorted to violence on Thursday and damaged windows of trading hall, ransacked banks and brokerage houses, demanding suspension of trading activities in the stock market to avert further losses. Investors in Lahore and Islamabad held similar protests, burning tyres and blocking roads. There are speculations that over three dozen brokers of KSE are facing default due to unprecedented downslide at the stock market, being kept secret by the concerned authorities for fear of public wrath, said sources. The KSE index fell for 15th consecutive day, the worst losing streak in at least 18 years. Sources further revealed that principal brokers of the stock market were facing tough time due to sharp decline in the stock market and Thursday's protest was entirely designed by these elements, who instigated the partners and employees of the brokerage houses to launch a protest campaign in order to influence the KSE management and SECP to take steps in accordance with the wishes of core brokers. "Core brokers are constantly demanding the government institutions to pour enough money into the share markets to bring it out of the current crisis but on the other hand government institutions are claiming that they have already injected huge amounts and still investing but the core brokers have left the market one by one," sources said adding that it has been confirmed that three members of KSE have been defaulted but the KSE is not going to disclose their names. Karachi Stock Market is in the grip of severe bearish trend since the restoration of 5 per cent lower lock limit and KSE-100 index lost 1,482 points in four consecutive days while in the first half of the trading session on Thursday, the KSE-100 index dived by 449 points, which prompted investors to opt for protest. However, after touching the record high mark of 15,676 points on April 18, the KSE-100 index had lost 5,463 points by July 17, 2008. In the first half of trading session on Thursday, the investors suddenly turned violent as the bearish trends prevailed in the market and they started protest and broke the windows, ransacked the banks and brokerage houses and tried to stop the trading activities. As soon as the protest took its toll, renowned broker Aqeel Karim Dhedi personally intervened to calm down the angry investors and on his assurance, protesters agree to take up all concerning issues with the KSE management in order to defuse the current turmoil and bring stock market out of this crisis. The KSE management also called in Rangers and police to avert any untoward incident. The KSE -100 closed at 10,213 points on Thursday after losing 279 points. The management also restrained the activities of media persons and tried to keep them away from the scene in stock market but the protesters facilitated them to cover protest. Analysts attributed the current turmoil in the stock markets to the massive foreign outflow and deteriorating political, economical and law and order situations in the country. Keeping in view the current situation, KSE management has called an emergency meeting of its members to chalk out a strategy to provide relief to the investors. Meanwhile, dozens of Lahore Stock Exchange brokers staged a strong protest at Egerton Road to express their anger over continuous devaluation of their shares and resultant financial loss caused to them. The protesters blocked Egerton Road for traffic and burnt tyres. They were chanting slogans against government policies, which they believed, caused the stock market crash. More than 40 people took part in the demonstration outside the stock exchange. They alleged that they lost millions of rupees due to wrong policies of the government. The protesters also demanded temporary closure of Lahore Stock Exchange. Some of the angry protesters tried to break the windows of the stock exchange but police officials immediately intervened and stopped them by deploying police contingent in and outside the stock exchange building. A heavy contingent of police rushed to the spot to control the situation. The SHO Civil Lines police station said that the brokers staged a peaceful protest demonstration. They remained outside the LSE for half an hour and later police officials managed to disperse them after holding negotiations with them. No untoward incident took place, he said. Two people were injured during the protest which turned violent at the Karachi Stock Exchange. The police said they made no arrests and the situation was under control. Sikander Shaheen from Islamabad adds: An emergency meeting of the management of Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) was held under the chairmanship of Mian Muhammad Akram here on Thursday. Besides others, the meeting was also attended by Omer Iqbal Pasha, Syed Nooh Adnan and Rifaqat Ali Chaudhary. The participants expressed their deep concern over the continuous bearish trend in the market that has given rise to crises-like economic situation, which has eroded billions of rupees of small investors and brokers. The meeting said that the country was facing the worse kind of crises but the government had turned a deaf ear towards the situation. It is pertinent to note that the market index was recorded at 12221 points as on July 1, 2008 with Rs 3737 billion of market capitalisation. Thereafter, the index has witnessed an unprecedented decline to 10212 points, with a decrease of Rs 500 billion in the market capitalisation reduced to Rs 3200 billion registering a 16 per cent and 13 per cent decrease in the index and market capitalisation respectively since July 1, 2008. The participants of the meeting termed the present situation as alarming and urged the government to pay special focus on market with all possible corrective measures.