Hasina meets policymakers at PMO to prop up stock market

  • Abdur Rahim Harmachi, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-01-16 20:25:33 BdST

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has met capital market policymakers to discuss ways to pull the stocks out of a slump, a day after an MP called in parliament for her intervention.

Khairul Hossain, the chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, and government policymakers attended the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka on Thursday afternoon, BSEC spokesman Saiful Islam told bdnews24.com.

They discussed both short- and long-term measures to bring “dynamism to the market”, the BSEC said in a statement. 

Hasina ordered the relevant authorities to implement a number of short-term measures without delay.

These include ensuring more involvement of the banks and financial institutions in the stock market, arranging loans on easy terms for merchant bankers and institutional investors, and increasing investment capabilities of the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh.

The other measures agreed in the meeting are: bolstering efforts to attract foreign investors and create their confidence in the local market, increasing institutional investments, and enlisting profitable multinational and government companies on the market for raising the number of quality IPOs.      

“The high level of the government will take proper measures,” the statement says.

Steps will also be taken to resolve the long-term issues after identifying them, it added.

File Photo: A group of investors demonstrate outside the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Motijheel on Tuesday when the DSEX dropped below the base value.

File Photo: A group of investors demonstrate outside the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Motijheel on Tuesday when the DSEX dropped below the base value.

Meanwhile, the chairmen, CEOs and managing directors of the four state-owned commercial banks discussed and gave “favourable” views on increasing investment in the capital market.

They instructed the officials to take necessary steps for that purpose in the meeting, part of their regular activities, at the Sonali Bank, according to another statement.

The main index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange gained 82 points or around 2 percent to 4,150 on Thursday after Kazi Firoz Rashid raised the capital market issue in parliament on Wednesday. He urged Hasina to intervene and save the market from the worst slump that has hit it in a decade.

The situation in the market has forced small investors on to the street. They defied police obstacles to demonstrate outside the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Motijheel on Tuesday when the main index dropped below the base value.

The premier bourse saw Tk 1 trillion wiped off its market capital in a year while Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E Ratio has hit the worst level.