Confusion surfaces over DESCO share offloading

HM Murtuza | Published: 23:55, Nov 20,2016

 
 

Confusion surfaced over offloading another 10 per cent shares of Dhaka Electric Supply Company to the capital market as the officials of the entity denied any such final decision.
A Dhaka Stock Exchange web-post on November 6 said that the BPDB, the major shareholder of DESCO, as per the government order will offload 10 per cent shares of DESCO from its possession to the capital market.
‘Although a government decision is in place to offload DESCO shares, the board, however, is yet to finalise any decision in this regard,’ DESCO managing director Md Shahid Sarwar told New Age on Sunday.
‘I came to know about the issue based on newspaper reports, but do not know how the announcement came,’ he said.
State minister for power Nasrul Hamid Bipu earlier after the announcement also told New Age that even he did not know anything about any such announcement.
A BPDB official told New Age last week that the BPDB’s share offloading-related information was not correct, it was a mistake made by DESCO officials.
Another official of ICB Securities Trading Company Limited, which deals with government shares, said that they were yet to get any such share offloading related information to BPDB.
He, however, following the DESCO’s announcement communicated with BPDB and they informed him that the information was incorrect.
Although the information was incorrect, neither DESCO nor BPDB is yet to give any correction in this regard even after 15 days of the announcement.
Following the announcement, prices of DESCO shares declined to Tk 48.20 on Sunday from that of Tk 53.40 on November 6 as investors were in fear that the price of the scrip may decline significantly when around 2.93 crore new shares will come in the market.
DSE managing director told New Age on Sunday that he was yet to get any information whether DESCO provided any correction or not.
Officials of the bourse said that providing misleading information is a serious offence under the securities rules as it may cause financial losses for the investors.
According to the shareholding pattern of DESCO, BPDB holds 73.72 per cent or 29,31,04,259 shares out of DESCO’s 39,75,69,804 shares, while institutional investors hold 17.69 per cent, foreign investors 0.57 per cent and retail investors 6.74 per cent.
An official of Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, which deals with the shares of SoEs, said the decision of offloading more shares of a number of SoEs, including DESCO, had been taken in 2011.
But the government could not offload the shares because of persistent dull situation in the market following the crash in 2011 and lack of enthusiasm among the companies.
Government’s instruction was to float shares within June 30 this year, the official said.
DESCO, a Tk 397.56-crore entity, was enlisted with the stock exchanges in 2006 floating its 25 per cent shares.

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