The Dhaka Stock Exchange board at a meeting today is likely to reconfirm its selection of a Chinese consortium for selling 25 per cent of its stake unless the government intervenes, DSE sources said.
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has been pressurising the DSE to select the second-highest bidder, India’s National Stock Exchange-led group, they said.
DSE shareholder director Rakibur Rahman said, ‘There is no way to back down from our earlier position and we expect that the commission will protect the interest of our members and investors.’
The DSE board on February 6 approved the offer submitted by the consortium of Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange to sell the stake to make it the bourse’s strategic partner.
Rakibur also said that a group was trying to foil the overall process and their prolonged efforts by suggesting a division of the shares between the two consortiums that could not be happened.
Since the DSE made its decision, ‘irrational’ pressure from the regulator intensified and the commission summoned DSE chairman Abul Hasem and managing director KAM Majedur Rahman to woo them in favour of the India’s bidder, said a DSE member.
‘There is no legal ground as the BSEC is verbally putting pressure on the DSE to select the NSE-led consortium,’ the member said.
On February 14, BSEC chairman M Khairul Islam told reporters that they
were trying to engage both consortiums to protect the interest of the DSE members and investors.
The SSE-SZSE consortium became the top bidder quoting Tk 22 a share for DSE’s 45.09 crore shares while the consortium led by Strategic Investment Corporation Limited, a subsidiary company of India’s National Stock Exchange, quoted Tk 15 a share.
Apart from the price offer, the Chinese consortium offered free technical support worth $37 million for 10 years while the NSE-led consortium avoid the issue saying a mutual agreement between the NSE and the DSE was needed to provide them the technological services.
The NSE-led bidder bluffed the regulator by using the name of Nasdaq of the USA in its group as the DSE says ‘Nasdaq will not be investing in the DSE.’
Meanwhile, Transparency International Bangladesh on Friday raised concern following media reports on subsequent move by the regulatory body to select the second-highest bidder as strategic partner of the country’s premier bourse.
In a statement, the TIB said the selection of the second-highest bidder instead of the highest one without showing any valid reason would trigger questions about the sale process both at home and abroad.
TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said that the BSEC’s unethical intervention, in collusion with and being influenced by the bidder, was unexpected.
‘The regulatory pressure and lobbing in favour of the low bidder is unprecedented and against the law,’ he said.
The TIB also asked to blacklist the Indian bidder as they were lobbying and pressing to win the deal despite the losing in the bid.
On the other hand, the BSEC on Saturday rejected the TIB criticisms terming those ‘baseless’. In a statement, the commission said that it was unexpected from the TIB to react only on the basis of the media reports and without any proof.
It also said that the commission was yet to get any proposal from the DSE to analyse the offers. ‘How did TIB know that BSEC putting illegal pressure on the DSE board?’ it asked.
On February 11, the NSE chief executive officer Vikram Limaye visited Bangladesh and lobbied the government, DSE and BSEC for the NSE-led consortium.
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