CSE seeks 1 year more for finding strategic partner

Chooses Dubai’s Asas Capital to form consortium

Mostafizur Rahman | Published: 00:05, Mar 07,2018 | Updated: 23:31, Mar 06,2018


The Chittagong Stock Exchange has requested the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to extend time for selecting a strategic partner by one year more as the port city bourse has so far failed to reach any agreement with any institution in this regard.
CSE managing director M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar told New Age that the bourse on Sunday sent a request letter to the commission after its board of directors decided on March 1 to seek an extension of the timeframe by one year for entering an agreement with a strategic partner as required by section 14 of exchanges’ demutualisation act, 2013.
Earlier, on November 29 last year, the BSEC extended the deadline to March 8 for both of the bourses of the country regarding execution of agreement with strategic investors.
The matter was placed before the commission on Tuesday and the regulator may give its decision at a commission meeting today, BSEC officials said.
The CSE has appointed Asas Capital Limited, a Dubai-based DFSA-regulated investment firm, to form a consortium to finalise the deal, said CSE officials.
The officials said that the selected firm offered to a number of institutions including Singapore Exchange, Gateway Partners Private Equity, SEDCO Capital, a Qatari institution, a Chinese consortium, Eagle Investments, Indian Financial Services, Gulf Islamic Investment, Canaccord Genuity and a Hong Kong-based institution and the firms showed their interest to be part of the consortium.
About the Asas Capital’s investment plan, the CSE managing director said that the firm did not provide any specific idea about what would be its investment in the 25 per cent stake of the CSE kept reserved for a strategic partner.
Moreover, a Hong Kong-based financial institution APH Finance agreed to take 7.5-10 per cent of the stake and submitted a letter of intent in this regard.
National Stock Exchange of India is also reviewing the offer made by the bourse directly and also through the Asas Capital, said the officials.
‘We spent 7-8 months in pursuing the Shanghai Stock Exchange, China and
the bourse had initially agreed to take the CSE stake. Now, the bourse has backtracked on its previous position as it is participating in a consortium led by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange to buy the Dhaka Stock Exchange’s strategic partnership stake,’ a senior CSE official said.
Shaifur, however, said that the SSE would give its final decision after the DSE’s share sales to the consortium got a direction.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange is also reviewing the bourse’s offer, CSE officials said.
The DSE’s share sales to a strategic partner have hit snags as the DSE and the BSEC are at loggerheads over selecting the strategic partner of the country’s premier bourse, DSE sources said. 

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