BSEC grills Commerce Bank Securities top brass over share ‘price rigging’

Prices of Monno Jute cross Tk 5,200

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:33, Nov 12,2018 | Updated: 00:23, Nov 13,2018

 
 

Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday grilled top brass of Commerce Bank Securities and Investment, a brokerage firm, over allegation of price rigging of shares of seven listed companies.
BSEC found that Commerce Bank Securities conducted in favour of its clients and related parties a number of unusual transactions involving securities of Monno Ceramics, Monno Jute Stafflers, Legacy Footwear, BD Autocars, Queen South Textile Mills, Alif Industries and Eastern Lubricants.
On June 21, BSEC formed an investigation committee to probe suspicious share transactions conducted at Commerce Bank Securities following abnormal price hike of shares of a number of companies.
Commerce Bank Securities and Investment chief executive officer MA Motalib Chowdhury, company secretary Salim Hasan and its vice-president Abdul Halim, and representatives of clients appeared before the disciplinary hearing at the commission.
The brokerage house’s vice-president Mohammad Saiful Islam, who was suspected of being involved in the price manipulation, also appeared before the BSEC hearing.
Contacted, Saiful declined to speak about the issue.
Motalib on Monday told New Age that the brokerage house followed securities rules in investing in the companies’ shares.
‘Our clients bought shares of the seven companies on their own wish that might have raised the share prices of those companies,’ he said.
He also said that they did not buy significant amounts of shares using their own portfolios.
BSEC commissioner Khondoker Kamaluzzaman and enforcement department head and executive director Ruksana Chowdhury conducted the hearing.
The share prices of Monno Jute Stafflers soared by 5 per cent to Tk 5,234.4 on Monday, reflecting the failure of BSEC’s moves to check the abnormal surge in the company’s share prices.
BSEC on August 16 suspended trading of the shares of Monno Jute Stafflers, BD Autocars and Legacy Footwear following unusual and astronomical hike in the prices of their shares.
The share prices of Monno Stafflers shot by Tk 600 after lifting the suspension order on October 17 despite the company’s shares being traded at the spot market. BD Auto and Legacy have also been trading at the spot market.
The share prices of most of the seven companies remained high in recent months despite BSEC’s several initiatives to rein in the abnormal surges.

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