GP clarification and New Age reply

Updated at 12:28am on August 21, 2018

Mobile operator Grameenphone has issued a clarification on a report headlined ‘Stocks soar as financial scrips, GP rally’ published in the August 17 issue of New Age.
In a statement, sent by GP communications head Sayed Talat Kamal, the company said that in the report it had been stated that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had estimated that GP’s monthly revenue would increase by
54.93 per cent rising from Tk 398.26 crore to Tk 617.04 crore, as a consequence of the recently introduced uniform minimum call rate at Tk 0.45 per minute.
‘We are particularly surprised that this clearly unsubstantiated and rather fluid assessment has been attributed to our respected regulator. You have not mentioned details of any BTRC official who supposedly made such a statement,’ it said.
It said as GP is a listed company with the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges, publication of any market speculation has an impact on the stock price and investor behaviour. ‘We fear that publication of such speculative information not only distorts the dynamic market conditions but also misleads our current 30,000 shareholders. It may also result in unusual movements, which will hamper the present and potential investor confidence on the scrip as well as the overall stock market stability,’ it said.
‘Therefore, we strongly protest this type of publication and will bear no responsibility for the same,’ it said.
New Age reply:
The reference regarding the BTRC estimation of a rise in GP’s revenue in the New Age report published on August 17 was taken from another report headlined ‘NEW UNIFORM MINIMUM MOBILE CALL RATE OF TK 0.45: Govt facilitates Tk 387cr monthly prize for telcos as users pay more’ published in the August 16 issue of New Age. In the August 16 report it was clearly mentioned that the BTRC had made the estimation of revenue hike of three mobile companies. Telecom ministry officials said that the estimation was presented before a meeting with prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajib Wazed Joy on August 1. Ministry sources said that high officials of the mobile companies were also present at the meeting. New Age had obtained a copy of the BTRC estimation before running the August 16 report. The GP’s revenue estimation was made by the BTRC, not by New Age. New Age stands by its report.