Allow listed companies to disburse dividends during holidays

BMBA urges BSEC

Staff Correspondent | Published: 21:43, Apr 24,2020

 
 

The Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association has urged the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to instruct companies to credit all the dividends they declared to the respective bank accounts of investors after holding annual general meetings considering the coronavirus shutdown.

The association also urged the commission to allow the listed companies to prepare March and June ending quarterly reports together.

The submission of the January-March quarterly report might be exempted considering the situation, the association suggested.

On April 18, the BMBA sent a letter to the stock market regulator, seeking a waiver for the listed companies from complying with certain rules amid the general holidays and lockdowns announced by the government to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

BMBA president Sayedur Rahman told New Age that the association placed the issue before the regulator as the companies were confused about how the declared dividends could be disbursed among investors as they could not recognise record dates due to a trading suspension on the stock exchanges.

The companies which declared dividends should credit the dividends directly to the respective beneficiary owners’ accounts or bank accounts of shareholders within 15 days from holding an AGM date, he said.

Besides, offices have been remained closed due to the general holidays and it is quite tough for the companies and market intermediaries to prepare quarterly reports during the period.

So, the commission should give them a waiver from complying with the related rules, Sayedur said.

The government-declared general holidays began on March 29 and will continue until May 5 for minimising the risk of coronavirus contagion in the country.

The BMBA also said that few companies had already declared dividends for the year ended in December, 2019 and some record dates might fall on the general holidays.

In this situation, the companies may continue declaring the record dates and dividends, regardless of holidays.

In the process, the investors would be able to get some cash in this hardship, the BMBA said in its letter.

Under these circumstances, the BMBA urged the commission to exempt the capital market intermediaries including merchant banks, brokerage houses and asset management companies from submitting monthly reports for April, May and June this year.

The requirement of submission of quarterly reports by the intermediaries to the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit should also be relinquished, the letter said.

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