Stocks trading resumes on high note as pharma scrips shine

Published: 21:46, May 31,2020


Dhaka stocks on Sunday surged after trading resumed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange after a long recess as the share prices of some large capitalised companies, especially pharmaceutical ones, soared while the regulator-enforced floor price system kept the share prices of most other companies unchanged.

The DSE and the country’s another bourse Chittagong Stock Exchange had remained closed since March 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced general holidays.

On Sunday, DSEX, the key index of the DSE, advanced by 1.30 per cent, or 52.15 points, to close at 4,060.44 points. The index had gained 31.71 points in the previous session on March 25.

Market operators said that the market gained due mainly to the surge in share prices of some large capitalised companies especially those from the pharmaceutical sector.

A section of institutional investors went for buying shares of some companies at low prices as the share prices of the firms could not fall further due to the imposition of the floor prices.

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on March 19 set the lowest prices for all equities to save the market from free fall in the aftermath of COVID-19 spread in the country.

Due to the restriction, the share prices of around two-thirds of the traded companies remained unchanged as investors could not sell shares.

The overall market scenario was gloomy as investors were concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy and their incomes.

The deadly virus has so far infected 47,153 people and killed 650 people across the country.

DSE director Shakil Rizvi told New Age that the share price restriction should be lifted as soon as possible as many investors could not buy or sell shares that reduced liquidity flow on the market.

The turnover on the bourse on Sunday was very low due mainly to the price restriction, he said.

The turnover on the DSE dropped to Tk 143.29 crore on Sunday compared with that of Tk 348.13 crore in the previous trading session.

The market gained as the share prices of some large capitalised companies including Square Pharmaceuticals, Beximco Pharma, Grameenphone and BEXIMCO surged as investors considered the shares were undervalued, Shakil said.

Market analysts said that there was a notion among investors that the pharmaceutical companies would make huge profits in the pandemic time as the sales of their products including medicines and hygienic products surged dramatically.

Of the top 10 gainers and the top 10 turnover leaders on the day, 80 per cent are from the pharmaceutical sector.

Some of the investors hoped that the restructuring of the BSEC with the appointment of new chairman professor Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam and two other commissioners would bring stability to the capital market ensuring good governance.

Shibli will meet Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir today to discuss about the capital market development.

Share prices of Grameenphone shot up by 8 per cent as the company declared 25.9 per cent profit growth in the January-March period compared with that in the same period of the previous year.

Of the 356 scrips traded on the bourse on Sunday, 68 declined, 60 advanced and 195 remained unchanged.

The average share prices of telecommunication sector advanced by 6.8 per cent, pharma 5.5 per cent and energy 0.5 per cent.

DSE blue-chip index DS30 jumped by 2.59 per cent, or 34.53 points, to close at 1,365.37 points on Sunday.

Shariah index DSES also gained 3.35 per cent, or 30.91 points, to end at 951.6 points.

Square Pharmaceuticals led the turnover chart with shares worth Tk 8.24 crore changing hands on the day.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Grameenphone, Orion Pharmaceuticals, Bangladesh Export Import Company, Silva Pharmaceuticals, Central Pharmaceuticals, Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals, ReckittBenkiser and Monno Ceramics were the other turnover leaders.

BEXIMCO gained the most on the day with a 10-per cent increase in its share prices while AB Bank performed the worst, shedding 10 per cent.

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