Stocks drop as COVID-19 worries grow

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:20, Mar 16,2021


Dhaka stocks dropped on Tuesday as investors, unnerved by rising cases of COVID-19 infection in the country, went for selling shares.

DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, lost 0.29 per cent, or 16.56 points, to close at 5,516.4 points on Tuesday after gaining 13.81 points in the previous session.

After a rise at the beginning of Tuesday’s session, the DSEX moved downwards to close the session in the negative trajectory as a section of investors offloaded their holdings amid bearishness on the market, market operators said.

They said that the sudden rise in coronavirus cases in the country made investors worried.

The media reported that the number of COVID-19 cases rose by 67.27 per cent in the 53rd week ending on Saturday as the coronavirus situation has taken a serious turn in recent days in the country.

EBL Securities in its daily market commentary said, ‘Dhaka stocks failed to stay afloat after a short-lived uptrend vibe and the equity indices slumped in red terrain as the investors adopted a careful approach owing to worries over rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.’

The market has been in the doldrums for the last three months due to a host of reasons, including the setting of the margin loan rate ceiling by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, approval of initial public offerings of a number of companies within a short period of time and repeated changes made in policies by the regulator.

Share prices of power companies continued falling as the media reported that the government decided to shut down all the existing rental and quick rental power plants within three years.

Average share prices of non-bank financial institution, general insurance and energy sectors dropped by 1.6 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

Share prices of the bank sector advanced on the day following the news that Bangladesh Bank would consider increasing the ceiling on dividend by the listed banks by 5 per cent to 35 per cent.

The turnover on the DSE inched up to Tk 698.00 crore on Tuesday from Tk 623.04 crore in the previous session.

Share prices of as many as 90 companies remained stuck in their floor prices that became a heavy drag on the market.

The BSEC on March 19, 2020 introduced the floor price system to bar companies’ share prices from falling below a certain level amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Of the 359 scrips traded on the DSE on Tuesday, 106 advanced, 143 declined and 114 remained unchanged.

DS30, a composition of 30 large capitalised companies, also slumped by 0.81 per cent, or 17.31 points, to close at 2,111.86 points on Tuesday.

Shariah index DSES shed 0.11 per cent, or 1.44 points, to settle at 1,261.65 points.

BEXIMCO led the turnover chart with shares worth Tk 73.63 crore changing hands on Tuesday.

Robi, LankaBangla Finance, GBB Power, LafargeHolcim Bangladesh, Bangladesh Submarine Cables Company, Summit Power, British American Tobacco Company, Lub-rref Bangladesh and Beacon Pharmaceuticals were the other turnover leaders on the day.

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