Stock market to reopen early June: new BSEC chairman

Staff Correspondent | Published at 10:16pm on May 22, 2020

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Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam

Trading on the country’s stock market would resume in the first week of June for the sake of the investors, said Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, new chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission.

‘Trading on the market should resume as soon as possible and we would reopen it in the first week of next month,’ Shibli told New Age on Friday.

The government announced general holidays from March 29 and extended it in phases till May 30 to combat the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Share trading on the country’s stock exchanges — Dhaka Stock Exchange and Chittagong Stock Exchange — has remained suspended since the start of the general holidays.

Shibli joined the BSEC as chairman on May 17 for the next four years after the commission’s previous chairman M Khairul Hosssain completed his tenure.

Shibli said, ‘Stock markets were not shut in the other countries in the world, so we should not keep our market closed for any more time.’

Many investors are deeply related with the capital market, and prolonged closure of trading might hamper their interest, the new BSEC chairman said.

He said that he hoped the government would extend support in making any decision on the issue.

Asked about the waivers demanded by the stock exchange to make the trading happen on the market amid the general holidays, he said that they would discuss the matter with the stock exchange soon after Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.

Eid-ul-Fitr, one of biggest religious festivals for the Muslims, will be celebrated in the country on May 24 or May 25.

Earlier on April 30, the board of directors of DSE had agreed in principle to resume trading on the bourse from May 10 and sought exemptions from having to comply with various rules.

The market regulator, BSEC, was unable to make a decision in this regard for a quorum crisis after the tenure of two commissioners Helal Uddin Nizami and Swapan Kumar Bala finished on May 4 and April 16 respectively.

Shibli also said that the BSEC would observe the market trend for a few days once trading resumed before lifting the floor prices it imposed to restrict market downfall.

The stock prices had slumped before the market went into closure.

The new BSEC chairman said that the commission was in talks to form a coordination committee with the officials of the capital market-related regulators including BSEC, National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Bank and stock exchanges to expedite policy implementation.

He said that a decision made by only one regulator might harm the others if there was no coordination among them.

Shibli also said that there were some proposals for initial public offerings pending with the commission and the commission would allow listing of financially strong companies only.

Market operators said that many investors expressed their annoyance over the market closure and had been pressing for early resumption of trading.

Investors including the foreign ones could not liquidate investments for necessary fund withdrawal, they said.

They said that foreign funds might have lost interest in the market due to the prolonged wait.

The closure of the market for such a long period might put many foreigners off the market, they added.