The Chittagong Stock Exchange yesterday urged the regulator to introduce merit-based initial public offering (IPO), as weak companies can enter the market through the existing disclosure-based method.
Merit-based IPO means the company will receive regulatory approval after physical verification of the statements submitted.
The IPO process at present is on a disclosure basis, meaning the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission only examines the statements submitted by a company.
“No physical verification is done before approving an IPO and so, internal inconsistency of a company cannot be found,” said Muhammad Abdul Mazid, chairman of the port city bourse.
He cited the case of China, where approvals for IPO are given on merit. “If this system is introduced in our country, only good companies will come in the market and the investors will be benefited.”
Mazid's comments came at a press conference at the bourse's Dhaka office, organised in line with its plan to hold regular briefings on every first and third Monday of each month.
The CSE chairman's proposal comes a few days after a controversial listing of a textile manufacturing company which masked market-sensitive information about its directors in the IPO prospectus.
Emphasising modification in the present listing regulations, he said the bourse will send a proposal with recommendations to the BSEC.
Referring to the central bank notice which directed banks to adjust their stockmarket exposure to 25 percent of their capital base by 2016, he said the instruction was a major factor behind the poor turnover in stockmarket in recent times.
About the latest monetary policy statement, he said the central bank has focused on the development of capital market.
BB is going to take supportive measures for stability in the capital market through intensive coordination with and assistance to the securities regulator.
It would continue to collaborate with the BSEC through regular coordination meetings regarding capital market stability and development issues, according to Mazid.
The budgetary announcement of capital gain tax slapped on individuals created a negative impact on the market, but its subsequent withdrawal brought back the investors' confidence, according to the CSE chairman.
The 2.5 percent corporate tax cut for non-listed companies and none for listed ones in this year's budget will de-motivate the non-listed companies to come into IPO and frustrate the existing listed ones, he said.
Citing the rescheduled share credit ratio, Mazid said it has reduced the availability of liquidity in the market. From July, margin loan has been re-fixed at 1:0.5 from the previous 1:2. The new ratio means an investor will get Tk 0.5 as credit against Tk 1.
The CSE chairman said the bourse has submitted a proposal to the stockmarket regulator to set up a separate platform for the listing of small and medium enterprises, growth and low capital companies.
The bourse also proposed to bring changes in the existing market maker regulation to make it realistic and functional for increasing market depth and liquidity especially in the CSE. “The proposal has already been sent to the BSEC for approval.”
Mazid said they are also working together with NSE India to introduce CSE IPO index, shariah index and CSE benchmark index. “After getting the approval of the regulator, we are expecting to launch these three indices by mid-September.”
He said the price discovery in the secondary market is determined by the supply and demand. While the BSEC and the stock exchanges enforce compliance and rules and regulations in the secondary market, market swings depend on the behaviour of investors.
“Recent market behaviour shows that many investors have now become day-traders. We need mid- and long-term investors in our market and for this, investors' education is mandatory.”