Steps to prop up stockmarket | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 17, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 17, 2011

Steps to prop up stockmarket

PM asks SEC to find ways to compensate investors; govt won't question source of undisclosed money invested in stocks

Agitating stock investors register continuous protest in front of the Dhaka Stock Exchange building at Motijheel in the city in view of the volatile situation of the share market. The photo was taken yesterday. Photo: STAR

The government took long- and short-term steps to stabilise the stockmarket and compensate those who lost money to downswings, a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said yesterday.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held an emergency meeting at Gono Bhaban with the SEC and other stakeholders over the troubled market.
A detailed plan will come out in a day or two on how to prop up the market, Arif Khan, member of the SEC, told reporters after the meeting that continued for four hours to 11.30pm. The meeting discussed more than 50 issues tied to the stockmarket.
At the meeting, it was decided that no government agency will question the source of undisclosed money to be invested in stocks, Khan said.
Also, commercial banks agreed to increase new investments in stocks, Khan said.
The SEC member also mentioned some measures previously taken by the government to help the market return from deep losses. One of the measures was that the government cut advanced income tax on brokerage commission to 0.05 percent from 0.10 percent.
In another decision, the government had withdrawn 10 percent tax on income from mutual funds.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Local Government Minister Syed Ashraful Islam and Prime Minister's Adviser HT Imam were also present at yesterday's meeting.
The key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange surged to its steepest gain yesterday in more than eight months, after SEC Chairman M Khairul Hossain announced the meeting with Hasina.
The DGEN shrugged off a three-day downward trend and closed at 4,987 points, after gaining 338 points for the day.
The gauge lost 11 percent in the past three sessions, closing yesterday at its lowest since January 4, 2010.
Yesterday's spurt cut the DSE General Index's losses this year to 40 percent. The gauge is set for its worst annual drop since a 67 percent plunge in 1997.
Meanwhile, police warned agitating stock investors against excesses in the name of protests over the market fall.
The warning came after four leaders of Bangladesh Capital Market Investors Unity Council were called in to the Police Headquarters around 2:00pm by Additional Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque. A number of top police officials were present there.

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