Eight gas companies may offload shares
Petrobangla is working to list eight of its gas distribution companies in the stock market, in a development that is set to bring some cheer to investors.
Infrastructure Investment Facilitation Company (IIFC), a consultancy firm, and Roots Investment, a private merchant bank, have been enlisted to conduct a feasibility study on the listing of the eight companies.
The companies are: Gas Transmission, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution, Bakhrabad Gas Distribution, Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution Systems, Paschimanchal Gas, Bangladesh Gas Field, Sylhet Gas Fields and Rupantarita Prakritic Gas.
Of these, Titas Gas has already been listed in the market back in 2008 but a further 10 percent shares will now be offloaded.
IIFC and Roots Investment have met with officials of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE).
The feasibility study will be wrapped up by the middle of June, said Nomanur Rashid, senior vice-president of Roots Investment.
The report would be on whether the companies are good enough to be listed and when and how many shares can be offloaded to the market.
“These companies' asset base and reserves are very high. Their earnings are also very lucrative,” Rashid added.
Now, Roots Investment is trying to find out the companies' shortcomings in the listing process and the solution as well as the best management procedure when gas reserve will finish.
Petrobangla will pore over the report, which must be turned in by June 30, and then forward it to the finance ministry.
The ministry will take the final call, said Md Towhid Hasanat Khan, finance director of Petrobangla.
“We welcomed such listings,” said KAM Majedur Rahman, managing director of DSE.
Capital market investors have long been calling for state-owned companies to be listed in the market. “When these gas companies come to the market, investors will get a boost,” he added.
M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, managing director of CSE, echoed the same.
A finance ministry official said it will take at least a year for the companies to be listed.
In 2010, the finance ministry had selected 26 state-owned companies and instructed them to offload shares in the next six months. But the instructions fell on deaf ears as the deadline for listing has been extended many a time since.