Stock markets remain skittish ahead of the unveiling of a national budget as the government’s annual financial plan in recent years has mostly lacked incentives needed to shore up investors’ confidence.
What is more, rumours of policy changes related to companies’ earnings run deep before the finance minister proposes the budget for a fiscal year.
As a result, the key index normally falls during this period and this year is no different.
The DSEX, the key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, has lost 368 points in the three months to the budget, according to data from the premier bourse.
The scenario was the same in the previous five years when the index shrank 455.52, 158.51, 16.09, 90.11 and 301.01 points respectively.
Market analysts say in some cases there was nothing in proposed budgets for the stock market, spooking investors’ confidence.
Abu Ahmed, a stock market analyst, says investors always expect some incentives in budgets but they got nothing in the last five or six years.
“So, the index fell ahead of the unveiling of the budget,” said Ahmed, also a former chairman of the economics department of the University of Dhaka.
To lift investors’ confidence, the government should give an incentive package so that well-performing non-listed companies enter the stock market, he said.
“If it happens, it will be a good incentive for the market.”
A top official of a brokerage house says a vested quarter spreads rumours ahead of the budget that also affects the market as well.
Budgets also bring policy changes that affect the earnings of listed companies.
“So, the confidence of the investors becomes shaky ahead of the budget,” the official said.
Sharif Hasan, an investor, says the government doesn’t offer incentives despite high expectations.
“Policies should be consistent in favour of investors so that rumours don’t work.”
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, however, has assured that there would be something for the investors when he unveils the country’s budget for the next fiscal year on June 13.