Stocks fell sharply yesterday, in what can be viewed as a strong reaction to the finance minister's comment on Monday that the market's bear run since February is nothing unusual.
DSEX, the benchmark general index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, shed 63 points, or 1.18 percent, to close the day at 5,261. In the previous three days the index had gained nearly 75 points, giving investors a ray of hope that a turnaround was on the way.
Turnover, another important indicator of the market, also dropped 15.12 percent to Tk 298.62 crore yesterday.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal after a meeting with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on Monday said he saw nothing unusual in the stock market's recent behaviour; rather, he blamed the media for playing up the downward trend.
“Liquidity crisis in the banking sector is already a problem for the market. But we expected something positive from the finance minister's meeting with the stock market regulator,” said a top official of a leading brokerage house.
But his remarks deepened the tension among the stock investors, he added.
Agitated stock investors demonstrated in front of the DSE building yesterday to protest the continuous slide.
DSEX slumped about 700 points in the last three months, according to data from the Dhaka bourse.
They demanded resignation of the BSEC chairman for bringing ill-performing companies into the market and his failure to bring forth the true state of the market in front of the finance minister.
Another top official of a merchant bank said the minister could have placated the investors instead of terming the market's slide as nothing abnormal.
Meanwhile, Fortune Shoes dominated the turnover chart yesterday with its transaction of 90.04 lakh shares worth Tk 34.54 crore, followed by Monno Ceramics, Bangladesh Submarine Cable, United Power Generation and Bangladesh Shipping Corporation.
National Life Insurance was the day's best performer with 9.93 percent gains, while Monno Ceramics was the worst loser, shedding 8.72 percent.
Of the traded issues, 34 advanced and 267 declined, with 41 securities closing unchanged on the premier bourse.
Chittagong stocks also fell yesterday with the bourse's benchmark index, CSCX, declining 91.45 points, or 0.92 percent, to finish the day at 9,754.10.
Losers beat gainers as 187 declined and 36 advanced, while 18 finished unchanged on the Chittagong Stock Exchange. The port city bourse traded 44.24 lakh shares and mutual fund units worth Tk 12.71 crore.