Speculative stocks sap investor confidence | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:47 AM, April 18, 2019

Speculative stocks sap investor confidence

Stocks that rose abnormally at the beginning of the year upon speculation were the ones to crash and burn in the ongoing downtrend of the capital market, leaving their investors devastated.

For instance, between the months of January and February, Sonarbangla Insurance rose 346 percent, United Insurance 245 percent, Asia Insurance 117 percent, and United Power Generation 45 percent -- for no apparent reason.

During the period, DESX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, rose 4.72 percent, or 258 points.

All the companies had conveyed then that there was no reason behind their stocks' rise.

But last month, when the DSEX's descent started, United Insurance dropped 42 percent, Asia Insurance 40 percent, Sonarbangla Insurance 27 percent and United Power Generation 26 percent.

DSEX plummeted 3.84 percent in March.

“It is normal that these shares will fall as there was no basis for their astronomical rise,” said Abu Ahmed, a stock market analyst, while urging general investors to not fall for rumours.

He went on to chastise the stock market regulator for its inaction against the rumour-mongers, who tend to act in a smash-and-grab manner in the capital market.

“Our investors' awareness is not high. If they are affected the market will invariably be impacted. So, the investors must be protected from such losses,” said Ahmed, also a former chairman of Dhaka University's economics department.

The rumour-based stocks have taken away huge amounts of money from general investors, so the stock market regulator should have taken steps when they were soaring as the rise was unjustified, said a top official of a leading merchant bank.

“The regulator has modern amenities to catch the gamblers,” he added.

The regulator needs time to take action as it has to go through it in a systematic way, said a top official of the stock market regulator requesting not to be named.

He went on to urge the investors to exercise caution before buying stocks and also sign up for the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission's financial literacy programme.

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