Glum GP casts shadow on stocks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 30, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, August 30, 2019

Glum GP casts shadow on stocks

The Dhaka bourse fell yesterday because of a selling pressure of Grameenphone’s share, as the telecom regulator has threatened to revoke the licence of the largest listed company over unpaid audit claims.

Grameenphone’s share lost Tk 3.8 on the day to end at Tk 313, which is more than 25 percent lower than Tk 417 it reached on April 1.

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In the last eight months, the DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, has given up 733 points, or 12.57 percent. Yesterday, it fell 44.22 points, or 0.86 percent, to 5,095.77.

A top official of a leading merchant bank said the stock market was hurt by GP’s recent fall after the telecom regulator declared the company a significant market power in February.

Things got worse on August 21 when the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) decided to issue show-cause notices to GP and Robi, asking why their licences would not be cancelled for not paying audit claims worth Tk 13,447 crore.

A large stake in GP belongs to foreign and institutional investors. So, its falling price dented investors’ confidence, compelling them to let go some of their assets, the official said.

“The BTRC has failed to handle their issues efficiently. Moreover, it did not consult with the stockmarket regulator about the decisions though it was instructed to do so.”

However, Grameenphone’s half-yearly (January-June) earnings per share rose 10.49 percent year-on-year to Tk 13.37.

Citing an example of Titas Gas, another merchant banker said the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission cut the distribution charge for Titas Gas in 2015. As a result, the utility company lost more than Tk 3,000 crore in market value over a period of five months.

“Any sudden decision dents investors’ confidence,” said the merchant banker.

“So, a coordination among the regulators should be ensured for the sake of the stockmarket. Otherwise any decision of this kind may affect the whole market.”

Turnover, another important indicator of the market, declined 11.8 percent to Tk 402.91 crore.

Of the traded issues, 78 advanced, 236 declined and 39 closed unchanged.

United Power Generation dominated the turnover chart with Tk 19.68 crore worth of shares changing hands, followed by Silco Pharmaceuticals, National Polymer Industries, Shurwid Industries, and Wata Chemicals.

SEML FBLSL Growth Fund was the day’s best performer with a 9.55 percent gain while Southeast Bank 1st Mutual Fund was the worst loser, shedding 9.24 percent.

Chattogram stocks also fell yesterday as the bourse’s key index, CSCX, shed 96.43 points, or 1 percent, to finish at 9,457.65.

Losers beat gainers as 42 advanced, 184 declined and 13 finished unchanged on the Chittagong Stock Exchange. 

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