Govt to offload shares in 9 firms next year | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2007

Govt to offload shares in 9 firms next year

The government has decided to offload shares in nine energy and power companies on the stock exchanges next year, a move market operators believe could help boost the capital market.
The nine state-run enterprises, which have been asked to offload their shares, are Liquid Petroleum Gas, Titas Gas, Bakhrabad Gas, Gas Transmission Company, Pashchimanchal (western) Gas Company Limited, Sylhet Gas Company, Bangladesh Gas Fields Company, Rupantarita Prakritik (compressed natural) Gas Company Limited, and Rural Power Company.
A review meeting, chaired by Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam, on Wednesday also asked state-run Eastern Lubricants, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco), which are already listed, to offload more shares.
Eastern Lubricants has been asked to offload 10 percent shares, while PGCB and DESCO have been told to release 15 percent stakes each by March next year.
Now, 12 percent shares in Eastern Lubricants and 25 percent shares each in Desco and PGCB is traded on bourses.
Market experts and operators have long been demanding offloading of shares in state-run companies, which they believe will definitely make the market sound and robust.
The government's latest move will tremendously support the market, which faces dearth of quality shares, said Dhaka Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Salahuddin Ahmed Khan.
“The investors will be encouraged to invest in stock exchanges,” he said.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Hua Du on Wednesday at a workshop on capital market pleaded for immediate increase in supply of quality shares to prevent any possible overheating or price shocks in stock market.
"The rise in capitalisation and index values in Bangladesh is mostly demand-driven, which is somewhat risky, it must be backed by quality shares with strong economic fundamentals," she told the workshop, organised by ADB and Citigroup Global Markets Bangladesh Private Limited.
The meeting asked Titas Gas to offload its 25 percent shares by the end of next March on the stock market. The state-run gas transmission and distribution company on November 23 received a nod from the Advisory Committee on Economic Affairs to offload its stakes.
The review meeting also asked Pashchimanchal (western) Gas Company Limited and Sylhet Gas Company to offload portions of their shares within June next year.
As per the meeting, Bakhrabad Gas, Bangladesh Gas Fields and Rupantarita Prakritik (compressed natural) Gas Company Limited will have to offload portions of their shares within the next September, while Rural Power Company within December next year.
The meeting also asked the authorities of Jamuna and Meghna oil companies to offload their shares on the bourses within next month. The state-run oil marketing companies were supposed to offload 30 percent of their shares worth Tk 13.5 crore and Tk 12 crore by this November, but the process has been delayed, as the companies are yet to submit the required documents to the stock exchanges.
The meeting also asked the authorities concerned to offload 120,000 shares in International Finance and Investment Corporation (IFIC) Bank within this December. The government owns 35 percent stakes in IFIC Bank.

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