A move to bailout bigwigs?
Many market analysts say the total 'game' was arranged to save few stalwarts, who defaulted in depositing shares and money with the clearing houses of the bourses for some time and made a mess of the clearing system.
The extra two-day holiday helped the DSE to untie the knot created over weeks.
The DSE and CSE were closed from January 15, which eventually led to an eight tradingless days. But this unscheduled closure did not give a chance to investors to plan their purchases and sales of shares before the Eid. As a result, many of them faced losses.
Sources said that the management took the early vacation decision "apparently under pressure" to save the defaulter market bigwigs.
They also said that the officials of the DSE clearing house attended office on those two days and were busy in "adjusting" claims of those members who defaulted in delivering shares and money.
Sources said that the management took the decision to close the bourse from January 15 at the eleventh hour after discussing the issue with the few officials present in the office.
"Usually the DSE holidays are observed in line with bank holidays. Banks were open on January 17 and 18, but trading on DSE remained suspended on these days," one DSE source pointed out.
He said that the incidence of defaulting in share and money transfers, arising mainly from short selling, were increasing in recent days and had become a regular affair. Many brokers are selling their stocks without having them physically and others were buying these without having money in possession.
But this trend often leads to non-payment of shares and money.
For example, due to such settlement problems, trading of Gulf Foods was suspended weeks ago and continues to remain so.
According to sources, the DSE clearing house reportedly failed to settle claims of a brokerage house, which sold shares of Gulf Foods, and the payment for the deal was due from January 17.
"We are liable to pay our clients within a certain period after confirmation of a deal. How does one expect us to fulfil our obligation to clients if the bourse fails to settle claims in due date," a top DSE broker wanted to know. " The Eid holiday was advanced mainly to bail out some heavyweights of the bourse."
He said that he had to pay his clients from his own pocket as the DSE failed to make the payment against the sold-out shares. "The clients sold the shares knowing that they would receive the money just before Eid. One might not have sold the shares if he knew that the bourse would close down two days ahead of the scheduled vacation."
"Such abrupt decision affects the orderly growth of the capital market," he said.
The DSE management could not be reached for comments.
When contacted, DSE Chairman M Rakibur Rahman said that it was a unanimous decision of the management of both the bourses to close business early and the council had nothing to do with it.