Dhaka stocks fall again on Kamal’s lion-goat remark

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Dhaka stocks returned to the negative zone on Sunday after an increase in the previous trading session as investors, dejected by the finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal’s fresh remarks over the country’s capital market, resumed share sales.
The key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, DSEX, fell by 0.53 per cent, or 27.98 points, to close at 5,238.19 points after gaining 25.8 points in the previous trading session.
The position of DSEX on Sunday was its lowest after December 18 last year when it was at 5,233.59 points.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on April 25 said that there were two groups at the country’s stock market — one was lion and the other goat — with the lion prevailing over the goat.
‘The lion must survive because of advantages they enjoy over the goat,’ said Kamal at a pre-budget parley.
Kamal used the symbols of lion and goat to describe the prevailing situation at the share market after the key index of DSE lost more than 700 points in the current spell of bear run.
A section of investors under the banner of Biniogkari Oikya Parishad (Investors’ Unity Council) on Sunday held a demonstration in front of the DSE building in the capital, protesting against the finance minister’s comment.
They blamed Kamal’s remarks for the current spell of market turmoil.
The protesting investors demanded an immediate apology from the finance minister, terming his comment ‘insulting’ for investors.
They announced that investors would hold a token hunger strike today seeking steps for stabilising the capital market.
Market operators said that the finance minister’s recent remarks over the state of the capital market had dampened the investors’ sentiment further.
Despite the post-elections free fall in the country’s capital market, the finance minister on April 22 had commented that the country’s capital market was not in a bad condition.
Ruling out by the finance minister any possibility of an immediate cut in the interest rates on national savings certificates also gave a negative signal to the market as there were talks that the government might reduce the rates, market operators said.
They said high rates on the NSCs had made people reluctant to consider other investment options.
Investors have also lost confidence over the market due to regulator Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission’s continuous failure to address manipulations and wrongdoings at the market, they said.
The poor financial disclosures by some of the companies for the January-March quarter also dampened investors’ mood on Sunday.
Of the 345 issues traded at DSE on Sunday, 208 declined, 95 advanced and 41 remained unchanged.
The turnover on the bourse dropped to Tk 344.25 crore on the day from that of Tk 282.97 crore in the previous trading session.
EBL securities in its daily market update said, ‘The market started in downbeat tune and continued till the end of the session as investors lost confidence over the market due to earnings declarations from several scrips that could not meet expected growth.’
‘Moreover, the regulator continuously failed to address manipulations and wrongdoings at the market which effected investors’ confidence,’ it said.
Besides, the liquidity shortage in the financial sector was also a concern among investors, it said.
The blue-chip index of DSE, DS30, closed at 1,855.91 points, shedding 0.43 per cent or 8.02 points on Sunday.
DSES, the Shariah Index, dropped by 0.46 per cent or 5.62 points to end at 1,209.24 points.
National Polymer Industries led the turnover chart with its shares worth Tk 16.92 crore changing hands.
Genex Infosys gained the most on the day with a 9.97 per cent increase in its share prices while Agrani Insurance lost the most — 21.61 per cent.

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