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The government has failed to bring a single company to stockmarket in the last one and a half years although it announced plans to list 26 state-owned enterprises by June.

The finance ministry in January set individual deadlines -- from three to six months -- for 26 government organisations to offload shares to increase the availability of quality shares on the market.

Finance ministry officials have put the blame on the respective ministries that own the enterprises.

However, 26 private companies were listed in the last one and a half years -- 19 last year and seven this year. The last state enterprise to join the market was Titas Gas in 2008 when another 14 private companies also debuted.

“Officials of the respective ministries are reluctant to offload shares and hinder the listing process. They (officials) work as directors on the boards of these companies and enjoy huge benefits,” said a top finance ministry official.

“We'll soon inform the finance minister of the issue,” he said, requesting not to be named.

Stockmarket experts said the government should do everything to list state enterprises to avoid market volatility.

The investors now face a severe shortage of securities. Fewer than 450 securities are listed on the two bourses: Dhaka and Chittagong. More than 25 lakh investors who trade on Dhaka Stock Exchange often invest in bubble and low-quality shares finding no option.

Demand for new stocks is increasing fast and it is reflected when an IPO is floated.

Market capitalisation reached Tk 270,074 crore on June 30 this year from just Tk 124,134 crore a year ago.

Hasan Imam, managing director of Race Asset Management, said the market needs more stocks, particularly of state-owned enterprises, so the investors do not go for speculative shares.

He said the government owns some of the large businesses such as banks, shipping and energy companies and airlines that need to get listed in the market.

“It's better to bring such a few big enterprises in the market than listing 100 of small ones,” said Imam.

Earlier last year the finance ministry reviewed the status of 32 state-owned companies, and later in January selected 26 enterprises for listing.

Of the 26 state enterprises, 12 are of the power, energy and mineral resources ministry. The remaining 14 fall under industries ministry, bridge division, civil aviation and tourism ministry, post and telecommunication ministry, health and family welfare ministry and shipping ministry.

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Small Investors with the support of DSE and CSE should come to the street to show protests for the failure of offloading shares of these companies. We should also demand that a high powered commission should be set up without further delay to expedite the offloading and identifying the responsible people. These unwise persons are against development of the country.

The SEC in coordination with the concerned ministries should make it mandatory for the foreign banks and companies to offloan a certain percentage of their share in the local stock market. They just cannot go on liike the way they are going in our country. They are listed in other countries' bourses.

Sarwar from Riyadh

: sarwar

Greater interest of the small investors and BO account holders offloading of these state owned companies share through IPO along with reasonable premium. We are requesting the honorable Finance Minister kindly provide a directive to SEC in this regard for benefiting mass people instead of some capitalist and institutions. We also request you to give necessary directives to the concerned agencies regarding prohibiting on issuing of Pre-IPO/Placement Shares of private companies. We also request Chairman, SEC kindly listing this companies through IPO not book building, direct listing, Pre-IPO/Placement and save small investors.

: Mizanur Rahman





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