Investors take to streets again in fear of another debacle

DGEN plummets by 174 points, SEC advises investors not to panic
Aggrieved share investors staged rowdy demonstrations on the streets of Motijheel on Tuesday when the general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange plummeted by 174.65 points, stretching the bear-run to seventh day because of panic-driven sell-offs.
Some of the investors could not hold their nerve and went for heavy sell-offs of shares within 30 minutes of start of the day’s trading at 10:30 am in fear of another market crash following the DGEN’s slide of 343 points in the previous six days.
Although the DGEN, the benchmark general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, rose slightly in first 30 minutes of trading on Tuesday, by 12:30 pm it lost around 98 points.
Angry investors then stormed out from different brokerage houses to the street in front of the DSE building.
They demanded immediate government intervention to stabilise the latest spell of bear-run that began on July 25 after a government decision to offload more shares of state-owned enterprises, poor corporate disclosures by listed companies and Bangladesh Bank’s adoption of tight monetary policy aggravated on Monday following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement that it would file case against suspected market manipulators of January’s stock market crash. 
Agitated investors took out small processions in regular intervals and chanted slogans against finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman and the DSE president Shakil Rizvi.
They demanded resignation of Muhith for his failure to stablise the market.
After the close of trading at 1:30pm, several hundred investors joined the demonstration and brought out a procession which paraded the street in front of the DSE building up to Shapla Square and ended at the Ittefaq Crossing. After the procession they held a meeting and declared harder action today, if the fall of share prices continues.
Many investors looked shattered after the massive plunge on Tuesday fearing that the market may go towards another debacle as their losses from the market crashes in January- June were yet to be recovered.
Investors said that they had injected fresh funds to the market during the recent bull run after the passage of national budget on June 29.
Saiful Ahmed, an investor who suffered huge losses in the market crash of December-January, said that he made fresh investment to adjust his losses following the surge of share prices over the last few weeks.
‘If the market collapses this time, I may have no other way than committing suicide,’ said Saiful in teary eyes.
Another investor, Nurul Alam, said, ‘When we just started to recover the losses of the last debacle, the market is heading to another crash.’
He also blasted the Securities and Exchange Commission for its foot-dragging to put the culprits of January’s stock scam into trial.
The DGEN on Tuesday closed at 6,192.94 points while the burse’s turnover also nosedived by Tk 163 crore to Tk 842.26 crore as many investors refrained themselves from trading.
Out of 255 issues traded on the day, 241 lost values heavily while only 12 gained and three remained unchanged.
Market operators said in the last three days the market fell significantly amid a rumour that some of the heavyweight players were going for massive disinvestment following the news that the SEC was preparing to take legal actions against market manipulators.
The capital market regulator on Tuesday expressed its concern on the free fall of share prices and requested the investors not to panic.
‘Whatever the commission is doing is only for bringing back stability in the market and trust of the investors,’ Saifur Rahman, executive director of the commission told reporters.
He said the SEC it taking preparation to file cases against some of the suspected market manipulator mentioned in the probe report.
‘SEC can always file cases if there is any violation of the securities laws and it is a routine work,’ he said.
‘Investors should not get panic as the commission always tries to protect their interest,’ he added.

-With New Age input

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