Stocks tumble over fresh WB loan statement

Dhaka stocks declined on Wednesday as fresh uncertainty surfaced among investors about the World Bank’s $ 1.2 billion loan for the Padma bridge project following a statement by the global lender.
DGEN, the benchmark general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, lost 0.89 per cent or 42.56 points, to close at 4,732.08 points.
Turnover of the bourse inched up to Tk 1,172.13 crore on the day from that of Tk 1,153.54 crore in the day before.
Market operators said investors turned sceptical on Wednesday over a news that the WB issued a statement saying that the Bangladesh government’s high officials are misinterpreting the stance of the bank on the loan issue.
They said that many investors went for sell-offs on the day fearing further loggerheads between the government and the WB after the statement.
The WB loan for the Padma bridge project is one of the most burning issues of the current economy and the stock market also gets affected as macro-economic operators, banks and financial institutions are highly involved with the market, they said.
‘Today’s fall was not due to profit taking rather the uncertainty and statement form different corners about the Padma bridge funding unnerved the investors,’ Union Capital managing director Akter H Sannamat told New Age.
He said the market rose sharply after the WB announced to return to the Padma bridge project in the last week as the government fulfilled its conditions.
‘But a new face-off between the government and the WB might change the market scenario in the coming days,’ he said.
He also said that a vested quarter was also taking advantage of this issue time and again in the market.
‘So the investors have to be careful about this and should not react to anything so quickly,’ he said.
Brokerage house officials, however, said the rise of two shares, of United Airways and RN Spinning Mills, are abnormal as they were rising sharply without any price sensitive disclosures.
The United Airways gained 4.04 per cent on Wednesday while RN spinning gained 5.49 per cent on the day.
On Tuesday, the WB said that the government high officials are misinterpreting the WB role on the Padma bridge project.
It said the WB will only finance the project after a satisfactorily report form an external panel which will be engaged by the banks to review the implementation status of the WB conditions.
After the then communication minister Abul Hossain resigned from cabinet and prime minister’s adviser Mashiur Rahman went on leave, the WB in a statement on September 20 said the bank has agreed that, upon satisfactory implementation of the agreed measures by the government, and with the support of the bank’s governing bodies, it will engage anew in the Padma bridge.
Eelier on June 29, the WB cancelled the funding of the bridge with on allegation of corruption in the project.
Of the 273 issues traded on Wednesday, 111 advanced, 149 declined and 13 remained unchanged.

-With New Age input

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