Govt asks SEC to move on state-share offloading
The government has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to take steps to offload shares of listed state enterprises in a couple of weeks in a bid to increase supply to the stockmarket.
Shares of listed state enterprises such as Titas Gas, Dhaka Electric Supply Company and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, will be offloaded soon, said a top official of SEC.
The finance ministry has sent a list of state enterprises to the SEC for listings as early as possible, he added.
The state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, the major corporate sponsor of both Meghna Petroleum and Jamuna Oil, on July 25 decided to sell 17 percent shares of the two companies at market prices from its stakes.
“Demand and supply always control the market. The decision of increasing supply in the market is a very important initiative of the government,” said Prof Mahmood Osman Imam, who teaches finance at Dhaka University.
The market manipulators will fail to overheat the market as an adequate supply of shares will balance the market, said Osman.
He said some state enterprises have already signed their 'trust deed agreements' and will be offloading shares on the bourses within the next one and a half months.
They are Essential Drugs Company, Bangladesh Services Ltd, Pragati Industries and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company.
He also said the state enterprises that are yet to finalise their financial reports will list in the next three months. Earlier, the government issued a circular to 'evaluate' and 'revaluate' asset and liabilities of SoEs, which are yet to finalise their financial reports.
However, the finance ministry asked the related ministries to take initiatives to force retirement of the top bosses, including chairmen, directors and managing directors of SoEs last week, who will fail to offload their shares by the deadline.
The finance ministry also decided if the government finds any dithering in offloading shares, the officials involved must face retirement in punishment.