The Financial Express

Stocks pull back on dip in investor confidence

| Updated: December 22, 2021 10:10:26

Stocks pull back on dip in investor confidence

Stocks ended lower in the outgoing week, snapping a two-week winning streak, as investors were showing a lack of confidence amid concern over omicron and tussle between two regulators.

Week on week, DSEX, the prime index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), slid 116.57 points or 1.67 per cent to settle the week at 6,868, after gaining 132 points in the past two weeks.

This week featured four trading days as the market remained closed on Thursday due to the Victory Day. First three sessions ended sharply lower but the last one bucked the trend.

Market analysts said the cautious investors dumped their holdings as a tussle between two regulators took a new twist during the week while the fear of possible impact of omicron added worries to the investors.

The central bank has written to several banks recently after finding out that the securities regulator's condition on giving approval to the issuance of perpetual bonds contradicts a Bangladesh Bank guideline.

"The ongoing tension between the Bangladesh Bank and the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) regarding some policy issues affected investors' sentiment badly," said a merchant banker.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has reported the first two cases of the new coronavirus strain recently that has already spread to nearly 80 countries since its first detection in South Africa in early November.

Most of the investors pulled out of equities after noticing that heavyweight stocks witnessed a price fall, putting further pressure on the indices, according to a stockbroker.

He noted that since the trading activity was volatile, most of the investors kept selling their shares and opted to sit on cash ahead of year-end adjustments.

Investors' participation has been reduced to a great extent due to the absence of clear market direction, said the stockbroker.

Despite the market plunge, stocks of low-cap companies saw an upsurge in prices after the securities regulator directed them to comply with the requisite Tk 300 million in paid-up capital within a specified deadline.

Investors trimmed their positions on large-cap equities since bargain hunters are seeking opportunities in small-cap stocks, commented EBL Securities.

The stockbroker noted that the market might be a bit sluggish ahead due to initial public offering (IPO) subscriptions of three companies beginning on December 15.

IPO subscription of United Insurance started on Wednesday and will continue until December 22, to be followed by BD Thai Food & Beverage (December 23 and December 29) and Union Bank (December 26 to December 30).

During this week, two other DSE indices also ended lower. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, shed 45.73 points to finish at 2,586 and the DSE Shariah Index (DSES) fell 13.16 points to close at 1,462.

Market capitalisation of the DSE also dropped 1.0 per cent to Tk 5,515 billion on Wednesday from Tk 5,571 billion in the week before.

The week's total turnover also dropped to Tk 37.33 billion on the prime bourse which was Tk 53.10 billion in the previous week.

The daily turnover averaged out at Tk 9.33 billion on the country's premier bourse, which was 12.10 per cent lower than the previous week's average of Tk 10.62 billion.

Of the major sectors that suffered losses, miscellaneous sector saw the biggest loss of 4.80 per cent, followed by textile (3.80 per cent), cement (3.0 per cent), financial institutions (2.80 per cent), banking (2.40 per cent) and textile (1.30 per cent).

Of the traded issues, 297 issues declined, 75 increased and eight remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.

ONE Bank topped the turnover list with shares worth Tk 2.91 billion changing hands, followed by Beximco, Fortune Shoes, GSP Finance and Genex Infosys.

Eastern Lubricants was the top gainer, posting a 21.47 per cent gain, while ONE Bank was the worst loser, shedding 21.31 per cent.

The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also ended lower, with the CSE All Share Price Index (CASPI) shedding 387 points to settle at 20,075 while its Selective Categories Index (CSCX) losing 230 points to close at 12,064.

Of the issues traded, 241 declined, 76 advanced, and 11 remained unchanged on the CSE trading floor.

The port city's bourse traded 43.93 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 1.37 billion.

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