The securities regulator will continue its crackdown on unscrupulous persons who are out to gobble up investors' hard-earned money through various deceitful acts.
The warning came from chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Prof. Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam as he spoke at a webinar on Saturday . Leading market operators and analysts, among others attended the virtual event.
"Why will the people come to the capital market if we are not able to ensure the safety of their investments?" Prof. Islam questioned.
"While ensuring the ease of doing business, the unscrupulous persons will not be allowed to embezzle investors' money," he said.
In reply to a question over continuing job of the officials of brokerages and merchant banks prohibited by the former leadership of the commission, Prof. Islam said the securities regulator will publish the names of those officials.
"The list of sponsor-directors, who do not have required amount of shares, will also be published," the BSEC chairman said, adding the commission will be facilitating the sponsor-directors who are holding the required volume of shares.
The role of independent directors of the stock exchanges and listed companies also drew flak from the participants of the webinar.
"The BSEC is annoyed with the role of independent directors. A package outlining the role of independent directors will be announced soon," said the commission boss.
He said the boards of non-compliant companies, which want to remain out of touch, will be restructured to ensure their accountability.
"We've taken an initiative to restructure the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh as the corporation has deviated from its mandate," said Prof. Islam, adding the government will provide the ICB with a substantial amount of fund to complete its makeover.
He said the securities regulator has laid emphasis on infrastructure development of key organisations, including the premier bourse, in an attempt to ease doing business.
"We have told the World Bank that unless you expedite fund release, we'll look for another lender," he said.
The BSEC chief said the brokerage firms have been asked to open digital outlets in suitable areas of different districts to enhance investors' participation," he said.
He said capable brokerage houses have also been asked to take the initiative to open outlets overseas so that non-resident Bangladeshis can be actively involved in trading.
"Market turnover worth around Tk 10 billion is not enough for our capital market. The turnover should be Tk 30 billion to Tk 50 billion," said the BSEC chairman, adding that more products such Islamic sukuk bond will be introduced soon to ensure the diversification of the capital market.
He said the securities regulator is thinking about a common platform to ensure the representation of the central bank and the securities regulator, among others, to stem the inflow window-dressed financials of listed and non-listed companies. "The Financial Reporting Council will play a huge role there."
Speaking on the listing of good companies, the BSEC boss said Dhaka Electric Supply Company and Rupali Bank, among others, will offload more shares soon.
The BSEC chairman has also said market operators can disburse margin loans taking out foreign loans at lower interest rate.
Managing director of IDLC Investments Mohammad Moniruzzaman presented the keynote speech at the webinar, moderated by general secretary of the Capital Market Journalist Forum (CMJF) Monir Hossain.
The Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association (BMBA) and CMJF jointly organised the webinar.
In his speech, chairman of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Mohammad Eunursur Rahman placed importance on enhancing the growth of the capital market so that it can keep pace with the growth of the country's economy.
Hasan Imam, president of the Asset Management Companies' Association, said the mutual funds sometimes are not allowed to realise profits to avert sales pressure in the market.
"As a result, the mutual funds sometimes are not able to distribute sufficient dividend."
The BMBA president Sayadur Rahman said a committee should be formed to find out the reasons that impede the listing of good companies.
He also laid importance on creating a central data base to contain fabricated financials of listed companies.
DSE director Rakibur Rahman said unscrupulous persons should be forbidden from the market for a period of three to four years.
Chairman of the Chittagong Stock Exchange Asif Ibrahim, and president of the DSE Brokers Association Sharif Anwar Hossain also spoke at the webinar.