Independent directors of the listed companies should exercise their power effectively and put priority on the ethical standards for the sake of minority shareholders' interests and good governance in the companies.
Capital market experts said this at a seminar titled 'The role of independent directors to protect the interest of minority shareholders' at a city hotel on Tuesday.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) organised the seminar to mark the World Investors Week 2019.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Prof Helal Uddin Nizami, a commissioner of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), said the independent directors should inform the securities regulator of the obstacles they face in their job in order to protect the interests of the minority shareholders.
"We are not aware of the impediments, created by the companies' directors and promoters, weighing on the independent directors," he said.
He also said the companies should come out of the so-called corporate culture to cooperate with independent directors so that they can play their due roles in different areas, including corporate disclosures.
Nizami also stressed the need for more empowerment of the stock exchanges.
The stock exchanges should identify the hurdles standing in the way of listing of good companies and put forward their suggestions to the government.
"The risky trend of long-term financing by banks cannot go on. Rather, the capital market should be the only source of such long-term financing," the BSEC commissioner said.
DSE Chairman Prof Abul Hashem and Managing Director (in-charge) Abul Matin Patwary also spoke at the inaugural ceremony.
Later at a technical session, DSE director Minhaz Mannan Emon said independent directors are well-educated and renowned in their respective areas.
"So, there is nothing to advise them. They should prioritise ethical standards," he said.
He also said independent directors can exercise a lot of power in the audit committee and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.
"The companies and shareholders will get the most benefits if independent directors play their due role in these two committees," he added.
Masud Khan, chairman of GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh, Snehasish Barua, a partner of Snehasish Mahmud & Co., Abul Kalam, a BSEC director, and AKM Ziaul Hasan Khan, CRO at DSE, also spoke at the technical session, moderated by BSEC executive director Mohammad Saifur Rahman.
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