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Regulator orders inquiry into Khulna Printing

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The stock market watchdog has ordered the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) to look into the unusual price movement of Khulna Printing & Packaging Limited on the bourse.

The company, which once manufactured packaging items, such as cartons and poly sheet bags, has not been operating for at least two years. It showed a loss of Tk 226 million for FY22, according to the latest financial statement.

But the stock has been rising at an abnormal rate for the last few months.

At the end of October last year, Khulna Printing was only Tk 9.8 per share on the DSE. By Sunday, the stock escalated 480 per cent to Tk 56.8 per share.

The company also confirmed to the DSE that there was no information to influence the stock price.

DSE inspection teams visited the factory of Khulna Printing on several occasions and found it closed. The latest visit was on Sunday.

In an order, the securities regulator said the price of Khulna Printing had shot up by 119 per cent between January 2 and February 5 this year, but there was no undisclosed price sensitive information during the period.

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission asked the DSE to submit a report within seven days to the commission.

Preferring not to be named, an industry expert said to the FE that an investigation should have been initiated in November to catch those behind the price manipulation.

Khulna Printing was a controversial company from the very beginning. It used false information to list in the stock market in FY14. Having raised Tk 400 million through IPO, the company started showing losses from FY17.

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