a year ago

Regulator suspends National Tea's placement share subscription until court order

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National Tea Company (NTC) has to wait further to issue placement shares worth Tk 2.80 billion until the Appellate Division disposes of a writ petition challenging the move.

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) postponed the subscription since the matter is still pending with the court, according to a filing on the website of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Thursday.

The securities regulator in April approved NTC's proposal to raise the amount by issuing 23.4 million shares at Tk 119.53 per share including a premium of Tk 109.53 per share.

The share subscriptions were to take place between July 10 and September 10.

But a general shareholder, Jakir Hossain filed a write petition with the High Court challenging the company's decision to offer shares unequally to investors.

The government and its entities were offered 4.43 new shares against each existing share, while non-government sponsor-directors were offered shares at the ratio of 3.21:1. General public were offered shares at the lowest ratio -- 2.85:1.

Placement shares are new equity shares issued to individual investors, corporate entities, or small groups of investors for fund raising.

The HC in May stayed the company's procedure of raising capital for three months. The chamber court stayed the HC order in June and the matter was placed before the Appellate Division.

The petitioner's lawyer, barrister Kazi Ershadul Alam said the matter was in the cause list of the Appellate Division on July 10 but the court did not hear the matter on the day.

"The hearing may take place very soon if it's included in the cause list," he added.

The company's share price peaked at Tk 444.70 each on June 21. The stock displayed ups and downs before closing at Tk 421.20 on Thursday.

The company distributed 7.50 per cent cash dividend for FY22 though it incurred losses -- between Tk 34.47 and Tk 55.71 per share - in the last three fiscal years in a row.

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