The regulatory measures against the issuers and market operators continued to rise to ensure the compliance in market operations.
The data regarding the securities regulator's enforcement actions reveal that the number of the regulatory measures gradually rose during January to December, 2020.
In 2020, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) took 439 actions against the individuals, issuers, directors of listed companies, brokerage firms, and other market operators for breaching the securities rules.
Most of the measures were taken against the brokerage firms for conducting trading operations in breach of rules.
In those cases, the securities regulator either warned them or imposed penalties.
According to the BSEC information, a total of 151 enforcement actions were taken in December, 151 in November, 25 on October, 20 on September, 31 on August, 31 in July, three on June, 18 in March, five in February, and four in January.
No enforcement action was taken in April, 2020 amid the countrywide lockdown declared following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Mohammad Rezaul Karim, a BSEC spokesperson, said the securities regulatory body takes actions against the wrongdoers on completion of the hearing.
"The number of actions taken against the wrongdoers has increased during the tenure of incumbent commission as it takes the issuer seriously to ensure compliance in the capital market," Mr. Karim said.
He said the securities regulator will also remain strict against the non-compliances in the future.
In most of the cases, the securities regulator issued warning letters in December 2020 against different brokerage firms considering their written explanations placed to ensure compliance in the future.
The brokerage firms which were issued warning letters in December include Phoenix Securities, Premier Leasing Securities, Prilink Securities, Prime Islami Securities, Prudential Capital, Pubali Bank Securities, Quayum Securities, RNI Securities and Rapid Securities.
Many brokerage firms were fined mostly for mismatching funds in the consolidated customers' accounts and disbursing margin loans in non-marginable securities.
Apart from issuing warning letters, the securities regulator imposed penalties on different issuers, stock brokers, and individuals as they breached the securities rules while conducting market operations.
Some individuals were fined a large amount of money for different types of non-compliances including creating aggressive demands for the shares of listed companies.
Of the individuals, Md. Mahamodduzzaman and Md. Mahibul Islam were fined Tk 3.0 million as they continuously traded a bulk amount of shares of a listed company to create aggressive demand in the market.
Of other individuals, Dr. AKM Kabir Ahmed was fined Tk 1.0 million,
The securities regulator imposed a penalty worth 35 million on the managing director and five directors of Kattali Textile for misusing the company's IPO fund.
For manipulating the company's share price, Narayan Chandra Paul and associates was also fined Tk 30 million.
Many listed companies were fined in 2020 for not submitting financial statements within the stipulated timeframe.
The securities regulator fined three listed companies and some market operators Tk around Tk 248 million for their unlawful activities. One of those companies was C & A Textile.
The BSEC imposed penalties for the first time on three directors of C & A Textiles at an amount that was higher than the amount they gained by selling their shares unlawfully.
The securities regulator also fined a company namely Al-Faruque Bags over irregularities took place while submitting IPO (initial public offering) proposal. The company's two issue managers and an auditing firm were also fined.
The incumbent commission also fined the directors of different companies for breaching the securities rules.
Of those companies, each director of Intech was fined Tk 2.5 million as they did not publish price sensitive information regarding new investments.