The stock market in Bangladesh deserves more attention as it holds opportunities for investors looking for diversification and ‘hidden gems'
Devendra Joshi, ASEAN and Frontier Markets Equity Strategist at the HSBC Global Research, said this at a virtual session on Wednesday, according to a press release.
“Bangladesh is on a similar growth trajectory to Vietnam. In fact, its stock market is where this ASEAN nation was five years ago, and it is well placed to closing the gap,” he explained at the session titled ‘Bangladesh Market Insights 2021: Consumption Propelling Growth’.
“We think the country is on the verge of an industrial revolution as incomes rise and technology plays an ever-increasing role in the economy. Urbanisation, smaller households and more women at work are powerful consumption drivers that support high levels of growth,” Mr Joshi added.
Bangladesh also has a sound macro position and a robust external balance sheet –with low external debt and high FX reserve coverage, he discussed in the session.
“Its foreign direct investments (FDI) remains low but is expected to improve as it moves up the value-added ladder fast. While Bangladesh is one of the cheapest places to manufacture goods in Asia, it will need to diversify away from garments.”
“In terms of ease of doing business, Bangladesh still lags Vietnam but is making efforts to improve”, Mr Joshi said.
Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the session as the chief guest, while Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin attended the programme as the special guest.
Sandeep Uppal, Global Co-Head of International Subsidiary Banking, Commercial Banking, HSBC, Md Mahbub ur Rahman, CEO of HSBC Bangladesh, Kevin Green, Country Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Bangladesh also spoke on the occasion.
Speaking at the event, Dr Kaikaus said, “The economy of Bangladesh is seeing continuous growth because of the entrepreneurship spirit of its people, strategic location, and support from the financial sector. We are energised to do better and showcase our success stories through increased public-private partnerships and reach Bangladesh’s competitiveness globally. I would like to thank HSBC for always being a trusted and optimistic partner for the Government of Bangladesh, which will further strengthen the Bengal Delta to glow and shine much sooner than the Governments set a target of achieving Developed Country status by 2041.”
CEO of HSBC Bangladesh said, “In its past 50 years, Bangladesh’s trajectory of economic growth has been a testament to the people’s insatiable desire and effort to do better. Continued digitalisation and up-gradation of technology, consistent rise in per capita income leading to incremental consumptions and demographic dividend have been opening up a world of opportunities for Bangladesh. Historically, our private sector has always been resilient during challenging times and HSBC will continue to play its part through unparalleled international network and connectivity.”
Key members of the business community, regulatory bodies and representatives from state-owned enterprises, among others, were present at the webinar.