Angry stock investors take to streetsStaff Correspondent
Investors staged a rowdy street protest on Sunday blocking the busy road at the capital’s commercial hub of Motijheel as the general index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange hit three-month low to 4,506.04 point.
Vehicular movement halted from 3pm to 4pm in the road from Shapla Square to Ittfaq crossroad as angry investors staged a sit-in in front of the DSE building against the free fall of share prices.
DGEN, the benchmark general index of DSE, lost 2.48 per cent or 114.67 points on the day.
The DGEN lost 746 points in last one-and-a-half month following uncertainty over a legal battle between the market regulator and the listed company directors.
At around 12:30 pm, a section of investors formed a human chain in front of the DSE building demanding immediate resignation of finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman M Khairul Hossain for their failure to stabilise the market.
They also blamed listed company directors accusing them for the latest phase of bear-run on the bourse as the SEC made them buying huge amount of shares to comply with 2 per cent mandatory shareholding rule.
The directors are making the market volatile by filing repeated writ petitions against the SEC mandatory shareholding rule and the government also favoring them, investors said.
‘Investors expected the government to punish those culprits but the government seems favoring the directors while the finance minister
is deliberately damaging the market,’ said one investor at the demonstraion.
Investors blasted Muhith for his latest remark that the country’s capital market is ‘wicked’. They said if the market is wicked the blame goes to Muhith not on the market.
‘He [Muhith] always blames the market to hide his own failure. He proved time and again that he is unfit, in every manner, to run the ministry properly,’ said an investor.
He also alleged that economic mismanagement by the government crippled the stock market and made millions of investors’ paupers.
Investors’ demonstration intensified at around 2:30 pm, after the day’s trading ended as more general investors joined the demo following the massive plunge of share prices on the day.
‘The finance minister’s comment indicates that the government was not focused on the stock market… Its a big mistake as millions of investors and their families will reply in the next election,’ said another investor.
The investors also demanded resignations of the SEC chairman M Khairul Hossain and the DSE president Rakibur Rahman.
‘He [Khairul] had announced he would resign if he fails to stabilise the market in six months. But he is still on the chair because he is shameless,’ said an investor.
‘Rakibur proved himself a big mouth and inefficient president of DSE although the investors had a hope that he would be able to stabilise the market,’ he said.
At around 3 pm the investors staged a sit-in blocking the road in front of the DSE building that halted vehicular movement from Shapla Square to Ittefaq crossroad.
Police in several attempts tried to convince the investors to clear the road but failed. Normalcy retuned to the area at around 4:30 pm after the demonstrating investors closed their protest for the day.
This was the third consecutive day of protest in front of the DSE that was prompted by the finance minister’s comment made in the last week.
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