Stocks crash-land below 4,000pt markStaff Correspondent
The Dhaka Stock Exchange general index nosedived on Tuesday closing below 4,000-point mark amid rowdy street protests by investors at Motijheel in the capital.
The DGEN, the benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, lost 3.75 per cent or 156 points, to close at 3,988.99 points which has been the lowest since February 8.
In recent times, the market has been facing a volatility after the government decided to build the proposed Padma bridge with its own funds, market operators said.
Investors affected by the prolonged depression of the market said that the government’s decision would intensify the ongoing liquidity crisis on the market.
The market opened in a negative mood on Tuesday as the index lost around
90 points in 30 minutes.
Investors from different brokerage houses rushed to the street and rallied by blocking the road stretch from the Shapla Square to the Ittefaq crossing about noon.
The police, however, pushed the demonstrators onto the footpath and asked to continue rallying there.
The investors held a mass prayer session in the place and complained to the Almighty against the people involved in market manipulation.
They also urged justice from the Almighty for the sufferings of millions of investors because of the market debacle.
Investors at the rally said that the market would face further fund crunch if the government collected funds from local sources for the Padma bridge.
They also said that foul plays were taking place as some large-scale investors were tricking with shares to make the market volatile.
Investors rallying in the place blasted the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the Bangladesh Bank governor, Atiur Rahman, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, M Khairul Hossain, and the DSE president, Rakibur Rahman, for their repeated failure to stabilise the market.
Market experts and analyst said that the government decision to mobilise fund for the Padma bridge from local sources might affect the market.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday said in the parliament that the government would build the Padma bridge with its own funds and that the construction work would begin in the current financial year.
The cabinet endorsed the prime minister’s plan at a meeting on Monday morning.
The DGEN had lost 284 points in three sessions after the World Bank, the main donor of the project, cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge recently claiming to have evidence of corruption in the project.
The Asian Development Bank, another donor, also cancelled its committed on the same grounds.
‘There is a chance that the capital market will be affected because of the decision as the financial institutions would face a liquidity crisis which would certainly reduce their market exposure,’ former finance adviser to the caretaker government Mirza Azizul told New Age.
‘But it is to early to make any such conclusion as the government is yet to specify the components of internal fund for the Padma bridge,’ he said.
Of the 267 issues traded on Tuesday, 13 advanced, 243 lost and 11 remained unchanged.
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