Stocks stay afloat amid regulatory moves
Stocks surged on Sunday with key index of the prime bourse hitting four months high as the buoyant investors continued their buying binge amid growing investors’ confidence. DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, went up by 37.85 points or 0.93 per cent to settle at four months high at 4,099 during the four hours trading. The core index added 118 points in the five straight sessions and reached four months high since March 12, although trading was suspended for two months (March 26 to May 30). Market operators said the securities regulator’s hard stance on ensuring mandatory 2.0 per cent shareholding by each director of listed companies had a positive impact on the stock prices. The stock market regulator has recently asked 61 directors of 22 listed companies to ensure a minimum 2.0 per cent shares in their own companies within 45 days to continue their directorship. Two other indices also ended higher. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, rose 14.34 points to finish at 1,383 and the DSE Shariah Index advanced 15.90 points to close at 954. Turnover, another important indicator of the market, stood at Tk 3.47 billion on the country’s prime bourse, remained almost same over the previous session. Telecom, pharma, financial institution sectors gained 2.0 per cent, 1.93 per cent and 1.70 per cent respectively while investors booked some quick gain on general insurance and banking sector, losing 0.58 per cent and 0.25 per cent respectively. The Chittagong Stock Exchange also ended higher with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-advancing 63 points to close at 11,600 and the Selective Categories Index – CSCX -gaining 40 points to finish at 7,029. Of the issues traded, 69 gained, 35 declined and 104 remained unchanged on the CSE. The port city bourse traded 4.66 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 153 million.
Aamra Networks to issue Tk 1.0b zero coupon bonds
The board of directors of Aamra Networks Ltd has decided to issue non-convertible zero coupon bonds worth Tk 1.0 billion. The IT company will issue the bond at face value through private placement, subject to approval of the regulatory authorities like Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, according to an official disclosure on Sunday. The bond will be non-convertible, size of the bond will be up to Tk 1.0 billion (at face value) with the denomination of Tk 1000 each with a five years tenure. The aforesaid decision has been taken in conformity of the BSEC (Private Placement of Debt Securities) Rules 2012 and subsequent amendment made thereof, said the disclosure. Each share of the company, which was listed on the Dhaka bourse in 2017, closed at Tk 35.10 on Sunday. The company’s earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 0.98 for January-March 2020 as against Tk 0.91 for January-March 2019. In nine months for July 2019-March 2020, its EPS was Tk 2.67 as against Tk 2.89 for July 2018-March 2019. The company disbursed 6.0 per cent cash and 6.0 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2019. Currently, the company’s paid-up capital is Tk 562.24 million, authorised capital is Tk 1.0 billion and the total number of shares is 56.22 million. Sponsors-directors own 33.04 per cent stake in the company, while the institutional investors own 28.09 per cent, foreign investors 15.98 per cent and the general investors 22.89 per cent as on February 29, 2020.
Card spending halves in April
The coronavirus pandemic triggered a decline in card spending by nearly 50 per cent in April, in an indication of a massive fall in demand in Bangladesh as people went for belt-tightening amid income collapses. Transactions through debit cards stood at Tk 8,336 crore in April, the first month that bore the full brunt of the coronavirus-induced shutdown, down 45 per cent from that a month ago, according to data from Bangladesh Bank. Credit card spending declined 54 per cent to Tk 523 crore. The record fall in transactions through debit and credit cards came about after people movement was restricted by the government in an effort to tackle the spread of the contagion. Almost all countries in the world adopted the same path to fight against the deadly flu, triggering a financial recession. With malls and shops closed, people tightened their belts in apprehension that the upcoming days might be harsher. Banks used to issue 15,000 to 17,000 credit cards every month before the virus arrived on the shores of Bangladesh. In April, it stood at just 694 cards, BB data showed. The release of debit cards faced the same consequence in the month: lenders issued 77,664 debit cards against the monthly average 300,000-350,000 previously. Dutch-Bangla Bank, one of the largest debit card issuers in the country, saw a card transaction of Tk 5,000 crore in April through its vast network of automated teller machines against the average monthly transaction of Tk 8,000 crore, said its managing director, Abul Kashem Md Shirin. The private commercial bank faced a lower transaction of Tk 75 crore in April on point-of-sale (POS) terminals against the average monthly transaction of Tk 250 crore. Card transactions through POS, however, advanced to Tk 150 crore in June.
21st AGM of Bank Asia
The 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Bank Asia Ltd was held virtually through digital platform due to COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. A. Rouf Chowdhury, Chairman of the Bank, presided over the meeting on Sunday. The AGM approved 10 per cent cash dividend for the year 2019.
Trust Bank gets new director
Mr. Arshad Jamal has recently been appointed as Independent Director of Trust Bank Ltd. He will also be a member of Audit Committee and Risk Management Committee of the Board. Mr. Jamal is the chairman of NovoTel Ltd. and Tusuka Group. He is also Director & CFO of Novo Air Ltd. He completed MBA (Finance) from IBA, Dhaka University.