A new horizon opens in economy as ABG, CSE sign deal
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Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) Chairman Asif Ibrahim and Bashundhara Group and ABG Limited Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir are seen at the signing ceremony between CSE and ABG Limited at a function at Radisson Blu in Chattogram on Sunday.
A new horizon has opened in the country’s economic arena with signing of a landmark agreement, paving ways for investors to explore untapped potentials of commodity exchange and other new avenues.
For the first time in the history of the country’s capital market, a Bangladeshi company, the ABG Limited, has shown confidence to become a strategic partner of any bourse through fulfilling all the necessary regulatory compliances and leaving a signature of strong footing of private sector.
The ABG Limited, a sister concern of Bashundhara Group, officially started its journey as a strategic partner of Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) by signing an agreement on Sunday.
CSE Acting Managing Director Md Ghulam Faruque and ABG Limited Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides at a grand ceremony at Radisson Blu Chattogram Bay View Hotel in Chattogram.
Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange of China became strategic partners of Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2018, but no Bangladeshi company had dreamt of becoming a strategic partner for the bourse.
ABG Limited is a company of Bashundhara Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates of the country.
By this agreement, ABG Limited is now owner of 25 percent shares of CSE and the company will act as the strategic investor of the capital market.
ABG Limited will provide support for CSE as a strategic partner.
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury attended the function as the chief guest while Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, Chattogram City Corporation Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan were also present as special guests.
CSE Chairman Asif Ibrahim presided over the function.
Addressing the programme, Saifuzzaman Chowdhury said, “A new horizon will be opened in stock market as the ABG Limited has become a strategic partner of the CSE.”
Terming Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan as one of the leaders of the country’s industrial revolution, the land minister said new employments have been created in the places where the leader has given his hand.
The economy has become stronger through their contributions, he mentioned.
Salman F Rahman said that Bashundhara Group always takes courageous initiatives.
The initiative they take is followed by others later. They have also taken the decision to join the CSE after thinking properly, he added.
Bashundhara Group will also prove their decision right by being successful in this case too, Salman observed.
He said, “In 2008, I didn’t even think that the country would reach this place after 10 years. Even if someone told me about today's situation, I would not have believed it.”
“But the country has reached this level today following the visionary thinking and planning of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.
CCC Mayor Rezaul Karim termed Bashundhara Group as a patriotic business group.
“The group is establishing industrial establishments one after another in the country,” he said.
They will enrich the capital market as they are becoming associated with the CSE and only a patriotic group can take such an action, the mayor said.
Appreciating the plan to start commodity exchange at the CSE, Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury said the traditional trading business has been going on since long before the establishment of the CSE.
“But, it was informal. After a long time, it is going to get institutionalised through the launching of commodity exchange,” he said.
The deputy minister also stressed the need for compliance in the bourses for gaining trust in investors.
He also laid emphasis on monitoring so that no sick company can get listed.
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said Bashundhara Group always stands firmly for the development of the country and its people by taking courageous business initiatives.
He observed that local investment is the key to the development of the country.
“It is not impossible for Bangladesh to be Asian tiger if the country’s trade and commerce continue uninterruptedly,” he opined.
BSEC Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam said the country’s economy is moving forward with vibrant performance of money market and capital market.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also taking the economy forward through various challenges time to time.
“We felt that CSE should be at a place where the commodity exchange market will be launched taking a strong partner in a strategic way.
Indicating Bashundhara Group, he said, they were finding such an entrepreneur who has employed 20,000 to 70,000 people in the country. The entrepreneur is running the family of thousands of people with their intelligence.
“Today is a historic day for us. We’re going to a new area today. We’re going to a new level. The Prime Minister was seeking it very keenly,” he mentioned.
The stock regulator chief believes that the introduction of commodity exchange will solve the problems of over and under invoicing in commodity trading in the country.
CSE Chairman Asif Ibrahim termed the day as historic one for Bangladesh capital market as Bashundhara Group’s sister concern, ABG Limited, has become a strategic partner of the CSE.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has graduated from least developed country to developing one. We’re moving forward through a transformation in our economy. Bangladesh is on its way to become the next Asian tiger,” he said.
East West Media Group Director and noted novelist Imdadul Haq Milan listed various pro-people activities of the Bashundhara Group, including support for the underprivileged people during the lockdown amid the corona pandemic.
The company stands by the winter-hit people, provides financial support for the indomitable talented students and supporting women empower.
“Bashundhara Group always believes that the country’s betterment depends on the public welfare. It thinks if the people’s betterment is ensured, the country’s progress can be ensured,” he said.
CSE Director Major (Retd) Emdadul Islam said in his welcome speech that the arrangement is a very special step for the nation, economy and overall development.
Bashundhara Group Co-Chairman Sadat Sobhan Tanvir, Bashundhara Group Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan Tasvir, Prime Minister’s former Information Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, BGD Group Chairman Mostafa Kamal Mohiuddin, Bashundhara Group Director Ahmed Walid Sobhan and Rupayan Group Chairman Liakat Ali Khan Mukul, among others, were also present on the occasion.
The CSE was established in 1995. Currently, its paid-up capital is Tk 634.52 crore and the number of shares is 63.45 crore.
According to the Demutualisation Act, there is an obligation to sell 60pc shares among strategic, institutional and general investors.
Of those, 25pc of the stock exchange’s total shares will have to be sold to strategic investors. After that, the remaining 35pc will have to be sold to general and institutional investors.
CSE had paid a 4pc cash dividend to its shareholders for the financial year 2020-21.
By Daily Sun