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Three corporate directors sell off entire Islami Bank holding

Armada Spinning Mills, Kingsway Endeavors, and Uniglobe Business Resources withdrew directorship from the bank’s board

Three corporate shareholders – Armada Spinning Mills, Kingsway Endeavors, and Uniglobe Business Resources – withdrew their directorship from the Islami Bank board in June after selling off their entire holding in the country’s largest private sector lender.

It comes a month after the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) sold its entire shareholding in the bank in May and withdrew its nominated director.

As a result, the Islami Bank’s shareholding by sponsors-directors came down to 41.90% at the end of June from 55.06% in December last year, according to a report on the monthly shareholding position for June submitted to the chief regulatory officer of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on 5 July.

And in June, JMC Builders bought 2.01%, or 3.23 crore, of the bank’s shares. Ahsanul Alam, son of S Alam Group Chairman Saiful Alam Masood, has been appointed as a shareholder director of the bank as a nominee of JMC Builders.

Currently, he is serving Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited as its chairman.

Market insiders said the bank’s shares were traded in the block market of the DSE. And that is why there have been some big transactions in the bank’s shares in the last three months.

TBS correspondents called Mohammed Monirul Moula, managing director of Islami Bank, for his comments, but he did not pick up his phone. Later, a message was also sent to his mobile phone, but he did not respond.

Who exited the board

Since April this year, four institutions that were corporate directors on the board of the Islami Bank have exited the board as they have sold their entire holding in the bank, according to a monthly shareholding report of the bank.

The Armada Spinning Mills, which held 2.01%, or 3.24 crore shares, sent a letter to the bank on 18 June to withdraw its directorship. Professor Nazmul Islam was director on behalf of the Spinning Mills, and the bank approved the decision on 19 June at its board meeting.

Kingsway Endeavors, which held 4.39%, or 7.07 crore shares, also wrote to Islami Bank on 13 June seeking to withdraw its directorship. Salim Uddin was director on behalf of the firm, and the bank approved the decision on the same day.

Uniglobe Business Resources held 4.67%, or 7.52 crore shares, in the bank, where it sold the entire holding and withdrew the directorship.

It also sent a letter to the bank to withdraw the directorship. Major General (retd) Abdul Matin was director on behalf of the firm, and the bank approved the decision in the board meeting.

Besides, Islami Bank’s another sponsor Islamic Development Bank changed its nominee director, which was subject to the approval of the Bangladesh Bank.

Big trade in the block market

According to DSE data, since April this year, a large amount of Islami Bank’s shares have been transacted through the block market.

A total of 14.63 crore shares buy-sell, whose value is Tk477 crore. The TBS identified the seller but did not confirm the buyer.

However, the United Arab Emirates-based BTA Wealth Management, the lone buyer to be identified, bought over 2% stake—3.42 crore units of shares—in the bank at a cost of Tk111 crore as the leading private-sector lender.

On Sunday, Islami Bank’s shares traded for over Tk84 crore in the block market at Tk32.60 each.

Among the foreign sponsors, the Saudi Arabia-based Al-Rajhi Co for Industry and Trade, Islamic Development Bank, and Arabas Travel and Tourist Agency jointly hold a 22.04% stake in Islami Bank.

Among general shareholders, foreign investors own another 24.49% share of the bank till June, which was 20.23% in May.

Besides, four Middle East-based sponsors – Bahrain Islamic Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Kuwait Finance House, and Dubai Islamic Bank – sold off or reduced their holdings in the bank since 2015, stock market sources said.

Islami Bank’s profit increased by 28% year-on-year to Tk616 crore in 2022.

In that year, its earnings per share were Tk3.84, which was Tk2.99 a year ago.

The bank paid a 10% cash dividend to its shareholders for 2022.

In the January-March quarter, its profit fell by 32% year-on-year to Tk57.12 crore.

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1% lower limit lifted, floor re-imposed for the 169 scrips

Infograph: TBS

Infograph: TBS

Highlights

  • Now the 169 scrips’ prices can fall up to 10% a day until hitting the floor price
  • Of the 168 scrips, one mutual fund was delisted in the meantime
  • Asia Insurance and Far Chemical were added
  • New floor will be equal to the average of closing prices from 26 Feb to 1 Mar
  • But if the previous floor is lower for any of the 169 scrips, that one will be considered as floor

In an effort to end an ineffective downside restriction, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) reinstated the floor price for 169 small-cap scrips on Wednesday.

On 21 December 2022, the market regulator removed the floor for 168 stocks and restricted their daily fall limit to 1%.

As a result of the repeal of that order, the prices of those scrips can fall up to the regular lower circuit breaker limit – 10% a day – until hitting the floor price.

Of the 168 scrips, one mutual fund was delisted in the meantime, and the regulator added Asia Insurance and Far Chemical, making it a list of 169 scrips in total.

Now, the average of the closing prices of those 169 scrips for four trading sessions – 26 February to 1 March – would be their new floor prices, according to the BSEC’s 1 March order.

But if the previous floor price, that was announced on 28 July last year, is lower than the new floor, then the lower one would be effective, according to the order.

The 169 scrips represent roughly 5% of the market capitalisation of all the listed scrips in the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).

Stockbrokers and investors said the commission’s 21 December move to withdraw the floor from 168 scrips was a blow to a large number of investors, as 100 of those scrips lost their market value as of 1 March, including the 39 that fell by 20%-35%.

The worst part of the fall was investors were unable to exit from the falling knives as there had been no buyers due to the narrow bottom circuit, investors said.

However, 27 of the scrips were above the 28 July floor on 1 March, and the remaining were flat as the minimum tick price gap was higher than 1% of the scrips’ market prices.

The smallest gap between two prices of a share or mutual fund is Tk0.1 in the DSE and CSE.

The floor prices and the narrowed down lower circuit drastically affected the liquidity in the bourses, as investors were deprived of exit opportunities regardless of whether they needed money to withdraw from investment accounts, or to buy any other security.

When buyers wait for a scrip’s price to fall, they refrain from bidding for it. And at an extreme point of pessimism, the number of DSE scrips having bidders dropped drastically to 62, and 337 of the 399 DSE shares, mutual funds and corporate bonds had no buyer.

However, as the regulator on Sunday and Monday busted market rumours that it might withdraw the floor price from another set of scrips, the market started to recover and 138 scrips had bidders during the closing bell on Wednesday.

79 of the 169 scrips came back in active trading, up from only 15 on Sunday, while of the 232 scrips with intact floor, 173 were stuck there and 59 were trading above floor on the day.

How the market performed on Wednesday

Meanwhile, the daily transaction increased to over Tk450 crore, which fell below Tk300 crore a day during the decline last week.

DSEX, the broad-based index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), from its recent bottom of 6,175 on Monday morning, hit 6,234 in the middle of Wednesday session. But adamant sellers dragged the index down to even lower than the previous close.

“The market saw mixed reactions as the session began with an upbeat momentum, but the morning optimism faded as risk-averse investors booked profits, enticed by the recent price appreciation of selective issues,” said EBL Securities in its daily market commentary.

DSEX finally closed at 6,214 which was 0.04% lower, and out of the total DSE scrips, 68 advanced and 80 declined.

“However, opportunist investors continued to take positions in beaten down issues with anticipation of quick gains since they expect positive momentum in the market, as the floor price is likely to be intact for the foreseeable future,” added the brokerage firm in its commentary.

On the sectoral front, IT contributed the maximum 16.2% of the DSE turnover, followed by life insurance and food.

As the late hour selloff wiped out the early hour intraday gains, most of the sector displayed mixed returns at the end.

General insurance registered the highest gain of 1.5%, followed by life insurance and tannery.

Paper with 2.4% correction led the losers, followed by travel and jute sectors.

Source: TBS News