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A stock market intermediary can borrow Tk2cr from stabilisation fund

The CMSF seeks applications from intermediaries interested to avail the loan.

The Capital Market Stabilisation Fund (CMSF) has decided to disburse loans of Tk2 crore to each applicant stock market intermediary, enabling them to make investments in the capital market.

The loan disbursement amount was finalised at the fund’s board meeting held on 11 October, where the loan interest rate was set at 9%.

In May this year, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) had set loan disbursement targets not less than Tk5 crore and not more than Tk20 crore for each intermediary.

But the CMSF will disburse Tk2 crore loans on a pilot basis. After successful implementation of the test case, the CMSF will increase lending as per demand from the intermediaries.

The CMSF, which was formed in 2021, acts as a custodian of undistributed cash and stock dividends, non-refunded public subscription money and un-allotted rights shares from the issuer of listed securities. It has around Tk250 crore in its Special Notice Deposit account allotted for loan disbursement to intermediaries.

Now, the CMSF seeks applications from intermediaries interested to avail the loan.

After scrutiny, the eligible intermediaries will be able to avail the loan within 21 working days. The tenure of the loan will be 180 days, renewable upon successful use of the loan amount and full payment of loan interest to CMSF.

The CMSF will give preference to intermediaries who are involved in the financial literacy program, providing training to small investors, involved in social welfare activities, working with disabled people, protecting the environment, and following other corporate social responsibilities.

Any stock broker or intermediary, which has deficiency in consolidated customers’ account (CCA), not compliant with risk based capital adequacy and/or has had any punishment from the authorities in the last five years, will not avail the loan.

Also, an intermediary or any director of intermediary, who is a loan defaulter through CIB report, will not be eligible for the loan.

The market intermediaries — stock brokers, dealers — can use their borrowing from CMSF to invest in stocks that have been in the ‘A’ category for five consecutive years.

Also, they can provide margin loans to their clients as per policy. The single borrower exposure will be a maximum 5% of the total available fund for loan.

Officials at CMSF said the decision of lending will help the intermediaries to invest fresh funds in the capital market, when the market really needed a fresh investment.

Seeking anonymity, a brokerage house official said the market is currently almost stagnant due to the floor price. There is negligible price movement observed in fundamental stocks, while certain junk stocks are soaring.”

“The decision to disburse loans is undoubtedly positive. However, the lingering question is how intermediaries will manage to repay this high-interest loan amidst the bleak market outlook,” he added.

Source: The Business Standard


Fareast Islami Life Ins facing steep debt – Unable to clear claims for liquidity crunch

Firoza Begum, a resident of Shalmara village in Bhelabari union under Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat, opened a 12-year term policy with Fareast Islami Life Insurance Company some 15 years ago.

With the policy having matured about three years back, Firoza has regularly visited the company’s local office since then in a bid to get back her Tk 80,000 deposit.

“But I am not getting my money,” said the 52-year-old housekeeper.

Like Firoza, around 3,000 policyholders of Fareast Islami have been struggling to get claims amounting to around Tk 19.58 crore due to a liquidity crunch in the company, according to an official of the insurer.

“I am tired of going to the insurance company,” she added.

Rafiqul Islam, who works as a day labourer in Uttar Saptana village under Lalmonirhat sadar upazila, said his life insurance policy also matured three years ago but he is yet to get his funds back.

“I often visit the company’s office to get my Tk 40,000. I need the money as my wife is sick but I cannot afford the treatment,” he added.

On condition of anonymity, an official of Fareast Islami’s Lalmonirhat branch, said they have 21,000 policyholders in the district.

With about 3,000 of these clients’ policies having matured, many of them flock to the company’s local office every day in a bid to get back their deposit.

“However, the head office is not providing refunds,” the official added.

Abdul Hai, head of Fareast Islami’s Lalmonirhat branch, said policyholders are not getting their money back due to the company’s lack of liquidity.

“It is not possible to say when the claims will be settled,” Hai said, adding that he even stopped coming to office on a regular basis to avoid the mounting pressure from claimants.

Sheikh Kabir Hossain, chairman of Fareast Islami, said the company is “sick” as it owes a lot of money while its owners are in jail.

The government had set up a new board of directors to restore Fareast Islami to its previous position, but they have not made much progress so far.

“Due to this sickness, it is not possible to pay back debts at the required rate,” said Hossain, who is also president of the Bangladesh Insurance Association.

Another reason is that new clients are not coming to open policies anymore as the company has gotten a bad reputation, meaning that there is a lack of incoming funds to clear the debt, he added.

Jahangir Alam, spokesperson of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (Idra), said Fareast Islami was issued several directives to pay outstanding claims.

In addition, their activities are being monitored, he added.

As per unaudited data of the Idra for 2022, Fareast Islami currently owes Tk 4,559 crore in claims.

Of this amount, the company has settled just Tk 970 crore, or 21.29 per cent, of the total claims.

In April 2021, the Idra appointed Shiraz Khan Basak and Company, a chartered accountant firm in Bangladesh, to conduct a special audit on Fareast Islami.

The auditor then submitted a report to the Idra in May 2022.

As per the report, Tk 2,367 crore has been embezzled from the company. Apart from this, accounting irregularities amounting to Tk 432 crore were detected.

Nazrul Islam and MA Khaleque, former chairmen of Fareast Islami, Hemayet Ullah, former chief executive officer, and former directors and senior officials were found involved in the embezzlement.

The money was embezzled in mainly two ways: purchase of land at prices higher than the market value and bank loans availed mortgaging the company’s Mudaraba Term Deposit Receipt (MTDR).

The MTDR is a profit bearing account based on the Mudaraba concept that offers returns on money deposited for a fixed period of time.

In September 2021, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission dissolved the company’s board of directors. That same month, the then chief executive officer, Hemayet Ullah, was sacked by the Idra.

At present, Fareast Islami operates through independent directors.


Source: The Daily Star


FY23 revenue fell Tk180cr at Benapole Customs

Revenue worth Tk5,786 was collected against the target of Tk5,966 crore in 2022-23

Revenue collection at Benapole Custom House fell short of the target by Tk180 crore in 2022-23 following a decline in imports as many traders could not open Letters of Credit (LC) for a shortage of dollars.

Revenue worth Tk5,786 was collected against the target of Tk5,966 crore in 2022-23. The import also decreased by 1,43,921 tonnes compared to 2021-22, according to Benapole Custom House sources.

In the 2022-23 fiscal year, 20,35,499 tonnes of goods were imported, which was 21,79,420 tonnes in 2021-22.

The target of revenue collection in the 2020-21 financial year was Tk6 thousand 244 crore 57 lakh whereas Tk4 thousand 145 crore 14 lakh was collected, a deficit of Tk2 thousand 99 crore 43 lakh.

President of Benapole C&F Agent Association Shamsur Rahman said that the businessmen of India and Bangladesh are more interested in trading with Benapole due to the ease of communication. However, the government has imposed 100% margin conditions on LCs due to the dollar crisis. Banks are also not opening LC due to the dollar crisis. So, imports decreased last year.

Ejaz Uddin Tipu, an importer from Jashore, said, “No bank in Jashore has been opening LC for more than one year. We could not import products as per demand. We are incurring losses in our business.”

Director of India-Bangladesh Land Port Import Export Committee Matiar Rahman hoped that the import will increase once the dollar crisis is over.

Mizanur Rahman, former director of the Jashore Chamber of Commerce, said that thousands of traders involved in imports are in financial distress as banks are not opening LCs. Now the importers are in dire straits. They will be financially crippled if they cannot import goods.

Safayet Hossain, joint commissioner of Benapole Customs House, said, “Our revenue collection growth is 28% though the revenue collection target was not met. There were some holidays in June during Eid, due to which the revenue is slightly less than the target.”


DSE mobile app users to be charged monthly from now on

Infograph: TBS

Infograph: TBS

Starting from this month, each new user of the DSE Mobile — the real-time trading app of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) — has to pay a service charge of Tk125, including VAT and tax, per month.

For the ones who are already using the app, the service charge will be applicable from 1 January 2024.

The Dhaka bourse took this decision in a board meeting and informed all Trading Right Entitlement Certificate (TREC) holder companies through a letter on 12 July.

The DSE’s Acting Managing Director M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar told The Business Standard, from now on, investors will have to pay a monthly charge for using the DSE mobile app. Those who are currently using the app have been given time to subscribe by paying the charges.

“We have already upgraded the service of the DSE mobile app and increased the maximum capacity to three lakh users from one lakh for giving better service to the investors. We will resume the new connections from this month,” he added.

Currently, the DSE has to pay the vendor company $1 every month against each user, whereas it was charging investors nothing for the sake of promoting modern trading. On the other hand, due to a dull market, the exchange was not earning much from operations to offset its costs.

At the end of last year, 77,103 investors traded shares worth Tk30,000 crore – 12.83% of the DSE total turnover – by using the app.

For almost a year, stockbrokers have remained deprived of new connections for the app. Reason, the backwardness of the premier bourse’s IT department.

The trading app, which was launched in 2016, made stock trading from smartphones fun for tech savvy investors. The DSE, before the pandemic, had allocated almost all of its one lakh connections among brokerage houses based on their needs and usages. The brokers then allocated these connections among their clients.

After the pandemic, the new brokers, who bought brokerage licenses without a membership or shares of the premier bourse, were suffering even more as they got no connection at all to let their clients use the trading app.

Meanwhile, some of the top tier brokerage firms which built their own trading apps and system platforms, spending gigantic sums out of pocket, were in an advantageous position in client hunting as their smaller competitors were unable to make a Tk5-15 crore investment for proprietary apps.

For instance, LankaBangla Securities, City Brokerage invested a lot and their clients from any corner of the world were trading Dhaka stocks. Also, Shanta Securities, Sheltech Brokerage and a few others are testing their own apps.

In a smart move, over a dozen firms, including some largest ones like EBL Securities, have formed a consortium to build a common proprietary trading app out of shared investments.

Some brokers said the premier bourse had underestimated the demand for the trading app, and its slower pace in capacity enhancement was also because of the cost DSE incurred for every connection.

The IT department had long been a serious weakness for the DSE. In 2022, the bourse suffered several technical glitches that halted trading for hours.

The chief technology officer had been removed consequentially, while its then managing director, having an IT expertise, resigned following a tussle with his board.

Later, the oldest bourse of the country made an IT professor of the University of Dhaka its chairman with a hope for some improvement.


Square Pharma shares get buyers at floor price

After more than seven months, Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd shares, on Thursday morning have seen buyers bidding at and above the floor price of Tk209.8 apiece.

It offered a sense of relief to a large number of investors who were unable to sell the blue-chip share for months, stockbrokers said.

However, selling pressure was yet to let the large-cap stocks take off from the floor as of 11:30am.

Securities regulator imposed the floor price on individual scrips on 28 July last year and that deprived investors of majority scrips of opportunities to exit.

In the last few months over a hundred of 401 DSE scrips came up from the floor, mostly small cap ones.

Square Pharmaceuticals posted Tk16.82 in earnings per share for the first nine months of the last fiscal year, up from Tk16.3 for the same period of the previous year.

Source: The Business Standard

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.


The ‘Z’ chaos in the stock market

BSEC in November 2020 prohibited stocks category downgrading and the order to the bourses was never repealed. Now it asks DSE to explain why some sick companies were not placed in the “Z” category

Infographic: TBS

Infographic: The Business Standard

Bourses and stock investors, over the last two weeks, have seemed too puzzled to conclude when a listed company should be punished as a so-called “Z” category stock and when it should not be.

They were finding too many deviations between the regulations and the ongoing practices.

At least 23 of the listed firms were clearly deserving of being downgraded to “Z” much earlier last fiscal year, according to the 1 September 2020 notification by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) that relaxed the criteria for the companies to be placed in the “Z” category.

Surprisingly, each was still trading as superior “A” or “B” category-company shares until the puzzled bourses, responding to some criticism, downgraded five of them on 25 June, creating another sudden shock for the investors as downgrading to “Z” means inconveniences in secondary market trading and a price fall.

On the following day, the BSEC asked the Dhaka Stock Exchange to explain why each of the 23 companies was not regularly reviewed and placed in the “Z” category.

“We have already replied to the regulator’s letter,” said M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, acting managing director at DSE.

Following the 2020 regulations change, there had been some confusion regarding downgrading listed companies to “Z” and the DSE had been seeking BSEC approval for downgrading companies to “Z” in eligible cases, he said, declining requests for further details.

TBS, however, saw an unpublished BSEC letter written to both the bourses of Dhaka and Chattogram in November 2020 that prohibited category downgrading, and the order was never repealed later.

This was the key to all the false appearances of sick companies’ categories on the bourses, said officials at the stock exchanges, seeking anonymity.

“The BSEC order barred us from downgrading companies, and now we have to show cause,” said one of them.

The relaxations of 2020 were for the greater interest of the capital market, listed firms, and their investors amid an unusual situation during the pandemic, and they were mainly exempting firms’ accidental tough times in paying dividends, not every single non-compliance, said BSEC Executive Director and Spokesperson Rezaul Karim.

“Seeking explanation is part of the regulator’s daily job, and if the explanations are satisfactory, there should emerge solutions to exceptional problems,” he added.

BSEC also asked both the DSE and the Chittagong Stock Exchange (DSE) on Wednesday to explain why they did not monitor, act on, and report on the Z-category companies.

Since the November letter, no company went to the Z category until 25 June, said DSE-CSE officials.

“What should we report when no company entered into Z?” said one of them.

Listed companies that fail to stay in operations, hold an annual general meeting, or pay dividends within stipulated time used to be categorized as “Z” by the bourses, eying a comparative inconvenience in trading of their shares through allowing no leveraged trading and a longer settlement cycle and, of course, a weaker image among investors.

BSEC, in a September 2021 notification prior to the November, 2020 letter to the bourses, said no cash dividend, negative operating cash flow for two straight years, negative net asset value, no AGM in six months of the fiscal year ending despite no legal complexity, no operations for more than six months despite no factory modernization project could result in downgrading to “Z” with the regulator’s prior approval.

Source: The Business Standard


An IPO slowdown

Only one firm from the manufacturing sector go public in FY23

It appears that private sector firms are becoming increasingly reluctant to go public nowadays, unless there is a regulatory obligation.

In fiscal 2022-23, only one manufacturer, Navana Pharmaceuticals Limited, was listed on the country’s stock market, down from three in the previous fiscal year.

In the outgoing fiscal year, five out of the six new firms listed on the stock exchanges were either banks or insurance companies, as they were compelled to go public due to regulations.

The IPO of Asiatic Laboratories, another manufacturing company, in the last fiscal year was halted in the middle due to its accounting irregularities.

According to DSE data, in FY21, manufacturing sector firms were highly dominant in IPOs to raise funds from the stock market to expand their businesses.

Out of the total 16 firms listed in FY21, 11 were from the manufacturing sector, while the remaining were banks and insurance companies.

Collectively, the companies raised a total of Tk1,610 crore, with the manufacturing firms accounting for Tk1,413 crore of that amount.

Following the onset of Covid, capital raising by manufacturing firms plummeted due to a slowdown in business.

Later, the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbated the situation as the cost of raw materials sharply soared in global markets.

Market insiders said, amid the ongoing economic uncertainty, entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector are being highly conservative when it comes to investing for business expansion.

 The country’s manufacturing sector faced a significant blow as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. In this situation, market insiders have noted that manufacturers are reluctant to go public.

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has adopted a somewhat slow policy in approving IPOs due to the fund crisis and poor condition in the capital market.

Due to which fewer IPOs were approved in the outgoing fiscal year compared to previous years.

Rezaul Karim, a spokesman for the BSEC, told The Business Standard, “IPOs are approved after scrutiny.”

“Some companies have not fared well after Covid, which has resulted in their inability to apply for public listing as they fail to meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Public Issue Rules,” he added.

Rezaul Karim, also the executive director of the commission, believes that a larger number of IPOs will come from the manufacturing sector in the future.

Md Obaydur Rahman, director of AAA Finance & Investment, told TBS, “The manufacturing sector has taken a big hit after Covid. Many companies have had a major impact on their profits. Some institutions are struggling to stay afloat.”

“They are in crisis again due to the Russia-Ukraine war, even before the recovery from the Covid shock. Public Issue Rules have not been relaxed despite reduced predictability due to Covid and the war. In this situation, entrepreneurs are not interested in raising capital from the stock market for business expansion,” he added.

Md Obaydur Rahman also shares the belief that many good companies are hesitant to go public due to the fear of not receiving a fair value through the formula used to determine the share price in the book building method.

He said that although some companies have good business and profits, many are reluctant to go public due to concerns about not obtaining a favourable share price through the bookbuilding method.

IPOs and fund raising falls

According to data from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), fundraising from the stock market declined in FY23 to Tk621 crore from Tk699.36 crore in the previous fiscal year.

Also, the number of IPOs has dropped in the outgoing fiscal year.

In FY23, out of the six companies that went public, only one used the book-building method to raise funds, while the remaining five opted for the fixed price method.

Only Navana Pharmaceuticals raised Tk75 crore for business expansion, while the remaining five companies, consisting of three insurers and two banks, raised Tk546 crore in order to fulfil the regulatory obligation of going public.

The banks and insurers are expected to utilise the funds raised for investing in the capital market and government treasury bonds.

In fiscal 2021-22, a total of eight firms raised funds from the stock market, while two banks and three insurers raised Tk579 crore and three manufacturing firms raised Tk120 crore for the business expansion and loan repayment.

Basically, private sector entrepreneurs raised funds for long-term financing and invested in business expansion.

Global Islami Bank raised Tk425 crore, of which Tk100 crore was allotted for SME investment, Tk268 crore for buying T-bonds, and Tk50 crore for buying listed securities.

Midland Bank raised Tk70 crore, of which Tk61.11 crore was allotted for investing in T-bonds and Tk5 crore in listed securities.

Navana Pharmaceuticals raised Tk75 crore, of which Tk23.24 crore was for the construction of a new general building, Tk9 crore was for the construction of a new utility and engineering building, and Tk21 crore was for loan repayment.

Chartered Life Insurance raised Tk15 crore from the stock market; as per the prospectus, the insurer will invest Tk6 crore in government treasury bonds and Tk7.9 crore in the secondary market.

Islami Commercial Insurance Company raised Tk20.26 crore, and Trust Islami Life Insurance raised Tk16 crore.

Source: The Business Standard

Navana Pharma to convert 60% of Tk150cr bond into shares

The bond will be issued for five years, and the conversion process will start in the third year

Navana Pharmaceuticals Limited is going to issue a Tk150 crore bond and wants to convert 60% or Tk90 crore of the bond into shares.

The company said in a statement that it will issue the bond for five years, and the conversion process will start in the third year.

As per its plan, the company will convert 20% of the bond into shares each year starting from the third year till the fifth.

To convert into shares, the company will seek shareholders’ approval by holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 31 July.  After shareholders’ approval, the company will seek the securities regulator’s consent.

The bond amount will be used for repaying its existing bank loans, which totalled to Tk330 crore as of 31 March.

The company has repaid Tk21.18 crore in bank loans out of the Tk75 crore capital it collected from the investors through an initial public offering (IPO) last year.

Meanwhile, Navana Pharma is going to renovate its existing production line instead of setting up new facilities with funds raised from the capital market.

According to the IPO prospectus, Tk23.24 crore was allocated for setting up a new production plant.

But the company now plans to invest Tk25.57 crore for modernisation and expansion of the existing facilities. The rest of the investment will come from its own funds.

In the scheduled EGM, the company will seek shareholders’ approval of its change of IPO utilisation plan too.

Navana Pharmaceuticals shares, having a face value of Tk10 apiece, fell by 2.84% to Tk112.7 at the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Thursday.


IT firm Doer Services to raise Tk5cr from SME platform

Doer Services PLC, an IT-based company, has filed an application to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to raise Tk5 crore through qualified investor offer (QIO) from the SME platform of the bourses.

The company will raise the fund by issuing 5 lakh shares at a face value of Tk10 each to expand its business.

Of the fund, the company wants to use Tk3.28 crore for product development and enhancement, Tk51 lakh to set up a cloud computing environment, Tk28 lakh for funding product penetration, and Tk68 lakh for expanding its development facilities.

Doer Services was incorporated in 2014 and started operations in February 2015. The company’s principal products and services include software development, software or application customisation, outsourcing, digital data entry and processing, support, and software maintenance and call centre services. All of these products are marketed throughout Bangladesh.

It mainly provides an end-to-end agent banking ecosystem including the technological infrastructure and agent network. As a fintech based organisation, it manages several projects, such as SMS banking, agent banking, Doer pay point, unified messaging platform, learning management system, remittance platform, payments systems, and private cloud. It has no subsidiary.

The Agrani Bank, the Insurance Development Regulatory Authority, the Microcredit Regulatory Authority, and the National Board of Revenue are the largest customers of the company.

The company has lands in different areas of Sylhet. It currently operates business in rented premises in Dhaka.

Its authorised capital is Tk100 crore and paid-up Tk44.50 crore, according to the draft prospectus.

Genex Infosys, eGeneration, Daffodil Computers, and Infinity Technology International are the major competitors of the company. All but Infinity Technology are listed on the main platform of the bourses.

If the QIO plan succeeds, Doer Services will be the first technology company to be in the SME platform.

From July to December 2022, the company’s revenue stood at Tk28 crore, which was Tk31.20 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Its net profit after taxes came down 27% to Tk7 crore from Tk9.58 crore compared to the same period of the previous year.

During the period, its earnings per share was Tk1.57 and net asset value per share Tk14.32. Its retained earnings stood at Tk21.98 crore at the end of December 2022.

Alpha Capital Management Ltd is working as the issue manager of the company.

Demand for software and IT-enabled services is growing in the country as many local business entities alongside the government and other organisations are adopting automation. After overcoming the pandemic consequences, the sector has now been able to attract customers worldwide through IT-enabled services, said industry people.

The stock exchanges introduced their SME platforms in September 2019 to attract businesses with small capital bases to the stock market, and help them raise capital.

In September 2021, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) made its SME platform debut by trading shares of six companies. Currently, 17 companies are listed on the SME market.

In FY22, investors saw impressive cash dividends from SME companies. Most companies recommended 10% cash dividends for their shareholders.

However, the SME board share prices are considered to be volatile due to the small market capitalisation and the restrictions imposed by the regulator on small investors’ participation there.

One has to have an investment account worth at least Tk30 lakh before investing in the SME board.