The securities regulator has fined three individuals and a cooperative company Tk 24 million for manipulating share prices of Bangladesh National Insurance Company (BNIC) during October-December, 2020.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) imposed the fine based on an investigation report and on completion of relevant formalities by its enforcement department.
According to an investigation conducted by the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), those individuals and the cooperative company played a key role behind the price surge of the shares of the BNIC.
The company's share price jumped up to 71.50 per cent from October 29 to December 29, 2020.
Kazi Sadia Hasan has been fined Tk 14 million for manipulating the share price in breach of rules, according to an order of the enforcement department of the securities regulator.
Besides, the BSEC fined DIT Cooperative 3.50 million, Md AG Mahmud Tk 1.50 million, and Md Saif Ullah Tk 5.0 million.
Major buyers of the shares of BNIC included cricketer Shakib Al Hasan and former home minister Dr Mahi Uddin Khan Alamgir.
But their names were not found on the list of major sellers of the shares of the BNIC and they were not fined by the securities regulator.
In this regard, the BSEC Executive Director Mohammad Rezaul Karim said the names of many investors were included while conducting the probe.
Following several steps, including hearings, the regulator reached the final stage. "Someone cannot be fined if s/he finally is not found responsible for any violation."
Kazi Sadia Hasan purchased 2.87 million shares and sold 2.64 million - she had a 6.53 per cent contribution to the total trade of the company's shares during the reporting period.
The securities regulator said Mrs Hasan breached rules and her clarification regarding transactions was not acceptable to the BSEC.
"It was required to fine Mrs Hasan for the sake of ensuring discipline and transparency and serving the public interest," said the BSEC order.
Apart from Mrs Hasan, DIT Cooperative was also involved in trading shares of BNIC, influencing the price of its shares on several dates.
The BSEC order said the investigation found that Mrs Hasan and DIT Cooperative bought 79.72 per cent of the total trade of NBIC shares by executing 142 out of 199 trades.
"…it seems Kazi Sadia Hasan and DIT Cooperative were actively trying to lift the price of shares of BNIC," added the order.
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