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Trading on ATB kicks off

FE REPORT | January 05, 2023 00:00:00

Alternative Trading Board (ATB) started its journey on Wednesday, paving the way to facilitate transactions of non-listed equity securities, debt securities, open-end mutual funds and alternative investment funds.

Initially, ATB began with a company - LankaBangla Securities, and a bond - PRAN Agro guaranteed bond, on the newly introduced ATB platform.

Only one trade of 500 shares of LankaBangla Securities was executed at Tk 15.40 each, rising 3.35 per cent from the reference price of Tk 14.90. But no PRAN Agro guaranteed bond was traded on the first trading day.

Earlier on the day, Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), inaugurated share trading on the new platform as the chief guest.

Md Eunusur Rahman, chairman of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), presided over the event, while BSEC Commissioner Dr Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed was present as a special guest.

The BSEC chairman is optimistic that the New Year will be good for the stock market.

"Efforts are underway to introduce more new products. But the benefits of new products will not be visible overnight and the positive results will come gradually," he said.

Mr Islam said previously the investors were in a selective area.

People don't want to invest unless there is an exit system, but ATB will give some comfort for investors as well as the issuers, he added.

ATB is a trading based platform consisting of four types of securities, such as equity securities, debt securities, open-end mutual funds and alternative investment funds.

Speaking on the occasion, DSE Chairman Eunusur Rahman said with the commencement of the new trading board, the stock market has taken a new leap and the benefits of the new board will come in the coming days.

He said they received a good response from the SME platform, which was introduced in September 2021.

"The ATB will also play a major role in the capital market in the future," he said.

The paid-up capital of LankaBangla Securities is Tk 2.69 billion. According to the ATB rules, LankaBangla Securities has to sell 10 per cent of its shares on the market within 30 days.

Total size of the Pran Agro guaranteed bond is Tk 2.10 billion. The issue price is Tk 898,378 per bond with a face value of Tk 1,000,000 per bond.

Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, managing director (acting) of the DSE, said the transaction will facilitate the transfer of ownership, branding, and exposure of the company, which will create liquidity and alternative investment opportunities for the potential investors.

The primary shareholders, including the sponsors and directors of the company, shall not offload or sell more than 49 per cent equity securities or ordinary shares of the company, according to the DSE.

Mahbubul Anam, director of LankaBangla Securities, and Uzma Chowdhury, director (finance) of PRAN-RFL Group, also spoke at the event.

Speakers hoped that the capital market, which is currently facing many challenges, will turn around in the coming days.

The ATB's trading and settlement is similarly treated as 'A' Category Securities on the main board. Also, anyone can transact on ATB through their beneficiary owner account.

As per the rules, the companies will not raise funds through the ATB. The application fee is 10,000 on the ATB board.

The BSEC approved the ATB rules at the end of 2019.

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