ABG Limited – a concern of the Bashundhara Group – has become a strategic investor in the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), media reported.
According to the media reports, the company will buy a 25% stake of the bourse for Tk238 crore, according to a deal the parties signed in a ceremony at the Radisson Blu hotel in the port city on Sunday.
CSE acting managing director Ghulam Faruque and ABG Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir inked the deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, prime minister’s Adviser on Private Industries and Investment Salman F Rahman were present at the signing ceremony.
Also, Chattogram City Corporation Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan attended the function.
CSE Chairman Asif Ibrahim said the Chattogram bourse and ABG Limited will play a role in the development of the country by utilising their talents through the development of the capital market.
“A new milestone has been created for the country’s capital market.”
Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam said, “Today is a historic day. The CSC has got a strong partner through this agreement, with whose cooperation it can develop the commodity exchange.”
“The CSC will be strengthened through the strategic partnership. This strategic partner will contribute to the establishment of a strong commodity exchange in the bourse,” he added.
In September, the BSEC allowed the CSE to sell 25% of its stake to ABG Limited.
ABG bought 15.86 crore shares of the CSE at Tk15 each.
Sources said ABG Ltd do not have the technical expertise to help or operate a stock exchange or value addition. The company will bring technical assistance from abroad to operate and manage the stock exchange.
According to the Demutualisation Act, there is an obligation to sell 25% of the stock exchange’s total shares to be sold to strategic investors.
Since 2016, the regulator has been extending the time to look for strategic investors every year based on company applications.
In September 2018, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) transferred 25% of its shares to strategic investors – the Chinese consortium of Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange – for Tk962 crore, with each share priced at Tk21.
The CSE was established in 1995. Currently, its paid-up capital is Tk634.52 crore and the number of shares is 63.45 crore.