Ban on bureaucrat investments rocks bourse in Bangladesh

Saleem Samad – AHN News Correspondent

Dhaka, Bangladesh (AHN) – Thousands of small investors took to the streets in Bangladesh Wednesday after the country’s stock index dipped to 4695.57 points, losing 168.72 points or 3.46 percent, at the close of trading.

As the index tumbled inside, outside the Dhaka Stock Exchange building investors protesting retail stocks blocked traffic in the Motijheel, the commercial hub of the city. Riot police with bulletproof vests and tear gas shells stood guard to prevent the demonstration from becoming violent, said senior police officer Krishna Roy.

Share prices dropped sharply on Wednesday even after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman clarified that no decision was taken in Monday’s cabinet meeting to stop public servants from investing in the capital market.

The ruckus began after the government banned government workers from investing in the capital market. The order said that public servants could not make any speculative investment or engage in a business that creates a conflict of interest.

Hours after issuing the ban, the government withdrew it.

At a press briefing, Musharraf M. Hussain, chief executive officer of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, said the bourse suspended trading to protect the interests of both the capital market and capital investors.

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