Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

China and India vying for strategic dominance in DSE

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A CONSORTIUM of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has proposed to purchase 45 crore shares of the DSE for Tk 22 each. It said it will also provide the stock exchange with a technical support involving $37 million (about Tk 300 crore). The consortium demanded one post of director at the DSE board, saying it will not ask for any return on its investment for 10 years, as per a report of a local daily.

Another consortium, led by the National Stock Exchange of India, has offered Tk 15 for each share. It has partnerships with American Nasdaq, and Frontier Fund Bangladesh, a private equity fund. In the proposal, the NSE said it wanted to provide technical support to the DSE, but it did not mention the monetary value. The NSE also demanded two posts of directors at the board and the option of leaving the board after five years.

As the Chinese consortium's bidding price is nearly 47 percent higher than that of the Indian one, the DSE approved the Chinese proposal at its board meeting on Saturday, said sources at the stock exchange. But the share market regulator, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, declined to give the work order a go ahead and asked the DSE to further scrutinise the proposals.

The country's premier bourse took the initiative to include strategic partners in it to get modern technological facilities, and services for management and business development as part of its demutualisation scheme taken up in 2013. The move separated the bourse's management from ownership. According to the demutualisation scheme, 25 percent of the 180 crore DSE shares would be sold to strategic partners, 35 percent to small investors, and 40 percent would be with the Trading Right Entitlement Certificate or TREC holders.

Why can't DSE get technical support simply by paying consultants? Including strategic partners to get technical support is a roundabout way of updating its technology. We can simply send a request to the world's premier bourses like NYSE or NASDAQ to get support to upgrade our existing facilities. Management and business development can simply be done by employing the brightest management consultants in the world.

Handing over a part of our bourse to any foreign partner is something to think about -- do we need any external influences on our country's premier stock exchange? When we can get the work done more easily why take a more difficult and roundabout way?

Both India and China are trying all out to extend their influence in Asia. There is no need for any foreign influence to be present in our financial markets. We definitely don't want anyone to be in the controlling seat.


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