Bangladesh stocks rise after fall prompts protests

Bangladesh shares rose sharply in early trading today, a day after a steep plunge forced the bourse to suspend trading and sparked violent street protests by angry investors which were broken up by the police.

The Dhaka Stock Exchange's benchmark General Index rose 15 percent, with 226 shares rising and only three declining in early trade. The bourse suffered its biggest crash ever yesterday which led authorities to suspend trading after 50 minutes in response to a 8.9 percent decline.

Shares, battered for weeks, had sunk 6.7 percent on Sunday.

"We are seeing peaceful, normal business conditions back at the bourse with many shares traded in the first hour after trading opened," one investor said.

Analysts said investors had been encouraged by measures taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the market regulator, to relax the limit on how much buyers can borrow from their brokers to invest.

Sentiment was also boosted by the central bank's extension of a deadline for banks to adjust the vast amounts of loans that had been diverted from the industrial sector to capital markets.

"All these decisions have encouraged investors to inject funds into the market and that helped the rise in the market today," said Mostaque Ahmed Sadeque of Investment Promotion Services Limited.

Many investors in the Bangladesh's Dhaka and Chittagong exchanges are individuals with modest means who have taken out large loans to invest in shares to improve living standards.

Individual investors numbered fewer than 500,000 in 2006, with the number since rising to more than 3 million.

"The income from share trading helped to run my family, send my children to schools and meet other requirements," Raqibul Haque, a small investor who funded stock purchases by selling his wife's jewellery, told Reuters.

"But I felt so helpless as prices fell sharply over the past weeks."

Police said they expected no recurrence of Monday's turmoil, when thousands of investors vandalised cars and blocked roads around the exchange, before police fired tear gas and used water cannon to disper them. There were also protests in Chittagong and other major towns.

Prices of shares nearly doubled in 2010, encouraging a stream of new investors to enter the stock market.

Persistent declines since early last month unleashed a series of street protests, prompting the stock market regulator and the central bank to take measures to cool the market.

The benchmark Dhaka Stock Exchange index has lost more than 27 percent since Dec. 5.

The market, which surged by more than 80 percent in 2010, lost its value by $9 billion in the trading week of Jan 2-10, the SEC said. Market capitalisation was $41 billion yesterday.

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Telesales Executive - Cloud Software/SaaS - £37,000 OTE

£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game