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Bangladesh regulator asks bourses to digitalise trading platforms to avoid trade disruptions

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The regulator felt the necessity of digital platforms following the recent break of trading due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The securities regulator has asked Bangladesh bourses to set work plans for transforming the trading platforms into completely digitalised ones to avoid trade disruptions during any kind of pandemic in future.

The instructions came at a meeting on Tuesday at the office of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), presided over by its chairman Prof. Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam.

The regulator felt the necessity of digital platforms following the recent break of trading for 66 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the stock exchanges of other countries continued trading.

The meeting discussed possible measures that can be taken into account to develop digital trading platforms to continue trading during any kind of pandemic, said Mamun-Ur-Rashid, managing director at the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE).

He said the BSEC also wanted to know the existing obstacles those are hindering the digitalisation. The brokers also need investments to come under the coverage of the complete digitalised platforms.

The CSE managing director also said the BSEC wanted to know the capability of brokerage houses for online trading.

Following the demand of reopening the trading, the securities regulator and the stock exchanges had said the existing setups and limited number of mobile app users do not support the resumption of trading.

Number of mobile app users still remains very insignificant compared to total number of BO (beneficiary owner’s) accounts.

Experts earlier blamed the exchanges’ limited promotional activities behind the insufficient number of mobile app users.

According to information of Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), the number of active BO accounts is 2.58 million as of March 25 last.

After four years of launching the mobile app by the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), the number of investors using the app so far rose to only 52,000, which is only 2.0 per cent of active BO accounts.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the securities regulator also laid importance on listing companies having good fundamentals.

The BSEC has instructed us to do marketing so that good companies are inspired to go public, CSE managing director Rashid said. He said the securities regulator is also working to facilitate the listing of multinational companies to enhance the depth of the country’s capital market.

Four BSEC commissioners Khondoker Kamaluzzaman, Dr. Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed, Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman and Md. Abdul Halim were present at the meeting.

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