Govt to offload 25pc shares of 4 companies by May
Thursday, 28 February 2008

UNB, Dhaka

The government Tuesday decided to offload 25 per cent of its 51 per cent stake in each of the four listed companies by May.

The companies are Osmania Glass Sheet Factory Limited, Atlas Bangladesh Limited, National Tubes Limited and Eastern Cables Limited.

An inter-ministerial meeting at the finance ministry took the decision, with finance adviser Mirza Azizul Islam in the chair. 'The meeting has decided to offload 25 per cent of the government's 51 per cent holdings in the four listed companies,' Aziz told a post-meeting briefing in the ministry conference room.

The long-awaited announcement was made as a follow-up of the government action plan decided on August 31, 2005 to increase supply of shares having good fundamentals to the capital market amid short supply of good shares as compared to demand.

The declaration came at a time when many of the market players blamed regulators for creating a liquidity crisis in the market through imposing restriction on margin loans and taking away huge money by the state-run Jamuna Oil and Meghna Petroleum.

They, however, termed the announcement as good news for the capital market and expressed their confidence that the market has the capacity to absorb the forthcoming shares.

The meeting further decided to re-evaluate the assets of state-owned enterprises under the Ministry of Industries, having 100 per cent government stake by June 30, before going for their listing and offloading 49 per cent shares in the market.

It also formed a committee comprising representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ministry of Industries, and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh to examine the status of the mostly loss-making state-owned sugar mills.

'The committee will identify by June 30 whether the sugar mills could be listed in the stock market and the shares offloaded,' said the finance adviser.

About the government stakes in listed companies, mostly multinationals with major shareholding by foreign investors, the meeting observed that offloading of the government shares could not be possible without the decision of the respective company board of directors.

Aziz said the meeting decided to communicate with the boards about the government decision to offload shares and take decision in this regard followed by the respective board decisions.

Replying to a question, he said the government rejected a proposal from Unilever Bangladesh Limited to buy the government stake in the multinational company.

Instead, the government is now negotiating with the company to offload equal 5 per cent stakes each from the government holdings and the foreign investor's holdings.

Comments Add New
Write comment
  We don't publish your mail. See privacy policy.
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.