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Bangladesh’s capital market like a casino: Expert


Dhaka: Bangladesh’s volatile capital market, with the stock exchange registering fluctuations, was Sunday described as a “casino” by a prominent economist.

Rehman Sobhan, director of think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), made this observation on a day the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) lost 474 points in a recurring phenomenon, provoking investors to protest on the streets.

Prices of shares took a sharp dip Sunday, the first day of trading in the week, recording a 7.27 percent decrease in the general index of exchange.

Angry protesters Sunday took out processions on the street outside the DSE building in the capital’s business hub. This is the sixth such demonstration since December.

Stopping vehicular movement on the street, they chanted slogans asking the government “to take proper steps to save the market from collapsing”, The Daily Star reported on its website.

The government’s intervention through the Securities Exchange Corporation and the Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, has not prevented the fluctuations. The government has announced that the stock exchange will be de-mutualised.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia has accused the government of economic mismanagement.

Her political rival, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has alleged that the opposition-supported “vested interests” operating in the market have ‘tricked’ the economy.

“What we have in Bangladesh is a ‘casino’, not a capital market, where people are running in totally a crazy way,” said Sobhan, who heads the country’s most prominent economic think tank.