The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), the country's main bourse, has launched trading on the SME platform for the first time on Thursday, after two and a half years of its inauguration.
In this regard, the DSE organised a programme titled “Inaugural Trading at DSE SME Platform” on its premises in the capital.
Dr Mizanur Rahman, commissioner of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, attended it as the chief guest of the opening ceremony of the transaction on DSE SME platform while Md Masudur Rahman, chairperson of SME Foundation, was the special guest.
Md Eunusur Rahman, chairman of Dhaka Stock Exchange, presided over the function.
BSEC Commissioner Dr Mizanur Rahman said the size of the country's economy has grown by 63 percent in the last ten years, with the SME sector contributing the most.
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However, he also called for ensuring transparency and good governance in the financial statements of SMEs to take the SME sector forward.
He also suggested creating a real-time dashboard for transactions on the DSE-SME platform as soon as possible.
He also called upon the SME Foundation and the Dhaka Stock Exchange to work together to mobilize small and medium enterprises to raise capital from the capital market.
Md Eunusur Rahman said, “The SME sector plays a major role in technological innovation, job creation, export growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation. As a country of emerging economies, a large number of small capital businesses have been established in Bangladesh Many companies in this category are not able to reach their desired goals due to lack of necessary funding despite having opportunities for business development and expansion. This is our initiative to provide opportunities for the development and expansion of small capital businesses.”
If the SME market is fully launched, the capital market of Bangladesh will reach a new height, he mentioned.
There are currently almost one lakh companies registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC), he said, adding that the capital market can be a great medium for raising capital for these companies.
With the launch of the DSE SME platform, a new dimension has been added to the DSE, and the country's capital market, by giving the country's SME sector companies the opportunity to be listed on the capital market, he mentioned.
This sector will play an important role in the overall economic development of a developing country like Bangladesh, he said.
Md Masudur Rahman said on 6 September 2021, 3 weeks after the signing of the MoU between the SME Foundation and the Dhaka Stock Exchange-DSE, the SMEs were able to start trading in the capital market, a historic event in the country's capital market.
“Although SMEs get loans from banks and financial institutions to the tune of Tk 180,000 crore a year, the actual demand is four times higher. As a result, they have to raise capital through high-cost micro-credit, which increases the cost of doing business. Therefore, he called upon the SMEs to capitalize on the capital market through activities like preparation of paperwork, keeping proper accounts, business transactions through banks, and so on in order to raise long-term capital at low cost,” he mentioned.
He further said that various initiatives of the SME Foundation have resulted in a positive change in the attitude of the government towards the development of the SME sector.
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However, the platform was launched with six companies including Master Feed Agrotech, Oriza Agro Industries, OTC Return Apex Weaving and Finishing Mills, Wonderland Toys, Himadri and Bengal Biscuits. With this, DSE started a new journey.
Of the six companies, two are newly listed firms that raised funds through qualified investor offer (QIO) while four others came from the recently abolished over-the-counter (OTC) market.
According to the data, the transaction of Master Feed Agrotech has started at Tk 12, the transaction of Oriza Agro Industries has started at Tk 12, the transaction of OTC Return Apex Weaving and Finishing Mills has started at Tk 14.40, the transaction of Wonderland Toys has started at Tk 19.90 and Bengal Biscuits Tk 213.30.