Stocks have seen a decline by more than 3 per cent in the last two trading sessions as investors are concerned because of the sudden rise of COVID-19 infections and death tolls.
The DSEX, the benchmark index for the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), dropped 84 points or 1.56 per cent to conclude the day at 5,349 on March 21. This meant that the index declined 166.62 points or 3.04 per cent in the last two sessions.
A stockbroker stated that the investors fear that the rise in infections might take a huge toll on the business in the country for the second time in the last one year. “Investors are cautious in buying stocks.”
There are also concerns among the investors that the market might be closed, like the government decided in 2020, to regulate the spread of the rogue virus. However, the regulator stated that such a decision had not been taken yet, and the trading would continue if the banks remained open.
The broker said that as most of the listed companies were hit hard in the initial weeks of the lockdown in Bangladesh before restrictions were eased in June, that the investors are nervous.
“If the situation worsens, the market would be impacted again,” he added.
In the last 25 hours, 22 people died because of the coronavirus infections across the country based on the Directorate General of Health Services. At least 2,172 people were infected.
“As the number of cases is rising, people are edgy,” said Sohel Rana, a stock investor.
He added that in many countries, the second wave of the coronavirus impacted the businesses and the stock market seriously.
“As many people across the country don’t maintain health protocols, the lax attitude might be more dangerous for us. So, investors are selling,” Rana said.
A top official of an asset management company stated that the business of the listed companies in Bangladesh would not be impacted drastically as the citizens of the country does not bother too much with the virus. He also speculated that some speculators are using the situation to cause the market to decline so that they buy shares at a lucrative price.
“I don’t believe that the market is falling for Covid-19. Investors need to be cautious and hold the shares of well-performing companies.”
On March 21, turnover, which is an important indicator of the market, fell 10 per cent to Tk 615 crore at the DSE.
Janata Insurance topped the gainers’ list as it rose 9.67 per cent, followed by Republic Insurance, ICB Islamic Bank, Asia Pacific Insurance, and Paramount Insurance. Beximco Ltd was the most-traded stock, with its shares worth Tk 84 crore changing hands, followed by Robi, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, LankaBangla Finance, and LafargeHolcim. Anlima Yarn took gave up the most as it fell 10 per cent, followed by Aziz Pipes, Beacon Pharmaceuticals, Emerald Oil, and Savar Refractories.
The port city bourse also dropped yesterday. The CSCX, the general index of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, fell 157 points, or 1.66 per cent, to close at 9,342.
At the CSE, 17 issues rose, 166 fell and 48 remained unchanged.