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23. Januar 2011 7 23 /01 /Januar /2011 18:32

Around 10-15 politicians and businessmen grabbed Tk 150 billion from the country’s innocent investors in fast bucks in the last four months, crashing the stock market onto a new low, alleged a banking-sector big shot.

Khandoker Ibrahim Khaled, former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank and chairman of Krishi Bank, came up with such a stunning revelation in an exclusive interview with Banglanews.

“One lawmaker of the then ruling Awami League was responsible for the ‘96 share-market scam, but this year’s crisis was created by some other politicians and businessmen, including a BNP leader. However, I don’t want to name anybody’s name,’’ said the reputed banker.

Putting a rhetorical question as to how such a huge amount of money vanished from the stock market as the tiny investors had come up with huge investments since the beginning of the upturn in the share-market index, he said, “I think this huge amount of money simply poured into the pockets of a group of people who reaped a windfall out of a freefall in share prices over the last few days.’’  

He added: “Creating the crisis they looted such a huge amount of money, which they would never invest in the stock market.”

The banking expert pointed out a queer camaraderie on money-minting matter between the politicos from the two inveterate rival parties that openly fight bloody battles in the street to rule the country by turns.   

“Despite the fact that there has been a longstanding conflict between the two major rival political forces, they don’t have any enmity in jointly plundering capital of the general investors from the stock market,’’ said Ibrahim Khaled.

The banker, however, categorically blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission, the watchdog agency, for the recent share market debacle.

“I think the SEC is directly and indirectly involved in creating such a crisis. Or else, they were helpless although it was their responsibility to control the market.”

Asked about any responsibility of Bangladesh Bank for the share-market turmoil, he said, “I don’t think the central has anything to do with the stock market as per its own charter, rather it’s up to the SEC to act as per its own charter.’’

He added: “I can certainly tell you that Bangladesh Bank, which took some measures as per its charter to maintain discipline in the banking sector, cannot be blamed for any such share scam.’’

Finally, Ibrahim Khaled called for reorganising the existing SEC with the competent and honest personalities in a bid to bring back stability on the country’s capital market.

He, however, thinks there has been no short-cut path to get recovery from such a setback that brought share trading to a grinding halt, pending a bailout.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister AMA Muhith sits Sunday with stakeholders to work out remedies—possibly a stimulus package to breathe life into the mauled market.         

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