March 22, 2018 / 11:14 AM / 4 months ago

Bangladesh's DSE expects stake sale to Chinese consortium to close by end-April

DHAKA, March 22 (Reuters) - The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) expects to close the sale of a 25 percent stake in the bourse to a Chinese consortium by end-April, after tackling certain issues raised by Bangladesh’s securities regulator, a senior DSE executive said on Thursday.

“We hope to close this by the end of April this year,” K.A.M. Majedur Rahman, managing director of DSE, told Reuters.

A Chinese consortium that included the Shenzhen and Shanghai Stock exchanges, and India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) submitted rival proposals in December to acquire the stake that DSE put up for sale in its quest for a strategic partner. The Chinese consortium was subsequently chosen as the partner.

Rahman said that Bangladesh’s Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) ordered the bourse to ensure that any transaction did not include terms that contradicted the laws of the country, or any terms that harmed the interest of other shareholders of the DSE.

It also ordered the DSE to ensure that it wins approval from its shareholders in order for the deal to proceed.

Rahman said the DSE is right now in the process of holding an extraordinary general meeting in order to secure shareholder approval.

“Soon letters will be sent out to all 254 shareholders,” he said. “And we hope to send a revised proposal (to BSEC) within a month.”

Rahman said DSE will have to also renegotiate some parts of the proposal with the Chinese consortium as the local securities regulator has ordered that some terms and conditions tied to the deal be withdrawn.

He said, however, that this will not result in a new bid process.

Elaborating on the two rival proposals, Rahman said the board of the DSE approved the Chinese proposal as it was more attractive. The Chinese offered to pay 22 taka ($0.2652) per share, versus 15 taka per share offered by the NSE, he said.

“Moreover, the Chinese consortium expressed its willingness to continue its partnership for long time while the NSE said it would look to sell down its stake after five years.” ($1 = 82.9500 taka) (Reporting By Serajul Quadir Editing by Euan Rocha and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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