'ATB will create opportunities for institutions to make investments in unlisted companies and other alternative investment vehicles like private equity and venture capital funds'
Experts at a webinar said the newly introduced alternative trading board can be utilized to boost investment for small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) through private equity and venture capital.
Bangladesh Academy for Securities Market (BASM), a research and training institute of Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Training Academy jointly organized the webinar, titled “Function and Prospect of Alternative Trading Board (ATB)”, said a press release.
Representatives from the securities regulator, Dhaka Stock Exchange and Chittagong Stock Exchange, Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (VCPEAB) and Brokers Association of Bangladesh (DBA), joined the online training program.
BSEC Director Mohammad Rezaul Karim and Muhammad Rony Islam, senior manager and head, DSE Training Academy, moderated the event.
M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, chief operating officer of DSE presented the keynote presentation, focusing on the prospect of ATB.
“After the operation of the ATB starts, new investors will join the market because ATB will create listing of non-listed companies, any kind of bonds, debenture, sukuk, open-end mutual funds and alternative investment funds possible,” he added.
Discussants welcomed the alternative trading board as an important addition to the securities market and urged to develop the market to accommodate different investment vehicles for both the investors and investees.
They also discussed about creating regulatory policies to facilitate trades for the ATB listed companies, bonds, open-end mutual funds, private equity and venture capital funds.
Md Mahbubul Alam, executive director, BSEC and DG, BASM, emphasized marketing the ATB to create public awareness to attract investments.
“ATB will create opportunities for institutions to make investments in unlisted companies and other alternative investment vehicles like private equity and venture capital funds. The relevant stakeholders must leverage this opportunity,” he added.
Shameem Ahsan, president of VCPEAB and general partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures, said: “We need to make clear policies and guidelines to better leverage the benefits of these new investment opportunities created through ATB. We think this initiative will mark the start of a journey to include more people in investment environment.”
Shameem underscored the importance of nurturing startup companies, SMEs and utilizing alternative investment funds like PE and VC funds to create many companies that can join the stock exchange in future and contribute to a significant portion of the GDP.
Mohammad Rezaul Karim, director at BSEC, stated that it is high time a board like ATB is created to develop the capital market.
“Compliance must be ensured in the ATB to create confidence among the investors,” he added.
President of DSE Brokers Association of Bangladesh (DBA) Sharif Anwar Hossain remarked that the securities market has much room for growth and ATB will facilitate fund allocation.
“ATB will help boost the securities market and increase allocation of funds to many local companies,” he remarked.
“Many small companies cannot raise funds due to lack of scale. ATB will alleviate this issue and create opportunities for many unlisted companies,” said Shuvra Kanti Choudhury, managing director and CEO of CDBL.