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Dhaka Tribune

BSEC turns down DSE’s nominee for MD

M Asheq Rahman’s academic qualification, professional experience and competency do not meet the fit and proper criteria of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (Board and administration) Regulation, 2013

Update : 17 Feb 2021, 01:44 AM

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected the Dhaka Stock Exchange board’s bid to appoint M Asheq Rahman as its next managing director.

The decision came at an emergency meeting of the stock market regulator on Tuesday.

In a letter to the DSE, the BSEC said Rahman’s academic qualification, professional experience and competency do not meet the fit and proper criteria of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (Board and administration) Regulation, 2013.  

Dhaka Tribune has a copy of the letter. 

Rahman's LinkedIn profile states he was the chief country compliance officer and the chief anti-money laundering officer of Citibank from May 2016 to January 2021. Curiously, his profile states that he has assumed the post of the managing director from January but the name of the company was undisclosed.

He studied economics at the University of Dhaka and has double Masters degree from the US. He counts Warid Telecom (now Banglalink), KLM Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank and BRAC Bank as his past employers.

His nomination was not without controversy: it has elicited allegations of gaming the system by a number of DSE directors.

Rahman was one of the two candidates shortlisted by the DSE board for the vacant post of MD after Kazi Sanaul Hoq stepped down in October last year.

The other candidate selected by the nomination and remuneration committee (NRC) of the Dhaka bourse after examining 24 applications is Mohammad Anamul Haque Sarker, an executive director of the London Stock Exchange.

Five others were in the running too: Md. Abdur Rahim, Moslehuddin Ahmed, Md. Mehmood Husain, ASM Khairuzzaman and Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain.

Xie Wenhai, director of DSE representing the Chinese consortium that bought a 25 per cent stake in the Dhaka bourse, had said that neither of Rahman of Sarker is fit for the post for lack of relevant experience, according to meeting minutes of the 983rd meeting of the board on December 17.

The two are more suitable for the post of chief regulatory officer, he said, while soliciting for promoting from someone within the DSE to the posts of MD and CRO.

Xie's opinion was disregarded, with Rahman’s nomination ultimately submitted to the BSEC for the final nod.

As per the instruction of the board, Sarker and Rahman were called for an interview, with the latter emerging as the favourite, particularly of Md. Rakibur Rahman, an influential director of the DSE, according to sources.

There was heated debate in the meeting about Rahman's selection, with a number of independent directors vetoing his candidature. 

Between Sarker and Rahman, the former has relevant experience. 

“But the director was vehemently pushing for hiring a bank’s compliance officer,” said one of the meeting participants on condition of anonymity.

In the end, Rahman prevailed. 

“I have voiced my opinion at the meeting in my capacity as a director,” Rakibur Rahman earlier told Dhaka Tribune after the meeting. He denied pushing for Asheq Rahman’s candidature and said he has no relations with him.

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