Country now needs to set up good capital market: Muhith


 DHAKA, May 17, 2018 (BSS) – Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today said now it is an urgent for the country to set up a good capital market as a source of long-term financing.

He informed that soon after placing his national budget for fiscal 2018- 19 in parliament on June 7 next, he would call some of the major players of the capital market to discuss ways on how to bring back life into the share market which is now witnessing downtrend.

“Soon after June 7, we’ll be trying to do something about it…for developing a healthy capital market,” the Finance Minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the Bangladesh Long-Term Finance Conference 2018 at a city hotel.

The conference is jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance, BSEC and the World Bank.

Muhith said the country is poised to have a good capital market from where one can find long-term financing. He also sought support of the stakeholders concerned in finding out ways to develop this market.

“We’ve prepared the ground quite well in order to undertake a drive to develop a long-term financing capital market,” he added.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Financial Institution Division Senior Secretary Md Eunusur Rahman and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Qimiao Fan spoke at the inaugural session of the conference.

Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Dr M Khairul Hossain gave the welcome address.

Practice manager (finance, competitiveness and innovation global practice) of the World Bank Esperanza Lasagabaster and IFC Bangladesh country manager Wendy Jo Werner also spoke.

Leandro Puccini Secunho, senior financial officer of the World Bank, and Ashraf Ahmed, CEO of Riverstone Capital Limited, made separate power-point presentations on the occasion.

Central Bank Governor Fazle Kabir said Bangladesh is making business easier for both the domestic and international investors.

“We need long-term financing for infrastructures…for our export- oriented industries,” he added.

NBR Chairman Mosharraf Hossain said reforms in the financial sector and regulatory framework is very important to attract the long-term investment.

He underscored the need for taking a combined programme on fiscal and monetary policy changes.

World Bank country director Qimiao Fan said long-term financing is extremely important for Bangladesh’s long-term development.

Noting that there is a huge potential for attaining double-digit growth in Bangladesh, he lauded the tremendous progress of Bangladesh in achieving growth and reducing poverty over the last two decades.

Putting forward a five-point suggestion to harness long-term financial development, Fan said there is no reason why Bangladesh would not grow above 8 percent or double digit growth a year.

“But, it will require concerted efforts to reform the financial sector to enable long-term financing. The World Bank is ready to continue its support to Bangladesh in this regard,” he said.

Hoping that the aid commitment by the lending agency to Bangladesh is likely to reach US$ 3 billion in this fiscal year, the World Bank country director informed that they would also provide grant financing to the country to address Rohingya crisis.