The stock market regulator has formed an investigation committee to scrutinise a recent unusual price hike of GQ Ball Pen Industries shares.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has frozen 10 investment accounts, which are known as the beneficiary owner (BO) accounts, until the committee submits its report within 30 working days.
The small-cap company's shares have skyrocketed to Tk240 – from Tk66 – in a span of only ten weeks.
BSEC Executive Director Mohammad Rezaul Karim told The Business Standard that the commission has initiated the investigation to protect the interest of general investors.
The securities regulator has also frozen the suspected accounts so that they cannot sell off any shares at a high price, he added.
Rezaul Karim, however, has declined to name the investors in question with the investigation underway.
Some other BSEC officials said that they have observed manipulative efforts by the investors concerned who accumulated over half of the floating shares of GQ Ball Pen Industries in the frozen accounts.
BSEC Assistant Director Md Shahidul Islam will head the two-member investigation committee. Central Depository Bangladesh Ltd's application support department head Moinul Haque will assist the team in investigating the price hike.
Once the leader in the country's ballpoint pen market, GQ Ball Pen is now a poorly performing business.
However, its low paid-up capital often attracts manipulators in the stock market.
The company, which got listed on the stock market in 1986, has a paid-up capital of Tk8.93 crore.
More than 56% of its shares are owned by general investors.