Brokerage firms want an extension of the instalment interval for loans taken from the fund for affected small investors in the capital market.
They want to repay the instalments at six-month intervals instead of three-month intervals.
Considering the current situation of the stock market and an appeal from the borrowing institutions, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) recently sent a letter to the Financial Institutions Division of the finance ministry in this regard.
In its appeal, the BSEC said borrowing institutions have paid the first instalment of their loans. But due to the current downward trend in the stock market, these institutions will face losses if they have to repay the next instalment within three months.
The committee supervising the fund – comprised of the Bangladesh Bank, the BSEC and the ICB – has decided to extend the instalment interval to six months.
"We sent a letter to the Financial Institutions Division on the basis of a written appeal from the brokerage firms," BSEC Executive Director M Saifur Rahman told the Business Standard on Sunday.
"If the finance ministry approves it, we will be able to extend the interval for paying the instalment," he added.
After the share market crash in 2010, the government set up a Tk900 crore fund to help small investors in the capital market.
After receiving loans from the fund, the investors have so far repaid Tk856 crore, and this amount is supposed to increase as some borrowers are yet to repay their loans. Last year, the ICB wanted that Tk856 crore, along with the money that is yet to be repaid by borrowers, to be used in helping brokerage firms meet the liquidity crisis.
"We took loans to tackle the liquidity crisis. We have paid one instalment to repay the loan. But the condition of the stock market is so poor, that we will have to sell shares at huge losses if we want to pay the next instalment on time," said an official of a borrowing firm.
"So we have appealed to extend the period of interval between instalments from three months to six months," he added.
The Bangladesh Bank sanctioned Tk85.63 crore and Tk75 crore for brokerage houses in two phases to ease the liquidity crisis in the stock market last year.
A total of 39 brokerage firms got loans amounting to 20 percent of their paid-up capitals at that time. Besides, the ICB received Tk761 crore from the revival fund.
Last year, the government extended the tenure of the capital market refinancing scheme till December 31, 2022.