The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on Thursday concluded a three-day road-show in Dubai, organised to reach out to non-resident Bangladeshi investors and attract foreign investment in the form of equity, private equity and debt.
The roadshow, titled "The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Bangladesh Capital Markets," began Tuesday with separate sessions for NRBs and foreign investors.
A session on "Investor Summit: Bangladesh Capital Markets" was held on 9 February, followed by more sessions on 10-11 February – including "Sukuk: The New Investment Opportunity in Bangladesh" and "Scope of Private Equity & Venture Capital Investment in Bangladesh."
Sukuk is a Shariah compliant asset backed securities.
The investor summit and road-show was sponsored by UCB Stock Brokerage Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Commercial Bank Ltd. This investor summit is expected to increase the participation of foreign and NRB investors in the Bangladesh capital market.
Md Iqbal Hussain Khan, consul general of Bangladesh Consulate, Dubai was the Chief Guest in the session on Day 2. Keynote speaker for the session was Ershad Hossain, managing director and CEO of City Bank Capital.
This Day 2 session highlighted the prospects, regulatory landscape, importance and the challenges of Sukuk investment in Bangladesh.
It emerged that Sukuk could be a viable instrument for bridging the long term financing needs for infrastructure projects-especially in the power, water and transportation sector – needed for Bangladesh to successfully emerge as a developed nation.
Moreover, sovereign Sukuk issuance is also a viable option which will also help for benchmark for debt securities. A common theme which emerged from discussions with various stakeholders during this session is that Sukuk will have significant appeal given the Muslim majority population.
Bryan Stirewalt, chief executive of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, attended as the chief guest during the session on Day 3. Shameem Ahsan, president of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh was the keynote speaker in the session.
Other speakers include Shekh Mohammad Rashedul Hasan, CEO of UCB Asset Management.
Edward Lee, chief economist at the Standard Chartered Bank (ASEAN and South Asia) and Saurav Anand, economist of South Asia region gave a virtual speech in the session. The famous cricketer of Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan also attended the session.
This session on Day 3 highlighted the growth prospects of Bangladesh economy, large youth population quickly adopting technology as well as the growing start-ups trying to tap the growth potential of the booming economy.
It brought to the fore that the start-up scene has recently seen a range of impressive and scalable new ventures with potentials for lucrative private equity investments. The session also explained the easy and convenient exits that have taken place in the several recent start-up investments.
Various Dubai based fund managers and venture capital firms attended the event and showed interest to explore the untapped potential of Bangladesh.
BSEC Chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam chaired the road-show and highlighted the story and potential of Bangladesh to foreign investors, including global fund managers, asset managers and different bank officials operating in Dubai and Gulf areas.
He also explained the important role of the capital market for raising long term funds through bond and Sukuk to solve the maturity mismatch problem long prevailing in our banking sector.
The BSEC chairman also highlighted the importance of developing alternative investment instruments in the capital market.
He emphasised the risky nature of the market and focused on the importance of research and professional investing approach for sustained return from the capital market.
Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam also praised the current dynamic leadership under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He thanked the distinguished guests who made this event a success, specifically the NRBs for their contribution in the development of Bangladesh.
Various notable personalities participated as panelists in the question and answer sessions each day. There was significant interest among the participants, both foreigners and NRBs, regarding the potentials of Bangladesh which made it a very open and engaging discussion among the stakeholders.
Various senior officials of BSEC, Ministry of Finance and other top officials of banks in Bangladesh and Dubai attended the road-show and investor summit. A number of senior dignitaries from various communities of Dubai have also been present in the road-show.
Other speakers in the road-show included Ali Ahsan, head of Islamic Origination, Standard Chartered Bank who gave a virtual speech; Tanzim Alamgir, CEO of UCB Investment Ltd and Abdullah Mohammed AL Muwaiji, chairman of Ajman Chamber.