The panic caused by economic devastation, and lack of buy-orders for market support over coronavirus fears, dragged down the country's already dwindling stock-market on Monday.
DSEX, the benchmark index at the Dhaka Stock Exchange, came down to 3,772 on Monday from 3,970 in the previous session, the lowest since October 2013.
Losses were primarily triggered since March 9 when DSEX took the deepest dive of 279 points or 6.5 percent since its inception, after three reported cases of coronavirus in Bangladesh.
There were heavy sell-offs across the global markets the same day, which made it earn the name Black Monday (2020).
However, global stocks bounced back within two-three days of the massive fall, but the Bangladeshi stocks are going in a different direction.
The index has lost more than a quarter of its points over the last two years. This year, the index witnessed additional massive volatility and dropped by 15 percent over the last nine working days.
There are fewer coronavirus cases in Bangladesh than in other countries, but it is taking a heavy toll on the country's stock market.
Investors were already pessimistic about the ailing stock market, and the virus outbreak has worsened the situation. Other than undermining investor confidence, the pandemic has also aggravated elements like money market instability, economic slowdown, deteriorating corporate earnings and lack of good governance in markets.
Adding to the virus woes, frustrated realistic investors observed that the stock market does not care at all what the finance ministry, the central bank, bankers or other stakeholders are doing to help investors.
The indices had a late-hour partial recovery from a five percent intraday fall on Sunday, mainly on the hopes of anything better from a series of meetings among policy makers and market people.
Investment bankers had a meeting with the central bank after the trading session on Sunday, and came out with no fresh good news in terms of stopping the freefall.
The Bangladesh Bank is pushing banks to respond to the special fund stock investment programme that was outlined a month ago.
On Sunday, investors learnt that Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is going to sit with bank directors and top executives on Monday evening to discuss the stock market.
Previously, the market has responded to such news with some efforts to rise, or at least with a pause in sliding further.
However, in Monday's trading session, the market did not seem to care anymore about such news of meetings and initiatives.
Since last year, the finance minister has had several meetings with market people, regulators and intermediary industry representatives. Moreover, concrete decisions such as a ministry-coordinated committee to support the capital market, and the central bank's scheme to allow commercial banks to inject nearly Tk12,000 crore in the stock market for five years beyond banks' regular market exposure came out of the meetings.
Despite such positive decisions, investors are yet to harvest anything from the market. Instead, they have lost all power to save their backs because no one seems to be willing to invest into stocks right now, and forced selling from margin accounts has become the reality.
However, professionals believe that these meetings are still important because the banking sector seems to be very serious about participating in the latest move by Bangladesh Bank to support the market. Additionally, it is also believed to be an opportunity to procure some cheap stocks that faced so many corrections in the recent past.
Investors were active on the selling fence on Monday, and the sell pressure increased after mid-session for which the turnover at the DSE increased 8.9 percent to Tk406.6 crore on Monday, from Tk373.7 crore in the previous session.
Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd topped the turnover chart with a turnover value of Tk24.7 crore, closing the day at Tk164.2 per share. The stock was followed by Monno Ceramic Industries Ltd with a turnover value of Tk15.3 crore, closing at Tk127.1 per share.
Fas Finance and Investment Ltd was the best performer in the gainers' table, gaining 7.9 percent and closing at Tk4.1 per share.
IPDC Finance Ltd was the worst loser, shedding 14.1 percent and closing at Tk20.7 per share, said the DSE website.
Losers sharply outnumbered the gainers as out of the 355 issues traded on Monday, only 10 advanced, 333 declined, and only 12 remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor.