Newly listed telecommunication company Robi Axiata Limited has allegedly provided false price sensitive information regarding the tenure of its spectrum renewal on the stock exchanges' websites.
On 20 December, 2020, the company's licence for spectrum – an airwave or frequency required for telecommunication – was renewed for 10 years.
However, the company claimed, in a disclosure on the country's stock exchanges' websites, that it has the approval to use the spectrum for 15 years.
Parvin Akther, a general shareholder of Robi, alleged that the company misguided her, along with other general investors, by disclosing the false information.
"I cannot believe that a company like Robi manipulated price-sensitive information. I am deeply concerned about its corporate governance," she said.
The information was published on 24 December, 2020, and it has not been corrected in the 11 days 3 January, 2021.
"There had been an inadvertent error in relation to the period of renewal. We have already corrected the PSI and notified all concerned," said Robi on Sunday.
Md Rezaul Karim, executive director at the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSCE), said this is a violation of BSEC's rules.
"The commission will examine the issue and take the necessary action as per the rules," he said.
The company's initial public offering (IPO) shares debuted on 24 December, 2020 at Tk10 each.
On that day, it disclosed the piece of price-sensitive information on stock exchanges websites saying, "The Company has informed that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has renewed the 900 (E-GSM) MHz and 1800 MHz Spectrum Band of Robi Axiata Limited on 20 December, 2020 for 15 years."
"The total spectrum assignment fee is $239.772 million payable into six (6) installments till 2025," it added.
They also published the same price sensitive information in several national dailies on 23 December, 2020.
However, according to the company's website and the spectrum issuing authority, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission's (BTRC) information, the tenure of the spectrum renewal is only 10 years.
Sources at the BTRC also confirmed that the company was awarded the airwave for 10 years, not 15 years.
"If the spectrum had been awarded for 15 years, the cost would also have increased," said a source at the BTRC wishing not to be named.
In the last 11 days till 3 January, Robi's share price jumped by 227% to Tk32.70.
The company sold primary shares at a face value of Tk10 each and issued 523,793,334 shares to raise a total of Tk523.79 crore through IPO.
Of that amount, Tk388 crore was taken from external investors, while Tk136 crore from its employees under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan.
Around Tk155 crore, or 40%, of the external investors' amount was collected from institutional investors.