The stock market regulator has appointed one more independent director to the National Tea Company Limited in a move to establish corporate governance and protect the interests of investors.
Now the number of independent directors in the state-owned firm appointed by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) stands at three.
According to sources in BSEC, a letter has been sent to the managing director of National Tea recently. The matter has also been brought to the notice of the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges.
Mizanur Rahman Khan, a retired judge, is the newly appointed independent director of National Tea.
The BSEC had earlier appointed two independent directors to the company in response to their breaching of securities laws and allegations by investors.
They are Brigadier General Zahidur Rahman and Razia Begum, professor of marketing at the University of Dhaka.
According to the BSEC letter, the commission had issued a letter on 16 September last year. However, considering the overall situation, it has nominated another independent director.
Meanwhile, in March the BSEC decided to appoint a special auditor at National Tea for reviewing its financial statements in a move to protect the interest of the general investors. In this regard, the commission has already sent quotation letters to its panel auditors.
According to the source, the regulator has taken the decision based on some allegations of asset embezzlement in the company from 2010 to 2020 financial years.
The special auditor will therefore review the financial statements for the aforementioned years.
In February this year, to comply with regulatory requirements, the publicly-listed tea producer decided to increase its paid-up capital by issuing the right shares.
The company applied to the BSEC in this regard and will take the next step after getting the commission's approval.
Incorporated in 1978 and listed on the stock market in 1979, National Tea Company Limited carries on the business of plantation, cultivation, manufacturing, and selling of tea and rubber in Bangladesh.
According to its website, National Tea's annual average production is about 5.2 million kg and its major portion is sold through the Chattogram auction market.
In the July-December period of 2021, the company's net profit was Tk5.72 crore, up from Tk1.59 crore a year ago.
As of 30 June 2021, its short-term loan stood at Tk137.18 crore, while the long-term loan amounted to Tk63.32 crore.
As of February 2022, sponsors and directors jointly held 48.6%, the government 4.33%, institutions 8.55%, and the general public 38.52% shares of the company.
On Wednesday, its shares closed at Tk736.8 each on the Dhaka Stock Exchange.