The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in a rejoinder to the report titled "BSEC Okays Asheq Rahman as DSE chief regulatory officer" published on 8 July 2021 denied any individual's influence over the procedure to select M Asheq Rahman as the chief regulatory officer (CRO) of the bourse.
The rejoinder signed by DSE Deputy General Manager Md Shafiqur Rahman claimed that the report was "misleading, speculative and fabricated" and also a "fictional opinion" of the reporter.
The letter reads: "We think that what your reporter has presented in the published report is his own fictional opinion. In the case of such recruitment the Board of Directors of DSE emphasized the recommendation of the NRC Committee and also followed the Dhaka Stock Exchange (Board and Administration) Regulations-2013, Articles of Association of DSE and specific rules and regulations pertaining to Board meetings. There is no opportunity for any individual to take a solo role as per board proceedings.
"Your reporter mentioned 'a shareholder director' which is highly inappropriate and unprofessional way of expression. Any decision taken at the DSE's Board of Directors meeting is taken in the spirit of mutual respect and on amicable discussions. There may be differences of opinion on any issue, but the decision of the board meeting is taken unanimously."
"We would like to bring to your kind attention that BSEC is the approving authority for appointment in the position of Managing Director (MD) and CRO of DSE. In line with the regulations, DSE submitted a recommendation for appointment of M. Asheq Rahman as CRO. Subsequently BSEC asked for several information about him along with two other candidates. Finally, on July 8, 2021 BSEC decided to approve the appointment of M. Asheq Rahman as CRO of DSE upon examination and verification of submitted information of DSE."
"Today's report titled 'BSEC Okays Asheq Rahman as DSE chief regulatory officer' is likely to create confusion in the sensitive capital market about DSE, which is by no means desirable."
The DSE documents and meeting minutes obtained by The Business Standard clearly revealed that the selected candidate, initially the sole one, did not fulfil one of the selection criteria – the professional designation – the DSE Human Resources officials were looking for based on the DSE Board and Administration Regulations, 2013.
Also, Professor Md Masudur Rahman, chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC) of the DSE board, along with other members of his committee expressed that the quality of the candidates was disappointing.
The same minutes of the DSE meetings in early May this year revealed that the NRC interfered with the independent management's candidate selection process and an NRC member strongly opined to recommend only Asheq claiming him as the best candidate, despite the fact that he lacked any professional designation like CFA, CA, CMA, CS, CPA etc, while two other candidates matched both the academic and professional qualifications along with 10 years of professional experience at management position.
While the other committee members were for recommending top three names, the same NRC member who is an independent director opined for picking only Ahseq Rahman and the bourse exactly did the same while they wrote to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) to approve Asheq as the new CRO.
That reflects the influence factor the report mentioned.
Earlier, on 7 May this year, two DSE directors told The Business Standard that a shareholder director was at the centre of the influence and the independent director who gave their opinion for recommending only Asheq's name for regulatory approval as the CRO joined him.
Also, an NRC member was quoted to have urged the regulator to go through uninterrupted zoom meeting recordings to learn how the accused shareholder director verbally intimidated and insulted other board members so that they do not go against him in appointing the CRO.
The report was based on documentary evidence and allegations by DSE insiders who had sought anonymity for their safety.
Hence, the DSE claim of fictional writing is not true at all.