India loses to China as NSE’s bid for 25% stake in Dhaka Stock Exchange outbid by Shanghai, Shenzhen bourses

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Updated: February 22, 2018 1:52:06 PM

Bangladesh's bourse Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has chosen a Chinese consortium over an Indian group led by the National Stock Exchange (NSE) for the ownership of its 25% stake.

NSE-Nasdaq bid loses to China in race for 25% stake at Bangladesh’s stock exchange

Bangladesh’s bourse Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has chosen a Chinese consortium over an Indian group led by the National Stock Exchange (NSE) for the ownership of its 25% stake. The final nod came from its director on Tuesday evening when they decided to go ahead with the Chinese group as its bid “looked acceptable, considering financial and technological aspects”, according to media reports.

The Chinese consortium of Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange had offered 22 takas a share during the tender process for the 25% of the stock exchange stake on February 10, while the Indian group led by NSE, comprising of NASDAQ and Frontier Bangladesh offered 15 takas (Rs 11.68) per share for the same. The Indian group also wanted two director positions upon winning.

According to DSE Managing Director KAM Majedur Rahman, as quoted by Bangladesh’s media, the bourse will soon send the proposal to country’s regulator Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (BSEC). It is interesting to note that the DSE and the BSEC had locked horns over the choosing the bid.

An English daily of Bangladesh reported that while the DSE wanted to go ahead with the highest bidder, that is Chinese consortium, the BSEC wanted DSE to go ahead with the Indian group. However, the final call was a prerogative of the DSE.

A bid led by NSE to purchase the 25% stake of DSE was made because it believed that it was “well-positioned” to help grow the Bangladesh market, a move which was also being seen as strategic and diplomatic to limit Chinese influence. China, which has already entered the stock market in the majority of India’s neighbouring countries — Pakistan, Myanmar and Nepal — has won Bangladesh’s bourse as well.

In 2016, China bought 40% stake in the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The two Chinese bourses, which bid together, are among top stock exchanges in the world. Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges have a market capital of $3.5 trillion and $2.2 trillion respectively, while the NSE has a market cap of $1.41 trillion.

While Bangladesh opened its door for foreign participation in its stock exchange to attract funds from abroad, in India, global bourses are allowed to have only 5% in Indian exchanges. The BSE recently said that the government may amend the foreign ownership policy to 15%, however, it suggested that it should be between 26-49%.

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