Angry investors took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital on Sunday after the national stock exchange suffered another dramatic fall, in the latest of a series of collapses that forced trading to halt several times last month.
The benchmark Dhaka Stock Exchange index shed 5.7 percent on Sunday, the first working day of the week in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, following a 2.5 percent slide on Thursday.
Hundreds of disgruntled investors demonstrated and chanted slogans outside the Dhaka Stock Exchange building, bringing traffic to a halt in the capital's financial hub, witnesses said.
"I invested all my savings in the share markets, but have lost everything. Now I am a pauper," a sobbing a small investor said.
Prices of shares nearly doubled in 2010, encouraging a stream of new investors into the markets, but have crumbled since late last year after the market regulator and central bank took measures to cool the market, prompting frequent street protests.
The market had seen panic sales due to confidence slipping, a stock broker said, adding that banks and institution remained inactive while retail investors have been panicky.
Banks, some of which had invested 75 percent of their deposits in the stock market against a cap of 10 percent in the past, and which made huge profits in 2010, recently held back on further investments.
The benchmark Dhaka index has lost more than 24 percent since Dec. 5, when it hit a high of 8,918.51 points.
A government-appointed committee is investigating the recent series of plunges in share prices and will submit its report within two months.
The number of individual investors has risen to 3.3 million from fewer than 500,000 in 2006.
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Şubat 2011, 16:25