Grameenphone, a telecommunications company listed with the country’s capital market, lost Tk 14,826.29 crore in market capitalisation in 2018, which is 41.64 per cent of the total market cap loss at Dhaka Stock Exchange in the outgoing year.
The market capitalisation at DSE, the country s premier bourse, dropped by 8.42 per cent or Tk 35,599 crore to Tk 3,87,295.83 crore in 2018 from that of Tk 4,22,894.54 crore in the previous year.
Market experts said the GP s loss of market capitalisation affected the overall market-cap loss figure at DSE as the mobile operator was the highest market-capitalised company at the bourse.
According to DSE data, the market capitalisation of GP plunged by 23.32 per cent to Tk 48,745.83 crore at the end of 2018 from that of Tk 63,572.12 crore at the end of 2017.
The country s leading mobile operator never witnessed such a drop in its share prices even in the 2010-11 market crash when it lost around Tk 11,000 crore in market capitalisation.
The share price of the company was Tk 472 on January 1, 2018 and it finished the year at Tk 367.3 per share.
The share prices of GP began to sink sharply after April 22 when the company declared profit fall by 2.46 per cent for the first quarter (January-March) in 2018 compared with that in the same period of the previous year.
The company could not recover from the continuous fall in its share prices in the following months in the year despite posting profit growth for the second and third quarters.
The market was largely bearish in the year as investors struggled with a number of issues including political uncertainties over the December 30 national election, woes in the country s financial sector and pressure on the exchange rate.
Investors became nervous about holding GP shares when a colossal amount of dues to be paid by the mobile operator resurfaced, market operators said.
The media reported that the mobile operator might require paying dues of Tk 11,525 crore in total to Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission and National Board of Revenue as per the latest audit report of Toha Khan Zaman.
As per the latest report, BTRC s claim on GP declined to Tk 7,439.05 crore from the previous claim of Tk 7,444.29 crore.
The NBR s claim on GP remained unchanged at Tk 4,085.94 crore, officials said.
Besides, the mobile operator had gained more than Tk 25,000 crore in market capitalisation in 2017 that might prompt investors to book profits by selling the shares of the company.
Market operators said that the overall market was mostly sluggish compared with that in the previous year that also affected the share prices of GP.
DSEX, the core index of DSE, plunged by 13.75 per cent, or 858.88 points, in the year of 2018 to close at 5,385.64 points on December 27, the last trading session of the year.
Besides, the average turnover at DSE plummeted by 38.43 per cent to Tk 552.03 crore in 242 trading days in 2018 compared with that of Tk 874.83 crore in 248 days in the previous year.
The net foreign investment at DSE turned negative in 2018, first time since the 2010-2011 market crash.
In 2018, the net foreign investment dipped to Tk 593.47 crore negative, which was Tk 1,704.94 crore positive in the previous year.
As per the shareholding position of Grameenphone in November, sponsor-directors hold 90 per cent, institutions 4.22 per cent, foreign investors 3.65 per cent and general investors hold 2.13 per cent of the company s shares.
Market operators, however, said that Grameenphone would recover the lost ground after the national polls as the company enjoyed investors confidence as it showed good performance and provided better dividends for its shareholders in the past years.