The listed companies have distributed around Tk 16,000 crore in unclaimed and unsettled cash and stock dividends to the claimants in the last couple of months.
According to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, there was Tk 21,000 crore in unclaimed and unsettled cash and stock dividends before the settlement.
So, there are now unclaimed stock dividends worth around Tk 4,000 crore and cash dividends worth Tk 1,000 crore left to form the capital market stabilisation fund, BSEC officials said.
Many companies had issued notices which were published on newspapers and the companies’ official web sites to inform their shareholders to claim the dividends as they had to transfer the fund to the CMSF by August 30.
So, many shareholders, including sponsor-directors, claimed their dividends that had remained in the companies suspense accounts for years, they said.
However, a number of companies failed to settle or transfer the unclaimed dividends within the timeframe due to lack of proper documents of the claimants and a dispute between the Bangladesh Bank and the BSEC over the transfer.
On September 13, the BB told the BSEC that banks and non-bank financial institutions were not allowed to transfer unclaimed or unsettled dividends to the capital market stabilisation fund as per Bank Company Act, 1991.
However, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on September 14 said that the BSEC’s stance on transferring unclaimed dividends held in bank and NBFIs to the capital market stabilisation fund was a government decision.
BSEC officials said that more unclaimed dividends would be settled and it consequently would reduce the size of the capital market stabilisation fund.
The fund has so far received Tk 310 crore in unclaimed cash dividends, they said.
On July 6, the BSEC issued a letter to all asset management companies, stockbrokers, merchant banks, and listed companies, including companies operating in the over-the-counter market, to transfer amounts held against unclaimed, undistributed or unsettled dividends or non-refunded public subscription money in cash or others including accrued interest thereon for a period of three years from the date of declaration or approval or record date to the CMSF by July 30. The deadline was later extended to August 30.
On June 27, the BSEC issued a gazette notification saying that CMSF must be a perpetual fund for functioning as a custodian of unclaimed or unsettled dividend (cash or stock) or un-allotted rights shares or non-refunded public subscription money in favour of the shareholders or stockholders or investors.
The BSEC officials said that the regulator would control the volatility and liquidity on the capital market through the fund.
If any shareholder or unit holder claims his/her dividends or shares, the company must recommend with detailed information to the chief of operation, the BSEC rules said.
After that, the officer will address the claims within 15 days of such recommendation, the rules said.
The fund could make income from buying and selling of securities and from any investments, from securities lending and borrowing activities and other credit facilities, from interest income on bank deposits, and fees and fine received.
Midway News Team
We publish the latest stock market news to help you decide on your investment decisions.