Abu Taher Bappa

2020-06-21 06:40:36 BdST

BSEC to appoint international consultant for IT transformation

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) is determined for a significant transformation of the capital market's information technology ecosystem to modernise activities such as market trading, regulatory filing, meetings and interactions.

As the existing preparation, which includes the infrastructure and legal system, is not enough, the securities regulator will appoint a consultant with international experience in information technology.

BSEC Chairman Professor Rubayat Ul Islam said this on Friday at an online meeting with representatives from the listed companies. The event was moderated by Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC) Vice President Riad Mahmud.

The meeting mainly discussed the ins and outs of online meetings of boards of directors and the shareholders of listed companies, soft copy dependency for information dissemination and regulatory filings that help physical distancing, saves a lot of paperwork, cost and of course time.

A temporary regulatory relaxation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has allowed listed companies to conduct board and general meetings online for the first time in Bangladesh. Some listed companies have completed their board and shareholders' general meetings with a significant increase in participation.

The BSEC chairman said that the regulator is looking to make online an all-time option for conducting the meetings.

Dr ATM Tariquzzaman, executive director (on leave) of BSEC, presented his keynote speech from New Zealand, where he outlined the way to organise meetings that would allow both in-person and online participation – popularly known as hybrid meetings.

Paperless meetings and regulatory filings just need proper IT infrastructure and caution against cyber security risks, the rest is convenience and speed because that helps overcome spatial limitations, saves time, cost and a lot of paperwork.

"A proper meeting and information exchange platform is as authentic as the non-virtual mediums," said Dr Tariquzzaman.

The BSEC chairman told the listed companies that the commission would reduce a wide range of paperwork in the market that appeared not-a-must in modern days. Some of the instructions to take to the online system would come very soon, like submission of month-end shareholding data by listed companies.

In the meeting, a large number of representatives from listed companies were present and the BSEC chairman requested them for a brief informal email containing their thoughts on any existing issue the regulator needs to know.

He also called for their proposals to the regulator that might bring positive changes.

Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Chairman Ali Reza Iftekhar expressed his hope that IT-based activities in regulatory affairs would significantly increase transparency too.

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Managing Director Kazi Sanaul Haque informed the meeting about the exchange's ongoing preparation for a complete IT ecosystem – be it in securities trading or processing price sensitive information.

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