Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Dhaka stocks drifted lower on Sunday, as the investors released some portion of their portfolios to set aside funds for the forthcoming IPOs, including the largest ever issue Grameenphone.

The market moved into the negative territory as some merchant banks stopped margin loan against some particular scripts because of exceeding the loan exposure limits, market operators said.

The benchmark Dhaka Stock Exchange General Index (DGEN) fell below 3000-mark just after two sessions, and at the end of the day closed at 2996.68, shedding 31.25 points or 1.03 percent.

The broader All Shares Price Index (DSI) lost 28.84 points or 1.13 percent to close at 2517.70. The DSE-20 (DS20) comprising blue chips slipped 44.15 points or 2.01 percent to finish at 2146.95.

Turnover suffered much to stand at BDT 6.85 billion, a decrease of about 15 per cent from the previous session.

“Decline in share prices and transaction volume might partly due to the fact that some investors started to set aside funds for the upcoming initial public offerings (IPOs),” Md Sayadur Rahman, vice president and head of investment banking unit of Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), was quoted by the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper, as saying.

A merchant bank official, however said, “Some merchant banks were reluctant to give loans against scripts like Bextex, Beximco Ltd and Summit Power because of exceeding loan exposure limit.”

BBN/SS/SI/AD-24August09-2:26 am (BST)