India and China are going head to head for a large stake in the Dhaka Stock Exchange. The chief executive of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Majedur Rahman revealed that India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) has offered USD 0.18 (15 takas) per share for a 25 percent stake in the 2.8 billion shares. China, on the other hand, has for a joint stake by the Shanghai and Shenzen stock exchanges offered a bidding price of USD 0.26 (22 takas) per share along with a USD 37 million worth of technical support making a total offer of USD 157 million for the Dhaka Stock Exchange.
An official from Dhaka Stock Exchange further revealed that the bid from Beijing had initially been approved by the board but was later rejected by the financial regulators from Bangladesh. The official added that the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has ordered DSE to scrutinise each proposal for the stake. BSEC executive director Saifur Rahman, while refusing to confirm the rejection of the Chinese bid, said that no final decision has been made yet as the auction process is still at an ‘early stage’.
Dhaka Stock Exchange Makes Favourites Between India-China
Local Bangladeshi reports have blamed the rejection of China’s bid on political favouritism for India as the Indian bid for the stake was lesser than China’s bid by almost 50 percent. The situation has thus put light on the political and diplomatic tensions between Bangladesh and China as the latter aims to grow its influence on Bangladesh which already has a long-standing relationship with India.
Also Read at EurAsian Times: The Minority Hindu’s in Bangladesh
India and Bangladesh have seen positivity in diplomatic relations with India showing support during the election of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Indian government led by PM Narendra Modi too has over the last few years made massive investments in Bangladesh while several Indian companies have won contracts worth multi-billion in essential sectors of Bangladesh. The relations between China and Bangladesh, on the other hand, have not been so kind with Bangladesh blacklisting a top construction firm from China on allegations of attempts of bribing a senior government official.