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  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Start-ups a hotbed for investment in Bangladesh

  • Published at 07:02 pm February 11th, 2021

The seminar highlighted the growth prospects of Bangladesh economy in the form of a large youth base quickly adopting technology as well as the growing start-ups

Increased digital penetration is boosting start-up activity in Bangladesh, which is evident through several large-scale investments in start-ups, speakers said at a seminar on Thursday.

They were speaking at a seminar titled "Scope of Private Equity and Venture Capital Investment in Bangladesh" on the third day of a four-day roadshow organised by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.

The roadshow styled “Rising of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Bangladesh Capital Markets”, is set to conclude on Friday.

The seminar highlighted the growth prospects of Bangladesh economy in the form of a large youth base quickly adopting technology as well as the growing start-ups, trying to tap the growth potential of the booming economy. 

Experts stressed that the start-up scene had recently witnessed a range of impressive and scalable new ventures with potentials for lucrative private equity investments.

The session also explained the easy and convenient exits that have taken place in several recent start-up investments. 

Various Dubai-based fund managers and venture capital firms attended the event and showed interest to explore the untapped potential of Bangladesh.

Cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, also the goodwill ambassador of the BSEC’s financial literacy programme, urged foreign and non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB) investors here in Dubai to invest their money in Bangladesh's stock market, as the return on investment is guaranteed to be better.

Bryan Stirewalt, chief executive of Dubai Financial Services Authority, was the chief guest at the event.

Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, BSEC chairman, chaired the seminar, while Shameem Ahsan, president of Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh, was the keynote speaker.

Stirewalt said that Bangladesh's financial sector, in terms of attracting investment, is part of the solution and not part of the problem. 

"We must all be agile, making bold changes to business plans in an evolving environment and we must all remain resilient through volatile periods ahead," he also said. 

The BSEC chairman highlighted the story and potential of Bangladesh to foreign investors, including global fund managers, asset managers and different bank officials operating in Dubai and Gulf areas.

He also explained the important role of the capital market for raising long term funds through bonds and Sukuk to solve the maturity mismatch problem long prevailing in Bangladesh's banking sector, and also highlighted the importance of developing alternative investment instruments in the capital market.

He emphasised the risky nature of the market and focused on the importance of research and professional investing approach for sustained return from the capital market.

Sheikh Mohammad Rashedul Hasan, CEO of UCB Asset Management. Edward Lee, chief economist of ASEAN and South Asia region at Standard Chartered Bank, and Saurav Anand, an economist from South Asia, also spoke at the seminar.

Khondoker Kamaluzzaman, BSEC commissioner, Mohammed Mahtabur Rahman, chairman of Haramain Group, Ashekur Rahman, managing director of Midway Securities, Mohammed Mohiuddin, director of Chittagong Stock Exchange, Reaz Islam, CEO of LR Global Bangladesh, Mohammed Younus, managing director of Younus Group, Rahmat Pasha, CEO of UCB Stock Brokerage, and Mahbubul Alam, executive director of BSEC, were also present at the programme.

UCB Stock Brokerage, formerly UCB Capital Management, also launched a digital booth at the event, which the BSEC chairman inaugurated.

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