The main stock exchange of Bangladesh has announced that it will sell a quarter of its shares to a consortium of Chinese buyers, according to Caixin Global, despite protests that the purchase is driven by political motives from Beijing.
China’s two largest stock exchanges, of Shanghai and Shenzhen, will buy 450 million shares of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, paying roughly $119 million for the stake and a seat on the exchange’s board.
The next-highest bidder was India’s National Stock Exchange, who offered a significantly lower price and demanded an extra seat on the board. The bourse is now asking that Bangladeshi officials take a second look at their decision to go with Chinese buyers, who, they believe, are acting as state instruments to extend China’s political influence.
“We have accepted the Chinese bid, but the Indians are lobbying our regulator very hard,” said one member of the Dhaka Stock Exchange to the Financial Times. “The issue seems to have become as much political as financial.”