The country’s capital market is witnessing a surge of female investors, increasing their contributions to the national economy, according to official statistics.
Modern technology has made their journeys in the share market easier, helping many keep the track of the market even by sitting at home, through their computers or smartphones.
Sources at the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), the total number of Beneficiary Owners (BO) account in the market is 2,690,821, as of October 16 this year.
“Among them, the number of female investors is approximately 712,941, while 1,966,342 accounts belong to their male counterparts,” said a source at the CDBL.
A recent study shows that 78 percent of the female investors are below the age of 40 while more than 95 percent are below 50.
Though the female investors are increasing, the percentage of active female traders will be four or five percent, said Managing Director of Modern Securities Ltd. Khugesta Nur-E- Naharin, mentioning that the numbers of female BO account holders is high only in paper.
“Women will have to come forward to show their visibility in the market and it’s all about mindset,” she said, adding that they will have to be active from the first step.
Khugesta said the government, as well as Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges, have taken many initiatives like training, separate booth for female traders and more, eliminating any chance of creating any gender discrimination in the share market. “It’s all about business and understanding.”
Deputy General Manager (PR and Publication) of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Md Shafiqur Rahman said the DSE launched a mobile application on March 9 last year through which investors are now can trade on their mobile phones.
The app has added an extra benefit for the female share traders, of being able to run their business from home, avoiding the hassles of coming to the spot, he added.
He said the app also helps attract potential investors in the market as it is easy to operate and is slowly becoming popular among the traders.
Trading experiences of fairer sex
Farjana Rashid, a working woman and an investor in the capital market, said the app has undoubtedly brought many advantages for the female traders, but needs to be a bit less technical and more user-friendly.
Sultana Parvin, another investor, told UNB that she started investing in the capital market back in 2004, inspired by other people.
Terming the share market as ‘puzzling’, she said many people do not want to invest here as they fear losing money.
She said many investors want instant profits soon after buying shares and when they incur any loss, they lose their interest to invest further.
Many people invest here knowing nothing about the market but seeing other people’s profit from the market, she added.
Former chairman of the Department of Finance at Chittagong University Dr Mohammad Saleh Jahur said although the number of women investors is increasing in the capital market, the number is not satisfactory yet.
“At the rate, women have participated in the mainstream economy, they didn’t join the capital market at the same pace,” he said, mentioning that the main reason is lack of awareness about the capital market.
He also said the share market will be benefited if more and more educated people participate in the business.
He sought joint effort of the concerned authorities like DSE, CSE, BSEC and the brokerage houses to take initiatives for arranging awareness building training and other programmes for the general investors, for their better understanding of the market.
Some 1000 limited companies and many multinational companies are still out of this market, he added. “If they join the capital market, the market situation will be positive.”
Lauding the Bangladesh Securities Exchange Commission (BSEC)’s initiative to observe the World Investor Week in the country to increase the consciousness among the investors, he said it will play a substantial role indeed.
Prof Saleh also urged for providing training to the non-business people and students, as well as the female traders.
CDBL chairman Sheikh Kabir Hossain said the number of share traders will increase if the share markets can attract new investors. More investors will be interested to invest in this sector if the market manages to achieve the trust of people, he added.
The BSEC had observed World Investor Week 2017 in the country for the first time, like other countries of the world, to create awareness among the investors from October 2-8, which was announced by the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO).