10 Jan 2011

Protests as Bangladesh shares plunge

6:06 am on 10 January 2011

Hundreds of investors held demonstrations in cities across Bangladesh on Sunday after the country's main stock exchange plunged nearly 8% in its steepest ever daily fall.

The index rose by 80% in 2010, but has lost 20% in the past three weeks. Dealers have said corrections are long overdue.

Sunday's loss was the highest in the exchange's more than 50-year history.

Local police chief Tofazzal Hossain said at least 300 investors chanted slogans near the stock exchange building in the capital Dhaka. He said 50 policemen and Rapid Action Battalion forces prevented trouble.

The Dhaka Stock Exchange general index (DGEN) lost 600 points (7.76%) to close at 7135.02.

The previous biggest daily fall was 6.72% on 19 December when protests turned violent with investors throwing bricks at riot police.

In the northwestern city of Rajshahi, more than 150 investors staged protests, and similar protests were held in the southwestern city of Khulna.