The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has sued a retail investor moderating a stock discussion page – "BD Stock Discussion" – on Facebook for his post allegedly containing "market destabilising contents."
Masum Billah, an assistant director of the capital market regulator, in his complaint alleged that Md Abu Romim in his 20 November post wrote things with the intention of "destabilising the capital market or deceiving the investors."
The defendant was also accused of spreading false and confusing information regarding the market, Utpal Barua, officer-in-charge of the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station in the capital, told The Business Standard on Tuesday.
Market people, however, said it appears that the post was more a satire on market behaviour, criticism of regulators and a layman's market expectations than spreading false and confusing information.
Mimicking political rhetoric in the country, the defendant satirically wrote that the market fell today as the Pakistan team lost the match and it might have been a conspiracy of BNP-Jamaat, the opposition political force in Bangladesh.
Addressing BSEC Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, he advised, "Stop breeding IPOs, concentrate on the main market instead of alternative trading board and blah blah."
The accused expressed his dissatisfaction in a casual way regarding the bearish market behaviour that entrapped the chartists on that day.
His opinions contained the retail investors' common topics and rumours, such as, two large conglomerates' stocks must remain bullish to keep the market up, the possibility of market turnaround riding on expected regulatory instruction to solve the market's liquidity problems, if the selloff was a good opportunity to buy stocks cheaper, the regulator might handle market manipulators softly to avert any negative impact on the market.
And the BSEC accused him of spreading false and confusing information among the mass people.
"He had been doing such to allure investors for his illegal gains," the stock market regulator complained.
"His unlawful activities were against the interest of investors and the state," the commission said, adding that a group has been doing so to manipulate the market.
BSEC Executive Director and spokesperson Rezaul Karim told TBS, without eligible research, market forecasting advising the people is prohibited in securities law while spreading rumour is another crime.
A large number of social media pages and the people behind those are doing those and the regulator is taking legal actions against a very few of them upon confirmation of their real identity and evidence of a violation of law, he added.
"Lots of average investors are the victims of the illegal tipsters in the market," he said, denying the common allegation that the regulator was behaving intolerantly to the unsophisticated stock investors who are vocal on social media.