Sinha Fashions Limited, a concern of once prominent and leading apparel business conglomerate Sinha-Medlar Group, has transferred 54 lakh shares of LafargeHolcim Bangladesh Limited and plans to sell an additional 7.50 lakh of its shares to repay a bank loan and to maintain a clean sheet with the Credit Information Bureau (CIB).
According to LafargeHolcim sources, Sinha Fashions is the corporate director of the multinational cement manufacturer. In early October, Sinha Fashions transferred in lien, 54 lakh of LafargeHolcim shares to Midland Bank to repay a loan from the bank.
Apart from this, Sinha Fashions on Tuesday announced the sale of an additional 7.50 lakh LafargeHolcim shares in the secondary market of the DSE within the next 30 days as part of the loan repayment process.
Although there is a rule to publicly announce the information of share transfer as a corporate director, it was not followed in this case. The information regarding the transfer of shares is not disclosed on Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website.
Contacted, LafargeHolcim said the shares have been transferred in accordance with the rules and only Sinha Fashions can tell why this information is not given on the DSE website.
A senior DSE official, on condition of anonymity, said LafargeHolcim applied for permission to transfer shares from Holcim but DSE did not give approval due to lack of information.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange (BSEC) sources said Sinha Fashions defaulted on the loan and hence the lien on the shares of LafargeHolcim is forfeited. The company had to be removed from the board of Lafarge as a defaulter.
To regularise this loan, Sinha Fashions applied for permission for an immediate share transfer without declaring it to the stock exchange. The commission approved this and the DSE also transferred the shares according to the commission's decision.
No information about this has been given on the website of the stock exchange, said sources at the stock market regulator.
DSE has given permission to Sinha Fashion to sell 750,000 more shares to repay the debt, sources said.
Sinha Fashions Managing Director, Arifur Rahman Sinha, could not be reached for comment over the phone despite several attempts.
Owned by multinational cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim Bangladesh Limited, Sinha Fashions has been the corporate director since its inception.
Sinha Fashions held 3.51 crore or 3.02% shares in the cement company in the updated LafargeHolcim shareholding report till September this month.
Naheed Akhter is the nominated director of Sinha Fashions on the board of LafargeHolcim.
Currently, Sinha Fashions' stake in LafargeHolcim will be reduced to 2.49%.
According to BGMEA, the apex body of garment exporters, the Sinha-Medlar Group, once Asia's largest garment trader, is not doing well. Due to lost work orders and financial losses, they closed the factory at Kanchpur in Narayanganj on 18 October 2021. It was their biggest factory.
Sinha Fashions' factory in Ashulia is currently in production, said the company.
The share price of LafargeHolcim is stuck at the floor price of Tk64.80 on the DSE.
Apart from Sinha, LafargeHolcim's entrepreneurs include Islam Group's Islam Cement and Netherlands' Surma Holding BV.