Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd's Sponsor Director SM Ashraful Alam has declared that he would sell 1 lakh shares he holds in the secondary market of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) within the next 30 days, following the securities regulators' direction to increase free float shares to 10% in the stock market.
Currently, Walton's free float shares are only 0.97% of its total shares on the DSE.
Free float, also known as public float, refers to the shares of a company that can be publicly traded and are not restricted (i.e. held by insiders). In other words, the term is used to describe the number of shares that are available to the public for trading in the secondary market.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) gave the company's sponsors and directors three years to ensure that the company has at least 10% free-float shares.
The BSEC on 12 September last year ordered Walton Hi-Tech Industries, Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd, and the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh to ensure a minimum of 10% free-float shares within a year through offloading sponsor-held shares.
On Thursday, Walton's share price fell 0.19% and closed at Tk1,048.80 each on the DSE.
Earlier, in 2020, Walton raised Tk100 crore by issuing only 0.97% shares, a move which was criticised by the market participants.
It recommended a 250% cash dividend for its general shareholders and a 150% cash for sponsor shareholders for the financial year 2021-22. During the year, its earnings per share were Tk40.16, which was 26% lower than the previous year.
At the end of the last financial year, its net asset value per share stood at Tk334.68.