Sebon moved to stop bank’s IPO

Kathmandu, January 28:

An investor has — for the first time in the history of the country’s capital market — filed a complaint at the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) against Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Bishwombhar Ghimire, the investor, has filed a complaint against the Bank of Asia Nepal (BoAN) urging the regulatory authority of the capital market to protect investors’ interest by stopping its IPO.

“Since some relatives of the bank’s promoters are reportedly involved in illegal import of poppy seeds, the bank should be stopped from issuing the IPO to protect public interest,” Ghimire claimed in his complaint that he filed today and a copy of which was acquired by The Himalayan Times.

It is the first ever such case filed against any institution at Sebon. The bank is planning to issue Rs 30 million IPO and has appointed NMB Bank its issue manager.

“The board will investigate, if the complaint is valid,” Niraj Giri, director of Sebon said adding that the board cannot however stop the bank from issuing IPO only on the basis of a complaint based on media reports. “According to the Act, only if the promoters are blacklisted can the board can stop it from issuing IPO,” he added.

Sebon has recently approved shares worth around Rs 8 billion. The IPOs, rights shares, debentures and bonus shares add up to over Rs 8 billion.

IPOs in the pipeline are Rs 370 million of Sunrise Bank, Rs 300 million each of Citizens’ Bank and Prime Commercial Bank, Rs 260 million of Vibor Bikas Bank and Rs 230 million of the much-awaited Chilime Hydropower.

The IPOs adds up to over Rs 2.2 billion, whereas Sebon has also approved rights shares worth Rs 3.76 billion, debenture worth Rs 500 million and bonus shares worth

Rs 1.17 billion.

The Chilime Hydropower — constructed with domestic technology — has also been long planning to raise Rs 240 million through an equity offering. The Chilime model is no doubt an example of how Nepalis can themselves construct hydro power plant by raising money from the domestic market, if the government has a clear vision of utilising the capital market for development purpose.

Apart from that Agriculture Development Bank is also planning its IPO amounting to Rs 960 million, the largest ever IPO in the history of the country’s capital market.