When the securities regulator-appointed board of directors sought stock exchange approval to defer the board meeting till the end of December to adopt annual financial statements, the company secretary of Alhaj Textile, backed by a parallel board claiming themselves the valid one, called for the same meeting on 9 November.
However, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), upon receiving contradictory updates from the groups conflicting for the company’s authority, asked investors not to count on 9 November as the meeting date for annual financial updates and dividends.
DSE, in its server, told investors that Alhaj’s Company Secretary Md Selim Parvez on 2 November sent the notification for the board meeting and on 6 November Syed Tariquzzaman, claiming himself as the chairman, wrote to the bourse that no such decision was taken by the Alhaj Textile Board, and he requested that the DSE delete the board meeting schedule from its website.
The bourse expressed its confusion after two individuals wrote to it on the company’s official pad and both claimed themselves as the company’s managing directors previously.
On 27 September, the DSE sent a query regarding the board and management of the company, and again, it received two different and contradictory reply letters: one undersigned by Tariquzzaman, who claimed himself as the chairman, and another by Bakhtiar Rahman, who claimed himself as the managing director and CEO.
The rivalry of two groups within the sponsor Alhaj family for the company’s authority not only created a mess but also caused stagnation in the company’s progress in the regulator-mandated tasks of solving its default loan problems, improving profitability, and also ensuring 30% shareholding by sponsors and directors collectively.
The group led by Bakhtiar, who had appointed different independent directors and an independent chairman, challenged the BSEC’s letter reconstructing the company’s board in the high court and failed to secure a stay order after the regulator’s appeal to a superior court.
On the other hand, his opponents, led by another sponsor, director Mizanur Rahman, whom the regulator-appointed board made the MD, complained that Bakhtiar Rahman and his allies were not letting them enter the office for a board meeting.
In October, a group of employees wrote to the BSEC that the management was not paying their salaries for months and the company’s health was only deteriorating.
Alhaj Textile shares, which rose to over Tk200 apiece earlier this year, riding on hopes for a better time ahead, fell to the floor price of Tk132.1 amid the lack of progress.