Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Friday, October 9, 2015, Aswin 24, 1422 BS, Zilhaj 24, 1436 Hijr

Inordinately Rich Obaidul Karim - Last Part
Manipulation in share sales and dividend
Jibon Islam
Published :Friday, 9 October, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 20

Orion Group has embezzled huge bank money through fraudulent means at the cost of public exchequer.
The group also stretched its claw of greed to the stock market. It   allegedly resorted to manipulation in sales of share and declaration of dividends. Many shareholders said the dividend declared by the group was not properly given to them. In this way Orion made exorbitant profits in connivance with a certain quarter of high officials and some ruling clique.  
The group's four subsidiary companies--Kohinoor Chemicals, Orion Pharma, Orion Infusion and Beacon  Pharmaceutical-are listed with the Dhaka Stock Exchange as profitable organisation but share buyers are not so much interested to buy those shares, as the companies do not distribute dividends to the shareholders properly. Allegations are there that these companies indulge in scams under the coverage of share selling and buying.
It was also alleged that the group has not been publishing its Annual report to deprive the shareholders of legitimate profits in the form of dividends. Besides, the companies also do not announce the dividends in their Annual General Meeting (AGM). These companies have huge assets and are making booming profits. But the shareholders are totally in the dark. This is why the buyers are least interested to purchase shares of the companies under this group.  
Although the companies sometimes call AGM; but those are very short lived. Shareholders have alleged that even such AGM is ended in 10-15 minutes where there was no participation of the general shareholders. Even no scope is given to the shareholders to speak on the occasion.  
Orion Infusion Limited is one of them that releases shares in the markets under the Orion Group. The shareholders of this company told the Daily Observer that the face value of each share is Tk 10. But the face value of this share was previously Tk100. But under a common decision, the group has fixed up prices of each share of all the four companies at Tk 10.
However, through manipulations, they sometimes show the share value higher. But this is not actual prices, rather it is fabricated prices.
Being attracted by the pseudo-prices, sometimes buyers purchase large volume of shares, but when the actual prices drop the buyers have to count huge losses.  
Shareholders said once the value of their share drops, it continues for more than a year. In the meantime they have to come out on the streets losing the capitals and investments as they are forced to sell those at nominal prices. In this way, the Orion Group mints money, leaving the shareholders penniless.
Although they placing this complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulatory body for the stock market, any action  against the Orion Group is yet to be taken.   
During the BNP regime, the group used former mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka and Gias Uddin Al-Mamun, a close friend and business partner of Tarique Rahman, the then senior joint secretary general of BNP, to make money through various fraudulent means, the trade and business circle alleged.
But after assumption of power by Awami League (AL)-led grand combine, it was alleged that the Orion Group overnight had taken shelter of Alauddin Nasim, a veteran Awami Leaguer who was once a prominent leader of Chhatra league at Chittagong University. The Orion is now under the good book of Alauddin Nasim who is said to have easy access to the present regime. After getting his blanket support and shelter, Orion Group now has become the most powerful business house in the country.
Interesting though, when the Orion Group faces any allegation of corruption or misuse of money and power, it immediately takes a legal shelter. As a tactics it files cases with the court and through dilly-dally it passes time and continue its profit-mongering pursuits. Such cases linger years after years.  
When asked, Salman Obaidul Karim, Managing Director of Orion Group and son of Obaidul Karim, declined to comment as usual.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]