Riot police in streets after Bangladesh stocks dive

DHAKA, December 8, 2010 (AFP) – Riot police took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital on Wednesday to control thousands of angry investors protesting over a dramatic fall in shares on the national stock exchange. Protesters burnt office furniture in front of the Dhaka Stock Exchange building and brought traffic in the centre of the city to a standstill.

Shares on the benchmark DSE General Index showed a loss of more than six percent at one point during a volatile day before recovering to close down 1.56 percent at 8,451.59

“There were 2,000-3,000 small investors who protested over the stock market plunge. They broke up as the market rebounded later in the day,” local police chief Tofazzal Hossain told AFP.

Scores of others held protests in the southern city of Barisal, police said.

Reaz Islam, head of New York-based LR Global Fund, said a series of measures to cool the overheated stock exchange by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the central bank had created panic among investors.

On Monday, the SEC had stopped brokerage houses from executing share transactions until the cheques are cashed, but Islam said this order has been frozen on Wednesday, which had helped