What Is the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE)?

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), located in the Motijheel Park area of Dhaka, is one of two financial marketplaces in Bangladesh. The other is the Chittagong Stock Exchange. The DSE was incorporated in 1954 and began formal trading in 1956.

Understanding the Dhaka Stock Exchange

The Dhaka Stock Exchange endeavors to be the leading exchange in its region and a key driver of economic growth. As such, the DSE is proactive about keeping pace with technological advancements. The DSE initiated automated trading in 1998, and installed a central securities depository system in 2004.

Since its inception, the Dhaka Stock Exchange has aspired to compete on the world stage of financial markets. It is cognizant of what it must do to persevere toward this goal and has set an ambitious schedule of objectives that it aims to fulfill in coming years, which include the following:

  • Attracting more foreign investors in order to attain a steady level of at least 30% total market cap
  • Achieving a sustainable average daily turnover of BDT 25 billion
  • Ensuring steady domestic and offshore institutional investments of at least three-quarters of its total investments
  • Enhancing its offerings by listing government municipal (munis), and corporate bonds 
  • Doubling its number of listed individual company securities
  • Increasing its scope to offer index futures, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and derivatives
  • Advancing its technology to enable global trading and settlement

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE): Background

Originally, the DSE was called the East Pakistan Stock Exchange Association Ltd. In 1962, the name was revised to East Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd., and two years later, the name again changed to the current, Dhaka Stock Exchange Ltd.

The Dhaka Stock Exchange is registered as a Public Limited Company (PLC) and is regulated by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Ordinance of 1969, the Companies Act of 1994 (Bangladesh) and the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act of 1993, which established oversight for the Dhaka Stock Exchange.

As with the SEC in the United States, the Bangladesh SEC's responsibilities are broadly "to protect the interest of investors in securities, develop the securities markets, and formulate rules on securities related matters."

The Dhaka Stock Exchange trades in Bangladeshi taka, which is the currency of Bangladesh, and whose official International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 currency code is BDT. The taka was issued in 1972, replacing the Pakistani rupee at a ratio of one to one. Companies listed on the DSE are based primarily in Bangladesh. As of February 27, 2020, the DSE’s market capitalization (market cap) in adjusted U.S. dollars was $40.39 billion.