The stock market regulator has temporarily relaxed the listing regulations or other securities laws for all the listed companies relating to the requirements of monthly/quarterly submissions until May 25.
It issued an order on the matter on Thursday following appeals from some listed companies and the Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC).
"All the listed companies are given a temporary relaxation regarding compliance with the provisions of listing regulations or other securities laws relating to the requirements of monthly or quarterly submissions and other submissions other than price-sensitive information to the commission and the exchanges up to May 25, 2021, subject to the limitations or compliances in other regulatory framework."
The stock exchanges are advised to bring the provisions of this order to the notice of all the listed companies and also post on their websites, added the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
Recently, some listed companies and the BAPLC requested the commission seeking temporary relaxations due to countrywide strict lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The BAPLC said the companies are having difficulty preparing, auditing and submitting financial statements in time for the ongoing countrywide restrictions to curb the alarming surge in coronavirus cases.
Banks, non-bank financial institutions, insurance firms and most multinational companies have closed their accounting year on December 31, it added.
According to the securities rules, the BAPLC said, the companies have to prepare and externally audit their financials within the next 120 days and submit the papers by the following 14 days.
Hence, the listed companies have to submit their 2020 annual statements by May 14, 2021.
Also, they have the May 15 deadline to submit the unaudited statements for the January-March quarter of this year as companies get 45 days to submit first quarterly statements and 30 days for second and third ones since the end of the respective quarters.
The BAPLC letter said many chartered accountant firms have withdrawn their teams from external auditing on grounds of a worsening Covid-19 situation even when offices were allowed to partially operate until the country went under a complete lockdown.
The regular official activities of the listed companies were also being interrupted with a limited number of employees, it concluded.