The auditor of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL) has given a qualified opinion on the state-run company’s financial report for the year ended in June 2023 as the report has shown an unapproved share capital of Tk 252 crore.
The state-owned telecommunications service provider was required to take prior approval from the government to show this figure on its financial statement, but it could not secure all the approvals yet.
A qualified opinion is a statement issued after an audit is completed by a professional auditor, suggesting that the financial information provided is limited in scope or the company has not maintained generally accepted accounting principles.
As per the auditor’s qualified opinion, the publicly traded company has shown Tk 252.23 crore on its FY23 financial report as share capital before getting the final approval from the finance ministry.
The auditor said BSCCL received Tk 166 crore during the financial years of 2015–16 and 2016–17 as equity money in six different phases from the government.
The fund was taken for the implementation of the Regional Submarine Telecommunications Project, Bangladesh (installation and establishment of second submarine cable system (SMW5).
BSCCL received the fund on condition that the said amount would be converted into equity capital in favour of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology through the issuance of shares after implementing the project and getting proper approval from the authorities concerned and in compliance with the guidelines and policies issued by the finance ministry for the issuance of the equity capital, said the auditor.
Besides this, BSCCL also received Tk 86.23 crore during the financial years of 2021–22 and 2022–23 as equity money in four different phases from the government for implementing the installation of 3rd Submarine Cable and for the expansion of International Telecommunications System of Bangladesh, as per the auditor’s opinion.
Hence, total equity money stands at Tk 252.23 crore as on 30 June this year.
The auditor’s report on this issue said although the official process with the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology has been completed but BSCCL has not yet received final approval from the finance ministry to transfer the equity money to share capital.
As a result, no equity or share money has been converted into share capital by BSCCL till the end of FY23.
Financials of FY23
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) announced a record 51 per cent cash dividend for its shareholders for the fiscal year 2022–23 since its listing with the capital market.
Its net profit in FY23 was Tk 279 crore, up 13 per cent from that in the year before.
The company’s earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 15.19 for FY23, which was Tk 13.67 for FY22.
The state-owned company’s annual general meeting will be held on October 12 to approve the dividend and financial statement. The record date has been set at September 20.
BSCCL is the only submarine cable-based internet data provider in Bangladesh.
On Monday, BSCCL shares closed at Tk 218.90 per share on the Dhaka Stock Exchange.
With a market capitalisation of Tk 3,609 crore, the company’s paid-up capital is around Tk 165 crore.
Listed in 2012, it belongs to the ‘A’ category on the DSE.
The government held a 73.84 per cent stake in the company, while institutes owned 15.56 per cent, foreign 2.74 per cent and the public 7.85 per cent as on July 31, 2023.