Online sales, takeaways too scanty
Restaurants owners have been pounded with yet another blow of the pandemic as the government barred dine-in services during the seven-day restrictions on movement starting from yesterday to contain the virus amid Covid-19 cases hitting record highs. The restaurants were among the first to experience a damaging effect as their sales were stated to have slid down from the middle of March, when the new wave of coronavirus infections arose.During the period, the sales of the restaurant reached some 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Since the Covid-19 outbreak began in March last year, the restaurant and food service providing sector has been among the worst hit in the country as customers are avoiding food prepared outside their homes in order to prevent infections.Since August though, the majority of restaurants have become operational but the sector has only regained about 40 to 45 per cent of its business compared to the pre-pandemic era. The number of food service establishments is estimated to be about 60,000, including hotels, restaurants and sweetmeat makers. The daily talked to some waitstaff of different restaurants and they said most of the workers were still in Dhaka as the establishment owners were unsure whether the lockdown would continue.
Stocks bounce back on buying spree
Stocks bounced back yesterday as investors went on a buying spree to take advantage of the low prices of many securities and higher loan margin for share purchases. DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), rose 88 points, or 1.78 per cent, to 5,177.Some investors bought shares that experienced huge price cuts in recent times and this had a positive impact on the index, said Mostaque Ahmed Sadeque, former president of the DSE Brokers’ Association. Yesterday was the first day of a week-long nationwide lockdown, during which trading hours are limited in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.Besides, these companies do not deserve to see a 15 to 20 per cent decline in prices due to the lockdown.Turnover, an important indicator of the market, dropped 54 per cent to Tk 236 crore.At present, brokers and merchant bankers are allowed to lend Tk 80 against an investment of Tk 100. Earlier, the limit was Tk 50.At the country’s premier bourse, 231 stocks advanced, 14 declined and 76 remained unchanged. Similarly, the port city bourse also bounced back yesterday. CASPI, the general index of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, rose 250 points or 1.7 per cent to close at 14,964. Among 185 traded stocks, 122 rose, 27 fell and 36 remained unchanged, CSE data shows.
Sonali Bank appoints ombudsman
AKM Kamrul Islam, chairman of an audit committee of the Sonali Bank’s Board of Directors, has been appointed ombudsman. An ombudsman is an official, usually appointed by the government, who investigates complaints (usually lodged by private citizens) against businesses, financial institutions, universities, government departments, or other public entities. The main objective is to establish a fully credible bank free from malpractices, corruption, fraud, embezzlement, fraud and immoral activities. The bank approved an ombudsman policy on January 11, 2021.
SCB wins Asiamoney Awards
Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh has recently been recognized as the ‘Best International Bank’ Asiamoney Awards 2021. The year marks the fifth year of the Asiamoney Awards and also the fifth time Standard Chartered has received this prestigious award.As the only international universal Bank in Bangladesh, Standard Chartered has been playing a unique role as a partner progress to Bangladesh for over 116 years. With the Bangladesh economy growing at between 5% and 7% for the past decade, the bank has positioned itself to support this journey, facilitating major investments in power, energy, transportation and urban development. As a result, Standard Chartered is already supporting various key multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects such as the construction of a third terminal at Dhaka Airport (a $2.5 billion project), the $1.98 billion Bangabandhu Railway Bridge and $1.2 billion Dhaka Elevated Expressway.