Branchless banking gaining ground
A good number of banks are going towards branchless banking in recent times by way of rolling out different digital products as a part of their efforts to reach out to more people both in rural and urban areas. This is also helping them decrease the cost of doing business in an efficient manner as the expenditure of digital banking is much less than the manual one, said managing directors of four banks.People’s habit of branch-led banking has also reduced to a great extent as a large number of clients now prefer to settle transactions sitting from their homes by using internet or mobile app-based banking in order to protect themselves from the coronavirus.The central bank should lay emphasis on the matter as well such that branchless banking gains momentum. The model of branchless banking also helps reduce the cost of doing business as well. Banks have to spend around Tk 1 crore to set up a branch in the major cities including appointing at least 10 officials to run operations. If they want to set up such an outlet in rural areas, they must count between Tk 50 lakh and Tk 60 lakh. Despite that, banks have been forced to expand their branches over the years as people in the country are largely habituated to do banking by going to outlets.Although the majority of banks had failed to manage their expected profit for expansion of their businesses by opening new branches last year, they have embraced different digital models to make their services available for people. Banks set up only 107 branches in 2020 instead of an average figure of 300-400 per year, data from the central bank showed.As much as 1,576 branches had become loss-making last year, which was 15 per cent of the total 10,685 outlets. Poor people are still far away from managing such digital devices, so the government should take measures to this end.
Oil-gas industry plans to ramp up plastic output
Oil and gas industry will ramp up plastic production in the coming years, raising concerns among experts over the possible ‘plastic pandemic’, according to an Asia-focused overview of the plastic pollution crisis. The Asian region has also become a major destination of plastic waste trade where South and Southeast Asia have emerged as hotspots. The publication titled ‘Plastic Atlas Asia Edition’ also highlighted Asia’s growing role and impact on plastic production, consumption and disposal since the post-war period.With over consumption exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlas also highlighted the “surge of single-use plastics more recently and how the oil and gas industry plans to ramp up production in the coming years.” Further, the publication explained that recycling is not the solution to the plastic crisis, an idea which has been widely promoted by governments and corporations.
Ten largest listed cos grab 44pc market-cap of DSE
Ten largest listed companies in terms of market capitalisation accounted for 44 per cent of the Dhaka bourse’s total market-cap as of Thursday thanks to rising shares prices of large-cap companies. The total market-cap of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) stood at approximately Tk 4,683 billion as of Thursday where as the top 10 largest firms accounted for Tk 2,046 billion, according statistics from the DSE. Market capitalisation, or market cap, is calculated by multiplying the total number of a company’s outstanding shares with the current market price of shares. Grameenphone (GP), the lone listed mobile phone company and the biggest market-cap company, grabbed 9.72 per cent market-cap alone of the prime bourse. The GP’s total market-cap stood at Tk 454.91 billion as on Thursday. Its share closed at Tk 337 each on Thursday.British American Tobacco Company’s market stood at Tk 283.82 billion as of Thursday which was 6.06 per cent of the DSE’s total market-cap. The multinational company’s share price closed at Tk 523.60. Robi Axiata, the country’s second largest telecom operator, emerged as the fourth largest market-cap company. Its total market stood at Tk 241.46 billion.Robi joined the stock market with the largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) in Bangladesh’s capital market history on December 24, 2020.The MNCs have been doing well due to their strong fundamental, brand value, well management and quality of products which helped them earn more.However, the ratio of present market-cap of DSE to gross domestic product (GDP) remained low in the region as the ratio is 14 as of March.