GDP growth target cut again
The government has revised down the GDP growth projection to 6.1 per cent for 2020-21, the second revision this fiscal year, reflecting the devastating impacts of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on the battered economy.
The government had initially targeted to achieve an 8.2 per cent expansion in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal year. Later, the target was reset at 7.4 per cent. The new growth target was fixed yesterday at a meeting of the fiscal coordination council chaired by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
The government is planning for an expansionary budget for 2021-22. The size could be Tk 602,484 crore, which is 17.3 per cent of the GDP.
Stocks rise for eighth day
Stocks have continued to rise for the last eight days of trade due to increased participation of investors despite the coronavirus pandemic. The DSEX, the benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), rose 63 points, or 1.16 per cent, to stand at 5,498.21 yesterday. There are many reasons behind the recent jump of the market despite the ongoing pandemic, said Sayedur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association.The world stock market is in a peak position amidst the pandemic and even the Indian market is also at a high level, he said, adding that India was witnessing a devastating deterioration of the pandemic. “It is influencing our investors positively,” he said. “Our financial sector has a huge amount of liquidity and deposit rate of the banking sector is very low so funds are coming to the stock market,” he said. As other investment places are not lucrative, stock market trade is possible sitting back at home so many investors are investing funds here, said Rahman, also managing director of EBL Securities.
On the other hand, many big companies declared higher earnings, especially banks which declared higher dividends this year, which positively impacted the market. The market was impacted last year when trading was shut but this year investors have the assurance that the market will remain open. The rising trend of the market also gave them a boost of confidence, he added.
The Chittagong Stock Exchange has also remained in an upward trend. The CASPI, the general index of the port city bourse, rose 143 points, or 0.91 per cent, to stand at 15,867. Among 236 stocks to witness trade, 132 rose, 63 fell and 41 remained unchanged, shows the CSE data
Higher earnings raise IPDC’s stock price
Stocks of IPDC Finance rose 2.08 per cent to Tk 24.50 yesterday thanks to the higher earnings declaration by the company in the first quarter of the current year. The non-bank financial institution’s profit rose 36 per cent year-on-year to Tk 20.49 crore in the January-March period of 2021. During the period, IPDC’s net interest income increased 3.6 per cent to Tk 57 crore while investment income surged more than three times to Tk 23 crore. However, the company’s per share net operating cash flow stood at TK 18.09 in the negative, which was Tk 1.98 in the positive a year earlier. On March 31, 2021, the NBFI’s per share net asset value stood at Tk 16.52, which was Tk 16.34 three months earlier. It has a paid-up capital of Tk 371 crore, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) data. The company provided 12 per cent cash dividend to its shareholders for the year that ended on December 31, 2020.Sponsors of the A category company hold 48 per cent of its shares, government 21.88 per cent, institutional investors 16.79 per cent and foreign investors 2.35 per cent.General investors hold the rest 10.94 per cent shares of IPDC, DSE data shows.
Garment makers want more stimulus
Garment factory owners are demanding more stimulus funds from the government to pay three months’ salaries alongside festival allowances to workers.”We demanded that the government give low-cost funds to us for paying salaries for April, May and June and festival allowance to the workers,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).The newly elected BGMEA leaders made the demand at an emergency meeting at the trade body’s Uttara office on Saturday.
Hassan said they did not mention any specific amount to the government but that for three months’ salaries and allowances for workers.Workers of export-oriented garment factories receive around Tk 3,000 crore every month as salary. “So, the amount is already estimated and only the allowance money would be added,” Hassan told The Daily Star.