BB cuts interest rate of refinance funds
Bangladesh Bank yesterday cut the interest rate on refinance funds for pre-shipment credit aiming at helping local exporters continue shipping products amid the coronavirus outbreak. From now on, businesses will be allowed to avail funds from the scheme at 5 per cent interest rate instead of a previous 6 per cent. Banks will borrow money from the fund at 2 per cent interest instead of 3 per cent from the central bank and can charge exporters a maximum of 5 per cent. On April 5, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that the Bangladesh Bank will introduce a new loan facility titled pre-shipment credit refinance scheme involving Tk 5,000 crore for local exporters.As of March 24, borrowers took Tk 224 crore in loans from the refinance scheme, showed data from the central bank. A maximum of 10 per cent of the commercial invoice value of exported consignments are eligible for the scheme.
Banks must give Tk 116cr in CSR to pandemic-hit people
Banks will have to allocate around Tk 116 crore to carry out corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes in the form of providing essential goods and medical equipment to the underprivileged affected by the coronavirus pandemic. They have to set aside one per cent of net profits earned this year to cater supports to people in the categories of jeopardised, unemployed poor, rootless and despaired persons. The one per cent net profit of banks stands at Tk 116 crore, given the overall net earnings by them this year. This fund has to be allocated in addition to the lenders’ existing CSR budget for this year. They will be allowed to adjust the one per cent additional fund in the next three years between 2022 and 2024 by way of cutting down their allocation for CSR programmes.A bank will have to disburse 50 per cent of the allocated fund in city corporation areas and the rest must be distributed for the people living outside of the cities. Banks will have to give emphasis on providing essential food products and safety equipment to protect the poor from the virus and provide financial support for treatments. The Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, an organisation of the top executives of banks, will monitor the special CSR activities.
Stocks fall on profit booking
The stock market witnessed a profit booking session yesterday, breaking a graining streak of eight consecutive days. DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), fell 12 points, or 0.22 per cent, to stand at 5,485.86.A stock broker echoed the same, saying some investors booked profits as most stocks rose 10 to 15 per cent in the last few days. This is a good sign, because whenever an investor books profit, they get confidence to invest more. However, the DSE’s turnover, an important indicator of the market, surged around 1 per cent to Tk 1,195 crore.Prime Bank shed the most with an 8.76 per cent drop followed by Purabi General Insurance, Takaful Islami Insurance, Peoples Insurance, and Desh General Insurance. At the DSE, 102 stocks advanced, 191 declined and 62 remained unchanged. The Chittagong Stock Exchange also fell yesterday. The CASPI, the general index of the port city bourse, fell 38 points, or 0.24 per cent, to stand at 15,828. Among 255 traded stocks, 73 rose, 134 fell and 48 remained unchanged, CSE data shows.