Service-sector export earnings drop 5.56pc
Bangladesh’s export earnings from the service sector stood at US$6.13 billion registering a 5.56 per cent negative growth in the just-concluded fiscal year 2019-20, the official data showed. The country earned US$6.49 billion from the service sector in the fiscal year 2018-19. The last fiscal’s export earnings from the service sector were 27.86 per cent lower than the strategic target of US$8.50 billion set for the fiscal, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released on Monday.Export earnings from services including transportation, travel, construction and telecommunication and information recorded a 5.10 per cent decline to $6.05 billion in the last fiscal year which was $6.37 billion in the previous fiscal of 2018-19, the data showed. Transport services comprising air, sea, rail and road fell by 13.45 per cent to $573.93 million during the July-June period of the last fiscal which was $663.10 million in FY 2018-19. Bangladesh earned $320.11 million from both business and personal (education and tourist) travels, marking a 12.99 per cent negative growth in the last fiscal compared to than that of the corresponding period in the previous fiscal. Earnings from construction services during the period stood at $262.96 million against $432.42 million in the previous fiscal. And earnings from financial services other than insurance, however, recorded a 9.25 per cent growth with $160.34 million earnings in the just-concluded fiscal, according to the EPB data.Earnings from goods procured in ports by carriers declined by 22.60 per cent to $67.93 million while earnings from goods sold under merchanting fell by 54.29 per cent to $13.15 million in the last fiscal. Goods exports fetched $33.67 billion in the FY 2019-20 which was $40.53 billion in the FY 2018-19.
Sanofi to buy Principia Biopharma for $3.7b
French pharma giant Sanofi said Monday it will buy US group Principia Biopharma for $3.68 billion in a deal that will boost its research and development into autoimmune and allergic diseases.Sanofi had been cooperating with San Francisco-based Principia since 2017, securing a global exclusive licence to develop and market its drug for treating multiple sclerosis and other central nervous system illnesses known as BTK’168.The acquisition gives the French drugmaker Principia’s pipeline in autoimmune diseases. They include a drug aimed at the rare but painful skin condition pemphigus and another against multiple sclerosis that the two companies have partnered on since 2017.Principia’s most-advanced candidate, rilzabrutinib, is in Phase 3 trials against pemphigus, which can cause blisters or pus-filled bumps on the skin and mucous membranes and is caused when the immune system mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the body.The French company said it aims to complete the acquisition between October and December 2020.
High net worth investors lift mkt
Active participation of high net worth individuals has given boost to the capital market in recent days, according to market insiders and experts. Other factors such as lower returns on the money market, lucrative price level of listed securities and strong regulatory actions against wrongdoers also helped buoy the market.DSEX, the broad index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), surged 800 points or 20 per cent since the market reopened on May 31, 2020, to settle at 4,859 on Sunday. The country was in a 66-day shutdown aimed at slowing the spread of new coronavirus. The index level has been the highest since October 9, 2019. The DSEX, however, declined 1.53 per cent or 74.44 points and closed at 4,785.04 points on Monday. Dividend yield of some 26 companies, which normally attract long-term investment, has ranged from 2.0 per cent to 8.3 per cent for the last 12 months, in terms of cash dividend. The companies include Grameenphone, British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company, Square Pharmaceuticals, Singer BD, Renata, BRAC Bank and IDLC. Before the recent rally, the DSEX tumbled to a seven-year low to 3,603 points on March 18 as investors turned jittery, amid rising fear of the deadly pathogen.The trade that has increased gradually proves the turnover value of over Tk 10 billion could not be achieved without the participation by individual investors,” the BSEC official said. Even the shares of ‘Z’ category companies are also seeing price hikes. Following the price hike in listed securities, the market capitalisation on the DSE soared by 15 per cent to Tk 3,635 billion on Sunday. Chief executive officer of VIPB Asset Management Shahidul Islam said around 90 per cent of their fund was invested in the secondary market before the outbreak of COVID-19.
BB asks banks, NBFIs to execute with top priority
The central bank has asked the bank and non-bank lenders to properly implement the stimulus package for cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) by giving top priority – in order to help expedite recovery of the pandemic-hit economy. The instruction was given in an online meeting with the top executives of 15 banks and four non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) on Monday, with Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor FazleKabir in the chair.The central banker expected that it will help expedite implementation of the package for CMSMEs. The BB’s latest moves came against the backdrop of slower progress in loan disbursement under the financial package for CMSMEs until July 30. The banks and NBFIs disbursed only Tk 15 billion of the Tk 200-billion stimulus package for the sector during the period. The disbursed amount is just 7.50 per cent of the total financial support, offered to offset the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Loans amounting to Tk 27.50 billion were sanctioned for more than 8,000 CMSMEs during the period, the BB’s latest data showed.
Bashundhara Group to fork out Tk 4,350cr to set up three factories at BSMSN
Bashundhara Group, one of the largest business groups in Bangladesh, is set to establish three new enterprises with a total investment of Tk 4,350 crore at the Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Mirsarai, Chattogram.BEZA helped facilitate the project by leasing a 500-acre plot for the new economic zone that will feature the Bashundhara Pre-fabricated Building Manufacturing Industries, Bashundhara Multi Steel Industries and Bashundhara Chemical Industries.In the past, the market value for pre-fabricated steel was only Tk 2,000 crore but now stands at Tk 4,000 crore, according to the Steel Building Manufacturers Association of Bangladesh. Similarly, Bashundhara also wants to grab a greater share of the growing steel sector. The market size for steel is currently about Tk 55,000 crore but domestic demand continues to increase rapidly thanks to the various mega projects and infrastructure development activities being implemented across Bangladesh. Likewise, the manufacture of chemical products is also a booming industry in the country. Riding on the rising trend of garment exports, the textile chemical market is expected to reach a value of $1.38 billion by 2024. According to BEZA’s Chowdhury, this is only the beginning of Bashundhara’s investments in the country as the organisation plans to invest heavily in different sectors in the future.