Banks to shell out another Tk 1,350cr on stocks
Banks are going to invest an additional Tk 1,350 crore in the stock market by utilising Bangladesh Bank’s incentive, a development that will likely to boost both liquidity flow and investor confidence. The highest investment commitment came from United Commercial Bank followed by Rupali, Pubali and Janata. As of December 10, lenders had invested Tk 700 crore in the market but the additional investment will likely to flow into the market in the coming months.As per Bangladesh Bank data, lenders have decided to invest in the stock market mainly after the outbreak began in early March, several weeks after the central bank had offered an incentive in the form of a Tk 200 crore fund. On February 10, the banking regulator rolled out a package that allows banks to set up a Tk 200 crore fund by taking it from Bangladesh Bank through a repurchase agreement against treasury bills and bonds owned by them. But as of March 24, lenders had invested only Tk 30 crore in the stock market under the initiative. The banks will have to pay 5 per cent interest for the fund and the credit tenure will be until February 2025.In 2010, banks had huge investments in the stock market, causing a boon in the bourses’ index. But on the other hand, when the bubble burst, a number of banks and non-banking financial institutions incurred considerable losses. So, banks should invest for the long-run so that investors gain confidence and help the lenders earn back their money.
Akij to go big at BangabandhuShilpa Nagar
Akij Venture, a concern of Akij Group, has expressed its intention to invest Tk 3,480 crore to set up 18 manufacturing facilities at the Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Chattogram. The investment will be made over the next 10 years in three phases. An initial proposal for the investment project has already been placed with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) for approval, said FerdoushSaleheen, chief supply chain officer of Akij Venture.Akij Venture has sought 307 acres of land at the BSMSN to accommodate the project, which includes a private port to load and unload goods. The 18 new units would be divided into five industrial sectors: chemical, agribusiness, electrical, food, and beverage. The group expects the investment to contribute Tk 1,725 crore per annum to the gross domestic product. Akij Group is one of the largest industrial conglomerates in Bangladesh and consists of 24 subsidiaries. Its history dates back to 1950 and employs more than 35,000 people at present. The project is expected to begin next year and be complete in 2031. However, the port and land development will begin as soon as possible after securing the land.The agency is developing the BSMSN on 30,000 acres of land as part of its plan to construct 100 economic zones across the country by 2030. Investment proposals worth $20 billion have already been approved at the BSMSN that might create jobs for 10 lakh people.
Nagad teams up with GP to beef up client base
Nagad, a mobile financial service (MFS) provider, has teamed up with Grameenphone to offer scope to 7.8 crore subscribers of the telecom operator to open accounts easily for mobile money transfers. Under the arrangement, subscribers of Grameenphone will be able to open MFS accounts with Nagad by allowing the operator to share four types of information — national identity card number, name, date of birth and current address.Nagad’s move comes as it looks to fast increase its customer base. The MFS provider has even brought down its cash-out charge to Tk 9.99 for every Tk 1,000, which is the lowest among its peer companies.Since Robi Axiata and Teletalk subscribers are able to avail the same service, over 12 crore of the country’s 16.8 crore mobile phone subscribers can now easily open an account with Nagad.Nagad is a joint venture between the Bangladesh Post Office and Third Wave Technologies. The postal department owns a 51 per cent stake. Nagad’s push for greater market share comes at a time when the segment is witnessing a phenomenal growth as an increasing number of people, businesses and government agencies are turning to the channel to avail digital services amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The MFS sector’s average daily transactions stood at Tk 1,718.03 crore as of October, Bangladesh Bank data shows. According to Nagad, which has 2.59 crore customers, its average daily transactions stood at Tk 200 crore as of September.
Honda recalling 1.79m vehicles worldwide for safety issues
Honda Motor Co said on Tuesday it was recalling 1.79 million vehicles worldwide in four separate campaigns, including some linked to reported fires. The recalls cover 1.4 million vehicles in the United States. The Japanese automaker said one recall covers 268,000 2002-2006 model year CR-V vehicles in the United States to replace power window master switches. Honda said there had been no reported injuries, but 16 fires reported related to the issue. Honda conducted a prior recall of the power window master switches in 2012. The new recall is in response to moisture-related failures of switches repaired under the previous campaign. Honda is also recalling about 735,000 US 2018-2020 Accord, Accord Hybrid and 2019-2020 Insight vehicles to update the Body Control Module software. A programming flaw could disrupt communication causing illumination of several warning lights and malfunction of electronic components, it said, including “the rear view camera display, turn signals and windshield wipers.”Honda is also issuing two recalls covering 430,000 U.S. vehicles in 22 U.S. states and the District of Columbia with significant road salt use to inspect and potentially replace front drive shafts. Both are in response to possible breakage of the drive shafts due to corrosion. No injuries have been reported in relation any of the recalls.