Stocks cross 5,500 points again
Dhaka stocks crossed 5,500 points yesterday thanks to a rising trend among large cap companies amidst a drop by most stocks. The DSEX, the Dhaka Stock Exchange’s (DSE) benchmark index, rose 10 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 5,509. Stocks of 26 per cent of companies, or 95 firms in other words, rose while 41 per cent, or 148 companies’ stocks, fell, showed the premier bourse’s data. On its first day of trade, the Taufika saw only 17,908 of its shares being traded although there were a huge number of buyers. Beximco topped the turnover list with Tk 162 crore, followed by Robi Axiata, British American Tobacco Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals and LankaBangla Finance. Prime Finance First Mutual Fund shed the most falling 5 per cent followed by Eastern Insurance Company, Bangladesh Lamps, GSP Finance Company and Alltex Industries. At the DSE, 240 securities gained price, 17 declined, and 92 remained unchanged. The port city bourse also rose yesterday. The CASPI, the general index of the Chattogram Stock Exchange, rose 59.37 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 15,979.
Bangladesh 2nd biggest source of online workers in Asia: ADB
Bangladesh is the second biggest source of online workers in Asia followed by India, said an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released yesterday. The Asian Economic Integration (ACI) report 2021 said India, Bangladesh and Pakistan account for 52 per cent of the global online workforce. The Philippines is at sixth. The majority of online jobs are related to software development, technology and creative and multimedia, said the report. According to the ACI, from 2017 to 2020, the share of workers in creative and multimedia has increased by 34 per cent in Bangladesh and by 40 per cent in Indonesia. To date, it accounts for around 59 per cent of Bangladesh’s online workforce and 74 per cent of Indonesia’s. Around 25 per cent of online workers in the Philippines are into clerical and data services while such workers account for fewer than 10 per cent in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Only around 14 per cent of Filipino online workers do tasks that are related to software development and technology, much lower compared with the proportion of such workers in India (59 per cent), Pakistan (45 per cent) and even Vietnam (52 per cent).
Beximco opens $100m PPE plant in Savar
Beximco yesterday opened its $100-million PPE Park in Savar where the leading company will produce personal protective equipment (PPE). The 25-acre park is an advanced fully vertical PPE manufacturing facility. The construction and certification of the site took six months from groundbreaking to certification and full production. Beximco Group, through its new Beximco Health division, has agreements to supply PPE, including masks and protective gowns, to major US healthcare service providers. Intertek and Beximco have developed the PPE Centre of Excellence at Beximco Health in the PPE Industrial Park in Dhaka. The Centre of Excellence PPE lab has a covered area of 12,000 square feet with major sections of physical testing (respiratory analysis), chemical testing and micro-biological testing, ensuring that it meets the regulatory and quality assurance requirements of PPE manufacturers across Bangladesh. Last year, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, Beximco pivoted from producing garments to protective equipment within a matter of weeks, learning the specialized fabrication techniques, setting up production lines, and producing 6.5 million gowns for distribution in the United States through the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. According to the most recent estimates, Bangladesh annually ships $6.7 billion in goods to America, nearly twice as much as it did a decade earlier.
11 banks cause Tk 123.49cr sectoral provision shortfall
Bangladesh’s banking sector faced a provision shortfall of Tk 123.49 crore last year, primarily for a lacklustre performance of 11 banks. Though a moratorium significantly decreased defaulted loans, the sector is still bogged down in the undesirable situation thanks to the 11, whose combined provision shortfall had amounted to Tk 7,146 crore, shows Bangladesh Bank data. Banks have to keep 0.50 per cent to 5 per cent in provisioning against general category loans, 20 per cent against classified loans of substandard category and 50 per cent against classified loans of doubtful category. It is set at 100 per cent against classified loans of bad or loss category. Some of the 11 have been repeatedly facing shortfalls over the years due to a lack of corporate governance. The shortfall of state-run Agrani, BASIC and Rupali alone stood at Tk 5,429 crore, the result of a wide range of financial scams. The moratorium helped reduce default loans to Tk 88,734 crore as of December last year, down 5.93 per cent year-on-year. On March 19 last year, less than two weeks after the government reported the country’s maiden coronavirus case, the central bank asked lenders not to consider businesspeople to be defaulters if they fail to repay instalments until June 30. Banks will have to set aside an additional amount of around Tk 10,000 crore in provisioning to absorb shocks arising this year, according to a central bank notice issued on December last year.