Floor price of stocks can be revised for corporate declaration
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) yesterday decided to allow floor prices of listed stocks to be revised for corporate declarations such as bonus shares or rights share issuance. On March 19 last year, the stock market regulator stipulated that the floor price of all stocks would be calculated based on their average price for the last five days, aiming to stop the index from falling amid the pandemic-induced fallouts. The issue came to the fore when British American Tobacco Bangladesh announced 200 per cent stock dividend, which took the adjusted price below that of the floor price. Meanwhile, the regulator also decided to fine the managing director and directors, except the independent director, of Monno Ceramics Tk 1 crore each for breaching securities rules. It also decided to fine Monno Welfare Foundation Tk 10 crore for irregularities. The BSEC in an investigation found that the company showed higher earnings per share in 2019 by selling scraps, leading to its share price rising manifold.
Bangladeshi apparel sees sharper fall in prices than Vietnamese
Bangladeshi apparel items have witnessed a sharper fall in prices compared to the Vietnamese products in the European Union and US markets, according to a study by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). The price of 100 kilogrammes of made-in-Bangladesh cotton fibre T-shirt declined by 1 per cent year-on-year to 1,091.5 euros in 2020. However, the same product manufactured in Vietnam saw a 3 per cent price rise, reaching 2,157.9 euros last year, the study found. Similarly, the price of each 100 kg of women or girls’ cotton fibre pullover made in Bangladesh decreased by 7 per cent year-on-year to 1,329.5 euros in 2020 whereas the price of the Vietnamese ones remained stable at 2,157.8 euros. The prices of each 100 kg of Bangladeshi man-made fibre pullovers for women and girls fell by 6 per cent to 1,319.4 euros from 1,409.6 euros in 2019 at the EU markets. However, the Vietnamese variant has seen only a 3 per cent year-on-year price fall, hitting 1,906.2 euros in 2020. In the US market, the price of a dozen of Bangladeshi T-shirts made from cotton fell by 20 per cent to $17.99 in 2020 from $22.43 in 2019 while the price of the same product made in Vietnam declined by 17 per cent to $31.9 in 2020 from $38.2 in 2019. The price of a dozen of Bangladeshi made sweaters and pullovers declined by 2 per cent to $39.31 in 2020 from $40.23 in 2019. However, the prices of the same Vietnamese product remained stable at $47.1 in 2019 and 46.9 in 2020. The price of a dozen of Bangladeshi manufactured trousers for women and girls made from cotton fibre declined by 12 per cent to $64.17 in 2020 from $72.88 in 2019 while its Vietnamese variant has seen only a 6 per cent price fall, reaching $84.6 in 2020 from $90.5 in 2019. The CPD also said the export target set for fiscal 2021 to achieve 21 per cent growth over fiscal 2020 will not be achieved.
Ministry to reduce minimum paid-up capital to Tk 0.5m
Commerce Minister Tipu Minshi has said his ministry will work to reduce the required minimum paid-up capital for one-person companies (OPCs) to Tk 0.5 million from Tk 2.5 million in the Companies Act (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2020. This initiative is aimed at allowing more small businesses to register, thus enabling their formalization, he said during a meeting with Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Chairperson Abul Kasem Khan at the ministry’s office in the city on Monday, says a press statement. Asif Ibrahim, Chairman of Chittagong Stock Exchange and former chairman of BUILD, and BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum were also present at the meeting. The minister also emphasised the need for introducing trade licences for e-commerce businesses. Mentioning that e-commerce should be automatically recognised as enterprises, he said this high-potential sector is not getting promoted as expected since they need trade licences. BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said Bangladesh and Vietnam started export diversification journey almost at the same time in 1990. “However, Vietnam has made tremendous progress. If its RMG sector is adversely affected, only 14 per cent of its export would be impacted. Export of Vietnam stood at $263.45 billion in 2019, out of which RMG export was $39 billion. On the other hand, a different picture has emerged in Bangladesh where RMG singularly contributes about 85 percent to exports.” She also said BUILD would seek supports from the commerce ministry for policy advocacy for Medical and Personal Protective Equipment (MPPE) products and identify gaps in the list of standards developed by BSTI in terms of export potential.
UCB gets licence for MFS subsidiary
Bangladesh Bank has provided a licence to UCB Fintech Company, a subsidiary of United Commercial Bank (UCB), to offer mobile financial services (MFS) replacing its existing “Ucash” brand. The UCB, one of the country’s oldest private banks, now provides MFS to over a million customers through Ucash. The fintech is expected to launch the replacement MFS, “Upay”, by mid-March this year. It obtained the licence on the last week of December 2020. This is the second such subsidiary MFS company in the country after bKash, which introduced its operation in 2011. Built on cutting-edge blockchain technology by its in-house team, the platform is said to provide a greater sense of security and confidence. Total transaction through MFS providers in the country stood at Tk 56,557 crore in December 2020, up 5.5 per cent from that in the previous month. Some 15 banks now provide MFS and the number of active accounts stood at 3.23 crore as of December last year.