Bank branches go past 11,000 mark for first time
Branches of banks in Bangladesh have gone past the 11,000-mark for the first time despite expanding digitalisation in the financial sector, central bank data showed. Scheduled banks had 11,030 physical branches in October, according to the Bangladesh Bank review of e-banking and e-commerce statistics. Scheduled banks facilitate financial transactions by opening branches and installing automated teller machines (ATMs), point of sale (POS) devices, cash deposit machines (CDMs), and cash register machines (CRMs) in urban and rural areas. There were 13,269 ATMs, 1.02 lakh POS machines, 1,221 CDMs, and 2,256 CRMs in October. The review showed a bank branch serves 15,332 persons on average while every 12,745 persons receive digital financial services using an ATM. The BB monthly report made the calculation using the total population of 16.91 crore for the fiscal year of 2020-2021. The use of mobile financial service (MFS) has kept expanding, according to the report.
Gold price hits record high
The price of gold has hit Tk 90,714 per bhori, the highest in the history of Bangladesh, as Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) decided to hike prices of the precious metal by 3 per cent from today. “We have decided to increase prices as we have to pay higher to buy from the international market. The increased cost of dollars has also fueled gold prices,” said MA Hannan Azad, chairman of the Bajus standing committee on pricing and price monitoring. Before the hike, the price of each bhori (11.66 grams) of 22-carat gold was Tk 88,382 or Tk 7,580 each gram, according to a Bajus press release. The association took the decision as the price of pure gold went up in the local markets, it said. Earlier, the price of gold had increased on December 29.
Pharma sector tops DSE turnover chart
The ten most-traded companies accounted for almost 41 per cent transactions on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in the first week of 2023, with pharmaceuticals sector dominating the turnover list.
The pharmaceutical sector captured almost 23 per cent in the weekly turnover while Orion Infusions made its way to the top of the chart. Pharma & chemicals sector companies such as Orion Infusions, Orion Pharma, Navana Pharma and Advent Pharma were dominating the turnover list in the recent weeks as their shares traded above the floor price. According to DSE data, some 1.51 million Orion Infusions shares were traded during the week, generating a turnover of Tk 719 million, which was 6.35 per cent of the week’s total turnover. The company’s share price closed at Tk 422.40 on Thursday, losing 19.91 per cent over the previous week. However, Orion Infusions was the second-highest yearly gainer in 2022, soaring 502 per cent although the market is passing through a bearish trend. Intraco Refueling Station came second in the turnover list with shares worth Tk 626 million changing hands. Its share closed at Tk 39.90, losing 1.48 per cent over the previous week. Sea Pearl Beach Resorts clinched the third spot, with shares worth Tk 584 million changing hands. The company’s share closed at Tk 212.20 on Thursday, soaring 13.66 per cent over the previous week.