AIIB to invest in infrastructure of tomorrow
Jin Liqun will retain his position as the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for a second term, the multilateral development lender said yesterday. The organisation invests in projects that improve the peoples’ lives and is slowly establishing itself in global capital markets.The decision to re-elect Liqun was taken by the bank’s board of governors during their fifth annual meeting held yesterday. Under his leadership, AIIB has grown from its 57 founding members to over 100 approved members from around the world.Eventually, the AIIB approved a $250 million loan for Bangladesh that was co-financed by the Asian Development Bank. Unlike other multilateral lenders, the AIIB typically lends to nations in the Indo-Pacific region to build infrastructure, regardless of the country’s state of development. In recent years, Bangladesh has performed exceedingly well with an annual average growth of 7.4 per cent over the last five years, DJ Pandian, vice-president for investment operations at AIIB, had said when the $250 million was approved.The programme also has specific targets to support at least 1.5 million workers, of whom at least half are women, in export-oriented industries by way of providing extended salary support. Meanwhile, the development bank had also previously approved a $404 million loan to improve Bangladesh’s intercity travel and cross-border connectivity.
Gold roars to record high, dollar dives again
Gold soared to an all-time high on worsening ties between the United States and China, a sinking dollar and ultra-low interest rates on Monday, while stock markets faltered before a deluge of corporate earnings. Europe’s main stock markets were still hurting after their first weekly drop in four and as the euro’s fastest gains since early 2016 took past $1.17, but it was weakening dollar and precious metals surge that dominated. Gold made a 1.6 per cent jump to surpass its 2011 highs and put $2,000 per ounce in its sights. Silver climbed another 7.5 per cent, to take its July streak past 30 per cent, which would be its best month on record. A lot of factors were in play for markets, said ShafaliSachdev, the head of FX Asia at BNP Paribas Wealth Management in Singapore, from U.S.-China tensions to a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks.Travel and leisure stocks were down nearly 2.5 per cent, with airlines and tour operators such as TUI AG, ,Easyjet, British Airways owner IAG falling between 7.5 per cent and 12 per cent after Britain imposed a 14-day quarantine on travellers returning from Spain, where coronavirus cases are rising again. Asia was also choppy. A 10 per cent rally in Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC helped the tech sector, after U.S. rival Intel saw its shares plunge more than 16 per cent on Friday. Elsewhere, mainland Chinese shares gave up most of their early gains, with the CSI300 index closing up just 0.2 per cent, after steep losses on Friday too. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.2 per cent, though S&P 500 futures steadied and were last up 0.5 per cent in Europe.The euro gained 0.5 per cent to a 22-month high of $1.1725, continuing a winning streak since last week’s agreement on a 750 billion-euro post-pandemic EU recovery fund. Against the yen, the dollar slipped 0.7 per cent to 105.355 yen , a four-month low. The British pound hit a four-and-a-month high of $1.2868 and benchmark Bunds and Treasuries gained ground in the bond markets. Oil prices were capped on worries about the worsening Sino-U.S. relations and both new and returning waves of the coronavirus around the world, which have now infected more than 16 million people and killed nearly 650,000. Brent futures were at $43.40 per barrel and U.S. crude futures at $41.44.
Bank branches in RMG industrial areas remain open on Friday
Branches of the scheduled banks in the readymade garment (RMG) industrial areas will remain open on July 31 (Friday) for the convenience of paying the workers’ salaries. Branches of the scheduled banks located near garments industrial areas in Dhaka city, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Bhaluka, Narayanganj and Chattogram will remain open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm to facilitate the payment of salaries, bonuses and other allowances to workers and employees of the garment industry ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
Stocks stay afloat amid optimism
Stocks kept the gaining momentum for the fourth straight sessions on Tuesday as the bargain hunters continued their appetite on selective issues amid gradual improvement of economic activities. DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, went up by 11.16 points or 0.26 per cent to settle at 4,156 during the four hours trading. The core index added nearly 80 points in the four consecutive sessions.The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, also advanced 1.66 points to finish at 1,402. However, the DSE Shariah Index fell 2.08 points to close at 963. Turnover, another important indicator of the market, stood at Tk 4.45 billion on the country’s prime bourse, which was 1.83 per cent higher than the previous day’s turnover of Tk 4.37 billion. Most of the shares remained stuck at the trading. Of the issues traded, 178 remained unchanged while 115 issues advanced and 57 declined on the DSE floor. A total number of 99,590 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with a trading volume of 129.40 million shares and mutual fund units. The market-cap on the premier bourse also rose to Tk 3,227 billion on Tuesday, from Tk 3,220 billion in the previous session.The Chittagong Stock Exchange also ended higher with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-gaining 38 points to close at 11,834 and the Selective Categories Index – CSCX -advancing 23 points to finish at 7,175. Of the issues traded, 79 gained, 54 declined and 96 remained unchanged on the CSE. The port city bourse traded 3.18 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 72 million.
Berger Paints Bangladesh declares 295pc cash dividend
The 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited was held on Tuesday through digital platform. Rupali Chowdhury, Managing Director, Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited presided over the meeting.A total of 295 per cent cash dividend was declared for 2019-2020 in the meeting. During the year ended March 31, 2020, net profit growth was 16.72 per cent whereas sales growth was 6.13 per cent. This was the result of continuous efforts to optimize cost while remaining competitive in the market. Rupali Chowdhury presented the Directors’ Report, Auditors’ Report and Audited Financial Statements for the year ended March 31, 2020 before the shareholders. Rupali Chowdhury replied to the shareholders’ queries.
Mercantile Bank opens seven new ‘Agent Banking Outlets’
Mercantile Bank Limited launched seven more new ‘Agent Banking Outlets’ across the country to provide basic banking services to the unbanked population of the country in this coronavirus situation, said a statement.The bank’s Managing Director & CEO Md. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury inaugurated the ‘Agent Banking’ outlets on Tuesday virtually.
IPDC shines against all odds
IPDC Finance, Bangladesh’s first private sector non-bank financial institution (NBFI), witnessed higher profits in the first half of 2020 despite headwinds brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Over the past six months, the IPDC’s revenue surged 24.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. The NBFI has registered net profits of Tk 31.6 crore during the period, which is 1 per cent higher than what it was for the same period a year before.The IPDC has held its default loan rates steady at 1.59 per cent, which is one of the industry’s lowest, while maintaining a capital adequacy ratio of 17.28 per cent. The company also reached the half-year mark with a liquidity cushion of Tk 665 crore.Currently, the IPDC has 12 branches in operation across the country. The NBFI recently introduced Southeast Asia’s first digital supply chain finance platform, called Orjon. It also established the country’s sole retail financing platform, “IPDC Dana”, that provides working capital for retailers in a bid to facilitate financing in an easy, low cost, collateral-free and structured manner. As of yesterday, stocks of IPDC Finance were traded at Tk 24.40 per unit.