Bank borrowing target set at Tk 760b for FY’22
The government is likely to set its borrowing target from the banking system at over Tk 760 billion to finance the budget deficit in the next fiscal year (FY). The bank borrowing for the FY2021-22 would be 7.0-plus per cent less than the revised target of Tk 820 billion for the outgoing FY2020-21.the ministry of fiancé would mobilise around 65 per cent of the borrowing target through issuing long-term Bangladesh Government Treasury Bonds (BGTBs), generally known as bonds, while the rest 35 per cent by issuing treasury bills (T-bills). Talking to the FE, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the government borrowed around Tk 300 billion through issuing T-bills and bonds from the country’s scheduled banks during the July-May period of FY ’21 against its revised annual target of Tk 820 billion. In February 2021, the government slashed its bank borrowing target by more than 3.0 per cent to Tk 820 billion for FY’21, compelled by lower execution of the annual development programme (ADP) due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, the government is set to borrow a net amount of over Tk 80 billion from the country’s banking system this month (June) to meet its budget deficit, according to the BB official. The government may take up to Tk 195.50 billion as gross borrowing from the banking system in June, the last month of this fiscal year, by issuing T-bills and bonds, according to the government’s auction calendar, issued by the central bank recently. The auction calendar means the schedule and the amount of T-bills and bonds to be issued through auction for raising funds from the market to partly meet the budget deficit. The government’s net bank borrowing may reach Tk 80.09 billion in the single month of June, after deducting Tk 11.54 billion against the government securities that would mature in the month, the central banker explained.
DSEX reclaims 6,000 level
The benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) rose above the ‘psychological’ level of 6,000 points again on Wednesday, as investors renewed their appetite for financial stocks in late-hour trading. Having swung between the red and green zones several times, the DSEX closed the session 25.67 points or 0.42 per cent higher at 6,019. It is the highest level of DSEX in more than three years since February 15, 2018 when the DSEX ended at 6,050. Three days ago, on Sunday, the index crossed the historic 6,000-point for the first time in more than three years, but failed to sustain that level in the next two days on profit booking. The market capitalisation of the DSE also hit a fresh all-time high at Tk 5,052 billion on Wednesday, surpassing the previous day’s record high of Tk 5,041 billion. Market experts said the prime index surpassed the 6,000 level again as investors injected fresh funds into financial stocks amid budgetary expectations.
Currency swap with Sri Lanka by next month
Bangladesh’s currency swap agreement with Sri Lanka to replenish the island nation’s fast-depleting foreign reserves and ease pressure on its exchange rate will be completed by next month, according to a top official of Bangladesh Bank. A total of $250 million would be provided, said the official working on the deal set in motion during Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Bangladesh visit in March.The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will hand over an equivalent amount of its currency, which depreciated about 7 percent against the US dollar this year. Yesterday, each dollar traded for 197.9 Sri Lankan rupees, according to the CBSL.The BB will open an account with a bank in the South Asian country to keep the sum, which will be around 49.5 billion Lankan rupees, said the BB official. The amount would be used for import payments, the high-up pointed out. Bangladesh’s import bill with Sri Lanka is $50-55 million a year, the official said.LIBOR, the acronym for London Interbank Offer Rate, is the global reference rate for unsecured short-term borrowing in the interbank market and acts as a benchmark for short-term interest rates. This week, the three-month LIBOR is 0.14 percent and the six-month LIBOR 0.18 percent.Its $4.5 billion tourism industry, which was already reeling from the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 279 people, was hit particularly hard, while its exports were down by about 17 percent in 2020.So far, Colombo has managed a 10-billion-yuan ($1.5 billion) currency swap with China and a $500 million loan from South Korea, other than the deal with Bangladesh. It has also applied for $780-800 million under the Special Drawing Rights facility of the International Monetary Fund.
Bata incurs first loss in 59 years of Bangladesh operations
Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh), one of the country’s most widely known footwear brands, suffered losses for the first time in 59 years of operations as it had to shutter outlets during the main sales seasons amid the coronavirus outbreak. The multinational company, which launched operations here in 1962 in the then East Pakistan, saw its sales dip 41 per cent, or Tk 350 crore, year-on-year to Tk 508 crore in 2020 from Tk 857 crore. Despite incurring losses, it announced a 25 per cent cash dividend for shareholders.Bata, a subsidiary of Bafin (Nederland) BV in the Netherlands that holds a 70 per cent share, incurred losses of Tk 132 crore in 2020 just after logging Tk 49 crore in profits the previous year.The earnings took a drastic fall due to the loss of retail business during 2020’s major festivals — Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Puja and PahelaBaishakh — due to a countrywide lockdown for the Covid-19 pandemic. The festival sales cover 25 to 30 per cent of the company’s yearly business. An estimated 77 per cent of rural business leaders like dealers and/or wholesalers have been particularly impacted due to Covid-19, which led to them losing their business. Sales revenue slightly rose in the first quarter of 2021 by 13 per cent year-on-year to Tk 184 crore. Clearing of aged merchandise through offers of bulk discounts also gave a boost to sales, the company said. However, Bata incurred losses of Tk 4.90 crore in the quarter. It was in profits of Tk 2.83 crore in the same period the previous year. The company said the loss was incurred due to discounted sales and increased unavoidable expenses due to the second wave of Covid-19.