Floor price removal takes Dhaka stocks to new high
Dhaka stocks rose to a three-and-a-half-year high yesterday as institutional investors received a boost following the complete withdrawal of the floor price for all companies by the regulator. The DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), was up 56 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 6,125, the highest since January 30, 2018. In April, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission removed the floor price for 66 companies to see the market’s reaction. The full withdrawal came on Sunday. The commission imposed the floor limit on March 19 last year to stop any stock freefall after the coronavirus pandemic struck the country. On the DSE, 224 stocks rose, 119 declined, and 29 remained unchanged. Turnover, an important indicator of the market, went up 11 per cent to Tk 2,043 crore. Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Hotel gave up the most, sliding 9.9 per cent. Index Agro, Sonali Paper, Dacca Dyeing, and United Insurance also saw major losses. The port city bourse also soared on the day. The CASPI, the general index of the Chattogram Stock Exchange, rose 178 points to 17,762. Among the 309 traded stocks, 195 advanced, 96 dropped, and 18 ended the day unchanged.
GPH begins production at new plant
Stocks of GPH Ispat rose 2.47 per cent yesterday after news that the company’s Tk 2,390-crore plant has begun commercial production. The stock rose to Tk 37.40 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) after the Chattogram-based steel maker informed investors that its newly commissioned plant was now operational. The new plant has a capacity to produce 8.4 lakh tonnes of mild steel (MS) billet and 6.40 lakh tonnes of MS rod, steel beam, angle, channel, and flat annually. In 2018-19, GPH Ispat’s production capacity utilisation in MS billet was more than 80 per cent. For MS rod, the capacity utilisation was full. In 2019-20, it reduced in both cases due to the impact of Covid-19, according to the company’s annual report for 2019-20. In recent year, steel consumption in Bangladesh grew at double digits. GPH Ispat’s market share is around 15 per cent. In Bangladesh, the annual production of steel products stands at around 70 lakh tonnes.
Bangladesh prepares for Libor phase-out
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday issued a policy on calculating the interest rate of short-term foreign loans as the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) is set to be phased out gradually from next year. The policy will help exporters and importers prepare for the discontinuation of the global benchmark rate so that their borrowing does not suffer. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates the financial services industry in the United Kingdom, said in 2017 that the rate would be phased out gradually from 2022 before abolishing it completely from July 2023. Banks will have to consider the benchmark rate of the respective central bank before setting a lending rate. For instance, if exporters plan to secure loans from the US, they will have to follow the secured overnight financing rate (Sofr) set by the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. Along with the benchmark rate, borrowers will be charged a risk premium of 2.50 per cent and a markup rate of 3.50 per cent. The markup is added after the lender determines an approved rate based on the consumer’s credit history.
SIBL launches QR Code service for cash withdrawal
Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL) has introduced QR Code service for cash withdrawal through SIBL NOW mobile app. This new service allows clients to withdraw cash by scanning the QR Code from any branches of the bank across the country. Managing Director & CEO Quazi Osman Ali inaugurated the QR Code service as the chief guest virtually from the Head Office in Dhaka on Monday.