Bangladesh Bank updates environmental, social risk management guideline
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday published the updated version of its guideline on environmental and social risk management (ESRM) for banks and financial institutions to help the country attain development goals and address the sustainability agenda in the financial sector. The central bank released the ESRM guideline in 2017. “Following the implementation experience of the guidelines, the BB is now issuing its updated version to establish sectoral best practice,” said Fazle Kabir, governor of the central bank, in a message in the guideline. The ESRM guideline has a bigger focus on social and climatic risks, which are becoming relevant and crucial for Bangladesh. It has been made comprehensive with a provision for environmental and social due diligence for financing infrastructure projects. According to the guideline, a third-party environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) will have to be conducted for financing in all infrastructure projects. The ESIA will generally be arranged by the client at their own cost and submitted along with the loan application.
The guideline includes an Excel-based Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) checklist to facilitate the due diligence process. A sector-specific guidance note for 10 vulnerable sectors has been incorporated. The sectors are textile and apparel, cement, tanning and leather finishing, ceramic tile and sanitary ware, pharmaceuticals, power, fertilizer, pulp and paper, steel re-rolling, and ship-breaking. The loan categories for which the guideline is applicable are financing for agriculture, cottage, micro, small, and medium enterprises (CMSMEs), retail and trading enterprises, consumer, large manufacturing and service enterprises, and infrastructure segments. The loan or investment proposal amounting to more than Tk 25 lakh in the agriculture sector is to be complied with the ESDD checklist, the guideline said. For financing in cottage, micro, retail and trading enterprises, only the exclusion list has to be complied with. Loan proposals for the environment and socially-sensitive retail and trading enterprises of any amount, including those for chemical or chemical ingredients, highly fire-absorbent products, electronic appliances, combustible oil, paper and dry materials, and plastic items, have to follow the ESDD checklist.
Stock index, turnover lowest in a month.
All three indices of the Dhaka Stock Exchange slipped into the red yesterday as investors have taken a cautious stance amid persisting macroeconomic worries. The DSEX, the broader index of the premier bourse in Bangladesh, was down 26.56 points, or 0.42 per cent, to close at 6,301, falling to the lowest level in a month. The DSES Index, which represents the Shariah-based companies, slipped 0.29 per cent to 1,378.86, while the DS30 Index, which consists of the blue-chip firms, lost 0.52 per cent to 2,286.60. In its daily market review, International Leasing Securities Ltd blamed the selling spree of jittery investors for the decline. Investors also decreased their participation in the market amid a lack of clear direction about the economy, which is under strains because of the volatile exchange rate, abnormally high imports and rising inflation owing to a spike in global commodity prices and the lingering Russia-Ukraine war. Turnover fell 13.1 per cent to Tk 594.4 crore, the lowest since May 26.
Of the sectors, jute, telecommunication and food and allied achieved the highest price appreciation, while paper, general insurance and cement suffered the highest correction. The investors’ concentration was mainly focused on the textile, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineering sectors. Among the individual companies, Global Heavy Chemicals topped the gainers’ list, rising 9.91 per cent. Meghna Insurance, Meghna Condensed Milk Industries, Prime Textile Spinning Mills, Fu Wang Food, Savar Refractories, and Meghna Pet Industries added 7.5 per cent to 9.7 per cent. Imam Button Industries gave up the most, declining 2 per cent. Beacon Pharmaceuticals, Paper Processing & Packaging, HR Textile, and Tamijuddin Textile Mills were also among the major losers. Fu Wang Food was the most-traded stock with its shares worth Tk 34 crore changing hands, followed by Shinepukur Ceramics, Metro Spinning, Monno Fabrics, and Shurwid Industries.
The Chittagong Stock Exchange also fell. The CASPI, the broader index of the bourse in the port city, ended at 18,573, down 0.24 per cent. Of the 281 securities transacted, 83 gained, 162 lost and 36 did not see any price movement. Turnover fell to Tk 21.64 crore from Tk 23.24 crore in the previous session.