Internet banking gaining traction
Internet banking transactions have surged in recent months as people increasingly embraced the digital mode while opting not to visit branches. The transactions amounted to Tk 8,093 crore in December, up 33.47 per cent year-on-year. Banks now promote different types of digital financial services, including internet banking, which attracted clients, said Dhaka Bank Managing Director Emranul Huq. A good number of banks have already introduced app-based financial services, allowing customers to settle financial transactions hassle-free, he said. Some of the facilities include the transfer of funds from one account to another, payment of tuition fees and utility bills and adjustment of loans taken against credit cards. There were 23.44 lakh such transactions in December, which was 41.88 per cent higher year-on-year. Md Shafquat Hossain, head of SME and retail banking of Mutual Trust Bank, said internet banking gained momentum soon after the government imposed the lockdown as people opted to mostly stay at home to keep the virus at bay. Clients are allowed to transfer a maximum of Tk 5 lakh per day against a previous ceiling of Tk 2 lakh. People are using the internet banking platform more than ever before to maintain social distancing and protect themselves from the rogue virus, said a high official of the central bank. The central bank also doubled the ceiling of a single transaction to Tk 1 lakh from Tk 50,000. The uniform digital payment method named “Bangla QR” will help clients pay bills for goods and services by using the mobile apps of banks and mobile financial and payment service providers.
Key index goes past 5,500-point mark as stocks rebound
Stocks bounced back yesterday to go past 5,500-point mark after two weeks as investors are increasingly showing interest in the market after a recent fall made many shares lucrative.The DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), was up 81.4 points, or 1.50 per cent, to close the day at 5,508.26. Around 32 per cent turnover of the DSE had been concentrated in five to six companies in the last couple of weeks. They were Beximco Ltd, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, BATBC, LankaBangla Finance, and Robi Axiata. Turnover, an important indicator of the market, rose 34.9 per cent, to Tk 833 crore on the DSE. On the DSE, 233 stocks rose, 42 declined and 84 remained unchanged. Peninsula Chittagong topped the gainers’ list as it rose 10 per cent, followed by Emerald Oil, LankaBangla Finance, eGeneration, and Anwar Galvanizing. British American Tobacco Bangladesh was at the top of the turnover list as its shares worth Tk 104 crore changing hands, followed by Beximco Ltd, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Robi Axiata, and LankaBangla Finance. Padma Life Insurance shed the most as it dropped 3.72 per cent. Sonali Ansh, Eastern Insurance, Shyampur Sugar, and Zeal Bangla Sugar Mills were also among the major losers. The port city bourse also rose yesterday. The CASPI, the general index of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, gained 329 points, or 2.09 per cent, to close at 16,016. Among 240 stocks traded, 168 rose, 27 dropped, and 45 remained the same.
ADP outlay slashed by 3.26pc
he government has slashed the development budget for the current fiscal year by 3.26 per cent, keeping the local portion of the fund almost unchanged while trimming the foreign part. As a result, the size of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) has come down to Tk 197,643 crore from Tk 205,144.79 crore in the original plan. The allocation of the government fund to the revised ADP was trimmed by only Tk 7 lakh. In the original ADP, the government had contributed Tk 134,643.07 crore for 2020-21. Its revised allocation now stands at Tk 134,643 crore. The portion of foreign funds has been slashed by 10.64 per cent, or Tk 7,501.72 crore, to Tk 63,000 crore from Tk 70,501.72 crore. The local government division got the highest raise, of Tk 3,038.87 crore, taking its total from Tk 31,131.32 crore in the original ADP to Tk 34,170.19 crore. It was to give a boost to the rural economy. The health services division witnessed the second-highest increase, of Tk 1,925.48 crore. Its allocation now stands at Tk 11,979.34 crore, up from Tk 10,053.86 crore. For the primary and mass education ministry, the increase was by Tk 1,282.26 crore, while for the water resources ministry Tk 1,095.43 crore and the road transport and highways division Tk 936.01 crore. Among those witnessing a cut, the science and technology ministry witnessed the biggest downing of Tk 6,485.25 crore. Originally it was allocated Tk 17,388.94 crore, meaning the figure had now reached Tk 10,903.69 crore.
Rising imports choking port with containers
As commodities start to be imported in increasing quantities ahead of Ramadan, containers have started piling up at the Chattogram port as traders are not promptly receiving consignments. Apprehending a congestion in the coming days, the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) on February 25 requested importers to take their goods away fast. It threatened that storage charges will otherwise be doubled from the 12th day of containers being unloaded from vessels. According to the CPA traffic department, the port received 4,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of import-laden containers from vessels on an average every day in the 14 days to February 28. In contrast, only 3,500 TEUs of containers were taken away from the port on an average every day. As of March 1, some 40,000 TEUs of containers were inside the port, meaning some 82 per cent of its capacity to store 49,018 TEUs had been used up. The yard dedicated to storing import-laden containers was holding 38,063 TEUs against a capacity of 39,518 TEUs.
Pran bags $3.5m export orders at Dubai’s Gulfood fair
Bangladesh’s leading food processor Pran has bagged $3.5 million worth of export orders from buyers in 76 countries at the Gulfood fair, one of the largest food fairs in the world. Biscuit, noodles and confectionery items accounted for about 50 per cent of the order. The five-day fair at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the UAE ended on February 25. About 2,500 exhibitors from 85 countries took part in the showcase. Rahman said the company secured most of the spot orders from Germany, England, Ghana, Mali, South Africa, and Yemen. The group displayed around 500 products in 10 categories, including juice and beverage, confectionary, snacks, biscuit and bakery, culinary, dairy, spice and frozen items. Pran exports products to 145 countries.