Stocks pass 6,000 points after over 3 years
Dhaka stocks yesterday crossed 6,000 points for the first time in more than three years thanks to increased participation of buoyant investors going after banking stocks. The DSEX, the benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), rose by 22 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 6,008.69, the highest since February 15, 2018.Turnover, another important indicator of the market, fell nine per cent to Tk 2,149 crore. The banking sector dominated the turnover chart, accounting for 23.10 per cent of the total.Stocks of Beximco traded the most with Tk 116 crore followed by Pioneer Insurance, IFAD Autos, AB Bank and the Northern General Insurance Company. Delta Spinners shed the most, losing 9.34 per cent, followed by Imam Button Industries, Taufika Foods and Agro Industries, Aman Feed and Purabi General Insurance Company. The Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also rose. The CASPI, the general index of the port city bourse, advanced 31 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 17,379. Among the 303 stocks to witness trade, 121 rose, 143 fell and 39 remained unchanged.
Google, Amazon register for VAT
Global tech giant Google and e-commerce company Amazon have finally got-value added tax (VAT) registration from the revenue authority, ending a two-year stalemate over the issue. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) in July 2019 slapped conditions for tech giants to either set up offices in Bangladesh or appoint agents such that the government can collect VAT on the advertisements and other services provided by them to local firms.They were also not interested to pay the indirect tax or VAT to the NBR through agents or share data on sales containing information about customers on the ground of privacy breaches and security risks. Early last year, the NBR decided to allow tech giants to get direct VAT registration without opening local offices in order to bring them under the tax network. However, progress had been slow over the last one year owing to technical and legal complexity. The NBR decided to bring in the tech companies in its tax net as firms are growingly focusing on putting their advertisements digitally through google, Facebook and other digital platforms. Industry insiders earlier said that the government did not receive much VAT from the ads running on Facebook, YouTube, Google and other digital platforms as a big amount of payments were not sent through banking channels.
First factory opens next month at BSMSN
Bangladesh’s largest industrial enclave, the Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Mirsarai, Chattogram, is scheduled to witness the inauguration of its very first factory on June 10, likely through a virtual platform, by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Another five or six units will be inaugurated by December this year, including that of Asian Paints and SQ Electric, Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza). According to Beza, the BSMSN drew investment proposals amounting to $20.8 billion till date — $20 billion from locals and $823 million from foreigners. Earlier, Jinyuan Chemical Industry was scheduled to be the first to be inaugurated but it faced a setback due to the Covid-19 fallout.Taking its place is Nippon-McDonald, a joint venture of Japan’s Nippon Steel and Bangladesh’s McDonald Steel Building Products. However, its commercial production of galvanised and prefabricated steel sheets would take up to September to begin. The machinery was brought from Japan and China, according to Sarwar Kamal, managing director of McDonald.Initially, the two companies have agreed to invest $59.19 million, or nearly Tk 500 crore, in phases to establish the plant.Industry insiders said the present annual demand for steel is around seven lakh tonnes with a growth rate of around 12 to 15 per cent. McDonald Steel is also constructing its own factory at the BSMSN. It produces prefabricated structural steel with imports from Japan, Luxembourg, China and India. The two factories will sit on about 25 acres of land out of 100 acres and employ about 2,500 people.
Mercantile Bank senior exec VP promoted to DMD
Mercantile Bank recently witnessed a senior executive vice president being promoted to the post of deputy managing director. The official, Md Mahmood Alam Chowdhury, started off as a probationary officer at National Bank in 1988 and also worked at NCC Bank and Prime Bank, said a press release. He attained honours and master’s degrees in history from the University of Dhaka.
Pran Agro issues internationally guaranteed Tk 210cr bond
Pran Agro has issued a non-convertible and redeemable bond worth Tk 210 crore, or equivalent of $25 million, with 100 per cent credit guarantee from a global company, a first of its kind in the country. GuarantCo, a concern of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has given the credit guarantee to the bond.The governments of the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands and France have financed GuarantCo. MetLife Bangladesh subscribed the bond on May 19, 2021, according to a press release issued by Pran-RFL Group yesterday. The seven-year fixed coupon bond is the first-ever instrument of its kind in Bangladesh and is expected to play a transformational role in supporting alternate sources of infrastructure financing in Bangladesh. Pran Agro, a member of the Pran-RFL Group, is one of Bangladesh’s largest corporations in the food and agricultural sector. The group is running its farm-based business with 100,000 registered contract farmers, employing 110,000 people overall.Green Delta Company has acted as the trustee and security agent of the bond. Riverstone Capital, an independent merchant bank based in Bangladesh, has acted as financial adviser to Pran Agro, which has also played a role in issuing the bond. The bond issuance has also signified a number of landmarks in the country’s financial sector as it is the first blended finance structured bond.