BB extends time for implementation of the stimulus package until Nov 30
The central bank has extended further the deadline for implementation of the stimulus package for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) by one more month, from October 31 to November 30.The BB’s latest move came against the backdrop of slow progress in loan disbursement under the package for the CMSMEs until October 22. The banks and NBFIs disbursed Tk 56.74 billion of the stimulus package by then. The disbursed amount is 28.37 per cent of the total Tk 200 billion financial support for the sector. Loans amounting to Tk75.88 billion were approved for nearly 38,000 Covid-19-affected CMSMEs across the country during the period, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. On August 17, the central bank extended the deadline for execution of the package for the CMSMEs by two months, from August 31 to October 31.The circular, issued by SME and Special Programmes Department, said that it was found in the analysis of information that some banks and financial institutions have failed to achieve the targets of implementing the Prime Minister’s announced Tk 20,000 crore loan package by the deadline of October 31. The deadline of the loan distribution has been further extended until November 30 from October 31 to properly implement the stimulus package for the CMSME by banks and financial institutions.
Remittance on a roll
Bangladesh received 28.62 per cent more remittance in October as the money sent by the country’s migrant workers toiling abroad kept its scintillating growth defying grim predictions. Migrant workers remitted $2.11 billion last month, which was way higher than $1.64 billion flown to the country in the same month a year ago, data from the central bank showed yesterday. October’s receipts were the third-highest monthly flow in history, behind July’s $2.59 billion and September’s $2.15 billion.Between July and October, remittance hit $8.82 billion, up from 43.24 per cent year-on-year. Diversion of remittances from informal to formal channels due to the difficulty of carrying money under travel restrictions amid the pandemic and damages inflicted by the recent floods helped Bangladesh bring the remittance flow back to the positive territory in 2020, according to a recent statement of the World Bank. In April, the multinational lender had said money sent by the migrant workers to Bangladesh is projected at $14 billion for 2020, a fall likely of about 22 per cent because of the fallouts of the pandemic. The rising flow from May led the WB to forecast on Friday that inbound remittance would accelerate by about 8 per cent to $19.8 billion this year. EmranulHuq, managing director of Dhaka Bank, said the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) has declined drastically soon after the recession hit the world. “This has put a positive impact on remittance as well.” The six–month Libor rate stood at 0.25 per cent yesterday in contrast to 1.93 per cent a year ago.
Bashundhara bitumen goes into production this month
Bangladesh’s first dedicated bitumen plant established by Bashundhara Group at a cost of around $143.7 million is all set to begin commercial production at the end of this month to meet the domestic demand for asphalt. The plant has the capacity to produce a whopping 9 lakh tonnes of bitumen a year. However, the factory established on a 65-acre plot at Pangaon in Keraniganj will produce around 2.75 lakh tonnes in the initial phase.A 13-member team from the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) led by its Additional Chief Engineer Abdullah Al Mamun visited the plant to examine its quality control measures and equipment setup on Saturday. Currently, 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s annual demand for 5 lakh tonnes of bitumen—a hydrocarbon-based substance used to build roads and highways—is met through imports, which have questionable quality, he said.The prospects for the plant, which is a subsidiary of Bashundhara Oil and Gas Company, are bright given Bangladesh’s development goals. With the major construction and repair projects for about 22,000 kilometres of roads and highways under the RHD, local demand for bitumen is on the rise. Of the 354,000 kilometres of undeveloped roads under the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), 105,000 kilometres have already been upgraded to paved streets.Jiangsu LiyangYunlong Equipment Manufacturing Co. Ltd, which has experience with establishing this type of heavy industry, implemented the plant on a turnkey basis. In 2019, around Tk 1,721 crore was spent to import bitumen and the value has increased by about 20 per cent annually.
Berger to set up second metal container plant
Jenson & Nicholson (Bangladesh), a wholly owned subsidiary of Berger Paints Bangladesh, plans to invest Tk 91.48 crore to set up its second unit to produce metal containers at Savar to meet the growing demand. The project is expected to be completed in 2022 and the company disclosed the info yesterday in a post on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website. The company has been producing tin-containers and prints on tin sheets since 1995.The subsidiary has a huge amount of retained earnings, where the necessary fund to set up the plant will come from, he added. The multinational paint maker announced its second quarter earnings. Its consolidated earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 14.26 for July-September quarter, up from Tk 9.49 in the same period the previous year.Berger Paints Bangladesh has a paid-up capital of Tk 46 crore and has a reserve of Tk 900 crore, according to the DSE data. Its stock rose 2.82 per cent to Tk 1,360 yesterday compared to the previous day. Berger Paints Bangladesh has two other subsidiaries named Berger Becker Bangladesh and Berger Fosroc and it holds 49 per cent stakes in the first company and 50 per cent in the second.
EBL wins three awards from VISA
Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) has won three awards from VISA for its performance in product innovation and cards business. The award ceremony was held at a webinar recently, said a statement. Awards were given in three categories – Excellence in Product Innovation, Excellence in E-commerce Acquiring Business and Excellence in Cross-Border Business for the year 2019-2020.
Zaminur joins Karmasangsthan Bank as DMD
SK MdZaminur Rahman joined Karmasangsthan Bank as its Deputy Managing Director (DMD) on October 28. Earlier, he was promoted to Deputy Managing Director at Janata Bank on October 4. He also served as the general manager of the information technology (ICT) division of Janata Bank.