BDT has depreciated amid high demand for USD
Bangladesh Taka (BDT) has depreciated by Tk 1.0 against the US dollar (USD) in nearly three months despite selling of the greenback by the central bank to the banks for keeping the market stable. The US dollar was quoted at Tk 85.80 each in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on Wednesday against Tk 84.80 on August 17 last. It was Tk 85.75 on Tuesday. The growing demand for the greenback has been created mainly due to higher import payment obligations following big purchases of textile products along with an upward trend in various commodities including fuel oil in the global market, they explained. Economists and market operators said that the continued depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar has pushed up prices of imported items in the domestic market. Bangladesh Bank should continue with its foreign currency liquidity support to the banks to ease the demand for the greenback in the market. The flow of inward remittances dropped by nearly 20 per cent to $7.05 billion during the July-October period of the current fiscal year (FY 2021-22) from $ 8.81 billion in the same period of the previous FY, the BB data showed. Meanwhile, the actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) jumped by 47.18 per cent to $11.02 billion during the July-September period of FY’22 from $9.90 billion in the same period of FY’21. However, the opening of LC, generally known as import order, rose more than 49 per cent to $ 19.90 billion during the period under review from $13.31 billion in the same period of FY’21. As part of the move, the BB sold US$20 million directly to a state-owned commercial bank (SoCB) on Wednesday. In FY’22, it has so far sold $1.63 billion from the reserves directly to the commercial banks.
Japan’s SoftBank to aquire 20% stake in bKash
Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank is going to enter Bangladesh by acquiring 20% of stake in the mobile financial service (MFS) giant bKash. Brac Bank Ltd, the majority owner of bKash, in its board meeting approved the relevant share purchase and subscription agreement among bKash, its existing shareholders and the proposed investor SoftBank Vision Fund II BEAM (DE) LLC. The SoftBank Fund, which invested in India’s e-commerce platform FlipKart, would make both primary and secondary investments in bKash, Brac Bank disclosed in a price sensitive information on Wednesday evening. The bank also announced that the new investment would not change its shareholding in bKash. This means the new investor will get some fresh shares and buy bKash stake from any one or more of the existing investors that include Money in Motion, Alipay, the International Finance Corporation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the bKash Employee Share Option Plan Trust.
Global carmakers now target $515 billion for EVs, batteries
Global automakers are planning to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries through 2030, according to a Reuters analysis, amping up investments aimed at weaning car buyers away from fossil fuels and meeting increasingly tough decarbonization targets. Less than three years ago, a similar analysis by Reuters found car companies planned to spend $300 billion on EVs and related technologies. But looming zero-carbon mandates in cities such as London and Paris and countries from Norway to China have lent additional urgency to the industry’s EV-related investment commitments. The most recent analysis shows carmakers planning to spend an estimated $515 billion over the next five to 10 years to develop and build new battery-powered vehicles and shift away from combustion engines. But industry executives and forecasters remain concerned that consumer demand for EVs could fall well short of aggressive targets without substantial additional incentives and even greater spending on charging infrastructure and grid capacity. In June, consulting firm AlixPartners said auto industry investments in electric vehicles would reach $330 billion by 2025. In 2020, all global automakers combined spent nearly $225 billion on capital expenditures and research and development, according to AlixPartners.
Alif Industries to issue Tk 3.0b convertible bond
Alif Industries, a yarn producer, has decided to issue convertible bonds worth Tk 3.0 billion for land, machinery and existing factory renovation. The bond issue is subject to the approval of the stock market regulator and the shareholders in the 28th annual general meeting scheduled for December 30, the company said in a filing with the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Denomination of each convertible bond is Tk 100,000 with an interest rate/yield at 7.0 per cent base profit plus 10 per cent of total dividend (cash and bonus) declared to the ordinary shareholders. The interest amount will be disbursed semi-annually with a maturity of six years tenure. The company has recommended 10 per cent cash dividend for general shareholders for the year ended on June 30, 2021 while it announced 5.0 per cent cash dividend for general shareholders for the year ended on June 30, 2020, according to another disclosure. The board has also decided to increase authorised capital to Tk 4.0 billion, from Tk 1.50 billion subject to the approval of the shareholders in the 28th AGM of the company.