Profit growth signals strong economic rebound
Listed companies across almost all sectors saw their profits rise 8.6 per cent on average in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year, indicating that Bangladesh is making a strong economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The collective profits of 288 listed companies stood at Tk 7,203 crore in the July-September period of 2021-22, up from Tk 6,631 crore a year earlier, according to Sandhani Asset Management Company. Although the Dhaka Stock Exchange features a total of 384 enterprises, some 288 were analysed as the remainder were either listed after 2018 or are yet to publish their quarterly financial reports. Bangladesh earned about $11.02 billion from exports in the first three months of the current fiscal, up 11.37 per cent year-on-year from $9.89 billion, data from the Export Promotion Bureau showed. As such, listed companies saw their profits climb 38 per cent year-on-year to Tk 6,631 crore in the first quarter of FY2020-21. With this backdrop, the profit growth in the recently ended quarter is seemingly low even though it is at a considerably normal level. Profits of Beximco Ltd, British American Tobacco Bangladesh, and United Power Generation stood at Tk 360 crore, Tk 294 crore and Tk 289 crore respectively. The profits of listed companies during the period had dropped 7 per cent year-on year to Tk 4,778 crore compared to Tk 5,175 crore the year before. ICB, ACI, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Exim Bank, RN Spinning Mills, and Heidelberg Cement incurred a combined loss of Tk 260 crore in July-September 2019 after logging profits in the same quarter the previous year.
Tourism’s share 3.02pc in GDP
Tourism’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at 3.02 per cent by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). In local currency, this amounts to Tk 76,690.7 crore. The sector also accounted for 8.07 per cent of total employment, according to the BBS’s Tourism Satellite Account 2020, which was based on the data of the fiscal year of 2018-19. The report basically gives an economic measurement of tourism, integrating data about the supply and use of tourism-related goods and services. Domestic tourists spent an estimated Tk 74,959.2 crore. Some 44.30 per cent of households reported to have embarked on at least one same-day trip with an average of 2.72 participants. Around 64.14 per cent reported at least one overnight trip with 2.56 participants. The average duration was 3.46 nights. Of the same-day visitors, the highest 41.26 per cent had gone to visit friends and relatives. Another 20.78 per cent sought health and medical services and 16.69 per cent went shopping.
New law lists bankers’ digital books as legal evidence
Parliament yesterday passed the Bankers’ Book Evidence Bill 2021, defining digitally recorded documents used in the ordinary business of banks as legal evidence admissible in court. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the bill that was passed by voice vote. The new law is going to replace the Bankers’ Book Evidence Act 1891 that lacked the concept of digitally recorded evidence. The new law has suggested making information public, except for privileged and personal information, on taking permission from a court of law and fixing authorities who can do that.
StanChart arranges country’s first-ever green bond
Standard Chartered Bangladesh has arranged the first-ever green bond in Bangladesh as it mobilised Tk 150 crore for Pran Agro Ltd, a concern of Pran-RFL Group. The bond proceeds will be used to finance green and energy-efficient initiatives of the conglomerate, the bank said in a press release yesterday. Pran Agro will use the proceeds of the bond for initiatives such as recycling waste water, climate action through waste decomposing, building sustainable communities by providing employment among rural and poverty-stricken communities, and preserving life on land through contract-based organic farming. Standard Chartered is leading the debt capital market in Bangladesh. Since 1997, the financing solutions unit of the international lender has put together more than the equivalent of $7 billion in local and foreign currency syndicated loans/debt facilities in the power, telecommunication, infrastructure, food and beverage, textile, service, and other key sectors.
Daraz wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2021
Online marketplace Daraz Bangladesh recently won a “Mastercard Excellence Award 2021” in “Excellence in Mastercard Business (Merchant)– Online 2020-21” category. Khondoker Tasfin Alam, chief operating officer of Daraz Bangladesh, received the award at the Sheraton Dhaka.