Apparel makers looking to grab global PPE market share
With the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) rising amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a good number of apparel makers have expanded production capacity while some other companies are investing afresh to gain the market share. As the coronavirus continues its deadly spread across the globe, there is a desperate need for PPE, medical gowns and face masks to keep health professionals as well as general people safe, which has boosted the export prospects.Taking the surging global demand into account, the Pran-RFL Group has recently made a move to invest US$ 18 million to produce PPEs at the Adamjee EPZ (Export Processing Zone).Recently, Beximco has supplied 6.5 million pieces of PPEs to US clothing giant Hanes within less than two months’ time.Last month, Snowtex completed a work order by supplying 2.6 million face masks to a French buyer, its managing director SM Khaled told the FE on Saturday. Currently, his company is producing face masks only for the local market under the brand name of Sara, he said, adding that these masks can provide 72 per cent protection from the infection while surgical masks are 70 to 95 per cent protective.Citing the Export Promotion Bureau data, she said the PPE export has grown from US$252 million to US$501 million (FY2019-20) in just about five years.
Delta Agrofood to invest Tk 1,200cr in soy, flour production
Delta Agrofood Industries, a joint venture of SEACOM and Samuda, is set to invest Tk 1,200 crore in the production of various soy and wheat products with an aim to meet the country’s growing demand for healthier consumer goods.This led to a 116 per cent rise in imports as local cultivation fails to meet the country’s needs despite having witnessed many significant changes in production. Statistically, the daily consumption of wheat has gone up by about 42 per cent from 72 grammes in fiscal 2014-15 to 125 grammes at present, according to the Directorate General of Food and various traders.The project, 40 per cent of which is being financed by Pubali Bank, will be developed across a 35-acre plot in Saidpur of Narayanganj. According to SEACOM’s managing director, it was a strategic location owing to the presence of a strong distribution channel.Just 30 year ago, the country’s entire demand for soybean oil was met through imports but eventually, some entrepreneurs started to refine imported crude soybean oil to locally produce edible oil, said SM Nashir Uddin, general manager of Delta Agrofood. Now though, some entrepreneurs produce the finished product wholly through local sourcing without making any import, he added. According to the general manager, just 20 litres of edible oil can be produced from 100 kilogrammes of soybean seed while the leftover soybean cake can be used as food for fish or poultry.
MrMostafaGolamQuddus was re-elected as Chairman of Rupali Insurance
MrMostafaGolamQuddus was unanimously re-elected as Chairman of Rupali Insurance Company Limited at the company’s 192nd meeting of the board of directors held recently. Former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) MrMostafaGolamQuddus is the Chairman of Dragon Group, one of the largest sweater producing company of the country. Under his dynamic guidance Rupali Insurance Company Limited has emerged as one of the leading insurance companies of the country in private sector and the Dragon Group, the largest sweater producing companies of the country, has played a vital role in export business and foreign currency earnings.
Mutual fund units in demand on hopes of reforms
Investors rushed to mutual funds in the last few days on growing hopes that the new commission would take reform initiatives to protect the interest of the unitholders. Their enthusiasm came although the market is yet to overcome the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, dropped 19 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 4,963 yesterday. Turnover, an important indicator of the market, rose 7.12 per cent to Tk 914 crore.One of the initiatives could see that the regulator would refuse to extend the tenure of closed-end mutual funds unless they receive approval from unitholders. Closed-end mutual funds are investment vehicles that gather a fixed pool of money for 10 years from investors and re-invest them into stocks, bonds and other assets. After 10 years, they are supposed to be liquidated and the value of the funds distributed among unitholders. But on September 16 last year, following calls from some asset management companies, the BSEC extended the tenure of the closed-end mutual funds by another 10 years.GQ Ball Pen shed the most, giving up 8.36 per cent, followed by United Airways, Asia Pacific Insurance, Tung Hai Knitting, KBB Power, Provati Insurance, Paramount Insurance, Premier Insurance, Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company, and AppolloIspat.