Bangladesh Bank extended the deadline for loan status classification by banks
Bangladesh Bank yesterday extended the deadline for loan status classification by banks further to December 31, as it now forecasts the economy would be enshrouded by the coronavirus-induced gloom for longer than it had imagined earlier. Now, banks will have to maintain the same credit status of a borrower as on January 30 until the new deadline.On March 19, less than two weeks after the government first reported the country’s maiden coronavirus cases, the central bank asked lenders not to consider businesspeople as defaulters if they fail to repay instalments until June 30 this year. The moratorium facility was later extended on June 15 once again.Banks will be permitted to rebate interest to the borrowers, who have not taken the moratorium facility by paying back their installments on time.More instructions will be given to banks to maintain provision against the loans and how much interest of the loans that are enjoying moratorium facility will be transferred to the income segment of lenders, the central bank stipulated in its notice.
Locally made LPG cylinders get a cut in VAT
The revenue authority has reduced value added tax (VAT) on locally made cylinders for storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in order to allow domestic manufacturers to better compete with imported cylinders and enable users to afford bottled gas.The VAT rate for locally-made LPG cylinders has been slashed to 5 per cent from 15 per cent, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) said in a notice issued at the end of last week. The benefit will remain effective until June 30, 2021, the NBR added. The move follows pleas from domestic manufacturers of LPG cylinders after the government imposed 15 per cent VAT on local manufacturing from the beginning of fiscal 2020-21 in July.Bangladesh has 11 companies producing LPG cylinders and their combined production capacity is 85 lakh units whereas the annual requirement is 65 lakh units, according to Chowdhury, also president of the LPG Operators Association of Bangladesh.A section of operators also import LPG cylinders. However, the quantity of imports declined in recent years. Data from the Department of Explosives showed that LPG cylinder imports dropped 44 per cent to 22.30 lakh units in fiscal 2018-19 from 39.60 lakh units the previous year. The number of locally made cylinders marketed increased 85 per cent to 20.30 lakh units in fiscal 2018-19 from 11 lakh units the previous year, says data from the explosives department.
TK Group to invest Tk 1,744cr at BangabandhuShilpa Nagar
Samuda Food Product and Samuda Chemical Complex, two sister concerns of the TK Group of Industries, will invest Tk 1,744.80 crore at Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar (BSMSN) to produce consumer goods and chemicals.Initially, Tk 650 crore will be invested, which will hit Tk 1,744 crore or $205.28 million in the next three years, said Haider, also a director of TK Group. The group yesterday signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) to take 60 acres of land on lease inside the BSMSN to set up the new production units. They will be able to create around 1,560 jobs in the two units, the construction work of which will hopefully begin in next January. TK Group is one of the largest and diverse business conglomerates in Bangladesh with 43 active business units and more than 12,000 employees. In the last four-and-a-half decades, the group has invested in edible oils and fats00, steel, board, paper, textile, packaging and containers, tea plantation, ship building, consumer products, trading shares and securities.
NBP teams up with Guardian Life
The Guardian Life Insurance Ltd and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) signed a group insurance agreement recently under which all the employees of NBP will enjoy life coverage along with medical benefits. M MMonirulAlam, Chief Executive Officer, Guardian Life, and Md. Quamruzzaman, Country Manager & CEO, NBP, signed the agreement on behalf of their companies.
E-commerce can account for ’70pc transactions of goods and services’
70 percent transactions of goods and services could be done on e-commerce platforms which presently stands at only 5.0 per cent, said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director & CEO of RobiAxiata Ltd while elaborating on the huge potential of e-commerce. However, he also said that proper use of state-of-the-art technology is needed to move forward in this promising sector.Applauding the Digital Commerce Policy 2018, the local CEO of the multinational telecom company called for an emphasis on its implementation. He also highlighted the importance of providing exemptions of VAT-tax-duty etc. and incentives for new entrepreneurs in the development of e-commerce. Robi’s Managing Director and CEO also hope to add e-Cab to the next phase of R-Ventures, a platform for building digital entrepreneurship.
Apex celebrates founder’s week
Apex Group commemorated the 79th birthday of its Founder Chairman Mr. Syed ManzurElahi as Founder’s Day recently, with week-long celebrations that included a host of events for both customers and employees.There were special offers for Apex Rewards members and e-commerce customers. At the same time 5 new stores were opened nationwide for the convenience of the Apex’s ever-loyal customers. The event culminated with a flat 26 per cent off offer on all products only on 26th September, for the first time in Apex history. Additionally, various employee engagement initiatives were taken throughout the week.
DSEX exceeds 5,000-mark on buying binge
Stocks rebounded Monday, after a single-day break, with key index of the major bourse crossing the threshold of 5,000-mark once again as investors showed their appetite on large-cap stocks amid high expectations. The market opened on upbeat note and the key index soared 58 points within first hour of trading. But, eroded nearly half of the initial gain as the session progressed amid profit booking sell-offs. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went up by 32.01 points or 0.64 per cent to settle at above 5,000-mark again after four-day to 5,003 points.Bangladesh Bank has reduced the interest rate on borrowing from its special investment fund to 4.75 per cent from 5.0 per cent, aimed at helping the country’s lenders increase their stock investment capacity.Two other indices also ended higher. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, gained 21.82 points to finish at 1,712 and the DSE Shariah Index rose 9.46 points to close at 1,131.The Chittagong Stock Exchange also ended higher with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-soaring 112 points to close at 14,299 while the Selective Categories Index – CSCX rising 75 points to close at 8,582.