Banks donate Tk 30cr for Chawkbazar fire victims
Private banks have donated Tk 30 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund as assistance for the people who were affected by the recent fire in Churihatta in Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar. The top brass of all the private commercial banks handed over cheques separately to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at an event at the Gono Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday. The banks that donated the money include Bank Asia, City Bank, IBBL, Mercantile, Mutual Trust, NCC, NRB, NRB Global, NRBC, One, Prime, Pubali, SIBL, UCB and Uttara. Of the 40 private banks, nine new banks donated Tk 25 lakh each, while the rest except ICB Islamic Bank contributed Tk 1 crore each. A devastating fire broke out at Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar on February 20, killing 70 people. According to a meeting source, speaking on the occasion, the prime minister asked the directors of the banks to bring down the lending rate to single-digit. The directors explained that it was not possible at the moment because the private banks were facing liquidity crunch. However, the prime minister instructed the banks to take time to implement the single-digit lending rate. She, however, said banks would have to do it.
ADB projects Bangladesh growth at 8pc
Asian Development Bank on Wednesday projected that Bangladesh economy would grow by 8 per cent, close to the government’s provisional estimates, in the current fiscal year 2018-2019. Gross domestic product growth is expected to grow by 8 per cent in FY 2019 with robust private consumption, increased public investment, strong export performance and expansion in industries, according to Asian Development Outlook 2019 launched on the day. The Manila-based international lender in its last ADO Update released in September projected 7.5 per cent GDP growth for Bangladesh. ADB arranged a press briefing at its Dhaka office to release the Bangladesh part of the report. The government on March 19 released provisional estimates of GDP saying that the country’s GDP would grow at record 8.13 per cent in FY 2019 based on better performance of the key macroeconomic indicators including investment, export and manufacturing sectors. Experts and economists, however, remain skeptical about the government’s estimation. At the briefing, ADB country director Manmohan Parkash said export performance was expected to excel and net exports are likely to add to growth.
Bangladesh wants DFQF after graduation from LDC
Bangladesh on Wednesday sought continuation of duty-free and quota-free market access for countries graduated to developing countries from least developed country status for at least additional 6-10 years after graduation. The country made the plea to the member countries of the World Trade Organisation during the first day of the fifth review of Bangladesh trade policy being held in Swiss city of Geneva. Bangladesh in its TPR report, placed its report to the WTO’s trade policy review body, said that WTO members need to develop special programmes for the newly graduated countries for ensuring smooth transition and preventing any unwanted setback. It also sought extension of exemption from TRIPS obligation particularly for the pharmaceutical products. Continuation of the DFQF facility, support for capacity building and extension of TRIPS exemption will be critically important for sustainable graduation for the newly graduated countries, the report said, adding that the issues deserved urgent attention of WTO members.
Govt earnings from DSE up 0.86pc in Mar
The government revenue earnings from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) inched up 0.86 per cent month-on-month in March despite trading activities fell sharply. As per the market analysts, higher shares sale by sponsor-directors during the month kept the government earnings from the premier bourse afloat. The daily average turnover on the DSE also came down to Tk 4.84 billion in March, which was Tk 7.65 billion in February, 2019, the DSE data shows. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), fell 220 points or 3.85 per cent in March to close the month at 5,491 points. According to statistics from the DSE, the government collected revenue worth Tk 234 million in March which was Tk 232 million in February, 2019, advancing 0.86 per cent month-on-month. Of the total earnings in March, Tk 140 million came from share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders. It was the highest earnings from the sponsor-directors and placement holders share sale in recent months. And Tk 94 million came from TREC (trading right entitlement certificate) holders’ commission. The DSE, on behalf of the government, collects tax as TREC holders’ commission and share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders at the rate of 0.05 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively and deposits the amount to the government exchequer.
IDLC’s Tk 255cr zero coupon bond gets nod
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has approved a proposal of IDLC Finance, which is seeking to raise Tk 255 crore by issuing non-convertible zero coupon bond. The tenure of the fully redeemable, unsecured, and non-listed bond will be seven years. The proceeds will be used to strengthen the non-bank’s liquidity situation. The offer price will be Tk 10 lakh per unit.
Compliant tanners to boost exports: Expert
As per an opinion of an Expert, Bangladesh has the potential to expand its share of leather and leather products in the lucrative global market if it can make its tanneries fully compliant with international standards. Professor M Abu Eusuf of development studies department at the University of Dhaka said China was increasingly moving towards high-end markets of leather and related goods including footwear. As per him, this has created opportunities for countries like Bangladesh. But we will have to be fully compliant. As per Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, president of Tannery Workers’ Union, the sector would not be able to sustain its progress if it was not compliant. It has immense potential and can be a much bigger export earner. Both were addressing a dialogue on the tannery sector in Bangladesh organised by The Asia Foundation at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka. Leather is the second largest earner of foreign currency through exports after garments, fetching $1.09 billion last fiscal year.
11 Economic Zones open for setting up Industries
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the business community not to raise the prices of essentials, including sugar and edible oil, during the upcoming Ramadan, report agencies. She made the call at a function arranged marking the inauguration and laying the foundation stones of 65 different development activities of economic zones through videoconferencing from Ganobhaban in the city on Wednesday. The Prime Minister inaugurated 11 economic zones (prepared for setting up industries) and the commercial manufacturing of 16 industrial units, and laid the foundation stones of 13 economic zones, 20 industrial units and five ongoing development projects being implemented by Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA).
BRAC Bank, bKash partner with Malaysian Incentive Remit
Leading money Transfer Company’ Incentive Remit’ is considerably expanding its presence in Bangladesh by joining forces with BRAC Bank and bKash for digital money transfers. Using the app, the Bangladeshi diaspora living in Malaysia can now send money quickly and securely to 1 million BRAC Bank accounts, 186 BRAC Bank branches and 30 BRACBank SME locations for cash collection, Up to 30 million bKash mobile money wallets.
DSE inks MoU with Colombo Stock Exchange
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pave the way of exchanging information between two exchanges. The MoU was signed on March 28 last while a three-member DSE delegation made a visit to Colombo to attend a program namely ‘High level engagement with Listed companies: Sustainability Reporting for Sustainable Development’. The DSE representatives attended the programme following the invitation of the Netherlands based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The delegation included DSE Director Minhaz Mannan Emon, DSE Managing Director K.A.M. Majedur Rahman and Assistant General Manager Moniruzzaman Miah.
BRAC Bank inks deal with Rahimafrooz
BRAC Bank Limited and Rahimafrooz Distribution Limited have signed an e-commerce agreement. Under this agreement, BRAC Bank debit and credit cardholders will enjoy 10% discount in all products and services available at estore.rahimafrooz.com till July 15, 2019.
SBAC Bank to focus on small Businesses
As per the Chairman of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank Limited, the Bank plans to foray into manufacturing and small businesses to create employment as the bank enters its seventh year. The new generation bank also wants to invest more in rural areas to make rural economy vibrant.
PM inaugurates new BGMEA complex
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated on Wednesday the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) complex at Uttara. She opened the newly constructed building through videoconferencing from her official Gonobhaban residence in the capital. The PM exhorted the apparel makers to explore new markets and diversify their products mainly to expand business and also for sustainability of the industry.
Puma enters Bangladesh
German sportswear giant Puma has set foot in Bangladesh, with its first store to open next week — as the country’s sizeable and upwardly mobile middle-class and youth population continues to catch the attention of global brands. As per MA Jabbar, the local franchisee of Puma, Puma’s first store will be on Banani 11 and it will open its doors to the public on April 7. As per Mr. Jabbar, all the clothing items would be brought in from Germany as the country is not yet capable of manufacturing high-end stuff.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 62.44||↓0.02||↓0.03%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 69.37||↑0.06||↑0.09%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.3890|
|GBP 1||BDT 109.7100|
|EUR 1||BDT 93.6724|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2116|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<