Exports exceed target, fetch $30.9b in nine months
Earnings from the country’s merchandise exports in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, increased to US$ 30.90 billion, registering a modest growth of about 13 per cent over the same period of the previous fiscal. The country fetched $27.45 billion during the July-March period of FY 2017-18. According to official data, the export performance exceeded the nine-month target by 7.20 per cent this fiscal year. The single-month earnings in March last grew by 9.35 per cent to $ 3.34 billion from $ 3.05 billion in the same month of last year, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data show. The performance in March also surpassed the target set for the month by 2.37 per cent. Earnings from the export of readymade garments (RMG) during the July-March period of the current FY grew by 13.65 per cent to $ 25.95 billion from $ 22.83 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal. The earnings also surpassed the nine-month target by 7.40 per cent. From knitwear exports, the country earned $ 12.80 billion during the period under review, marking a growth of 13.07 per cent, compared to $ 11.32 billion in the corresponding period of the last FY.
Govt approves Tk 100m to produce Sonali bags
The government has approved about Tk 100 million to run a project for producing biodegradable Sonali bags from jute and conducting advance research on the environment-friendly bags. The trustee board of Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF), formed under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2010, allocated Tk 99.6 million for the project at its meeting held at the Secretariat on Sunday. Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister and chairman of the trustee board Md Shahab Uddin presided over the meeting. Under the project of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), environment-friendly bags and packages will be produced by making biodegradable polymer from jute. Besides, employment opportunities will be created by ensuring multiple usage of jute. Exporting Sonali bags, the project will help the government achieve the seventh Five-Year Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
NBR to request BB for devising mechanism
National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Sunday assured the women entrepreneurs of taking up their concerns over the need for increased access to bank loans with the Bangladesh Bank (BB) so that the central bank could develop some mechanism in this regard. The government is very positive in facilitating women entrepreneurs in the next budget due to their relatively lower loan default rate, he told a pre-budget meeting at the NBR headquarters in the city, in response to women entrepreneurs’ concern. As per the Chairman, the revenue authority is holding talks with the central bank to find a way of providing collateral-free loans up to Tk 2.5 million to the women entrepreneurs. The NBR held the meeting with the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI), Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND) and Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA).
PM seeks Italy’s support for leather sector development
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought on Sunday cooperation from Italy to develop Bangladesh’s leather sector. As per the PM, Bangladesh need Italy’s cooperation in leather sector. Italian leather goods are good, Italians are very much careful about their leather goods. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters after the meeting. He said the Prime Minister put emphasis on increasing the trade relations with Italy. She welcomed the newly appointed ambassador and assured government’s all out cooperation in discharging his duties.
Zilingo plans to enter BD as part of key growth strategy
Asia’s fastest growing digital marketplace Zilingo is looking forward to entering the Bangladesh market after raising US$ 226M in its recent Series D financing, bringing the total funds raised by the company to US$ 308M. This expansion in the Bangladesh market as well as other key Asian markets is a part of its growth strategy to expand its B2B business. Key investors from this latest round of fund raising include Sequoia Capital, Temasek, Burda Principal Investments, Sofina, Singapore investment fund EDBI as well as existing investors.
MCCI, other trade bodies demand corporate tax cut for all Firms
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with some other trade bodies on Sunday demanded corporate income tax cut both for listed and non-listed companies. At two separate pre-budget meetings with National Board of Revenue, the trade bodies also sought an increase in tax-free income limit for individual taxpayers. At the meeting with MCCI, NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said that the highest value-added tax rate would be 15 per cent with rebate facility under the new VAT law as NBR did not agree with a proposal of lowering the rate to 10 per cent. As per the NBR Chairman, the VAT rate would be 15 per cent for all the stages of a particular supply chain, so that the businesses could get tax rebate. MCCI demanded that NBR reduce corporate tax rate for non-listed companies from the existing 35 per cent in the budget for next fiscal year (2019-2020). Reduction in corporate tax rate would increase the reusable fund of companies for reinvestment. The country’s oldest trade body also demanded reduction in advance income tax at the import stage to 3 per cent from the current 5 per cent. MCCI said that tax-free income ceiling for individual taxpayers should be increased to 4 lakh from the current 2.5 lakh considering the rise in cost of living and inflation.
THS Kingsway Fund purchases above 0.13m shares of BAT
One of the high net worth clients of the Pictet, a leading investment bank in Europe, has purchased above 0.13 million shares of British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company (BATBC) at prevailing market price. According to a company disclosure, the trade has been completed in the block market at prevailing market price. PICTET LUX A/C THS KFFC (THS Kingsway Fund) earlier expressed its intention to purchase the said amount of shares at prevailing market price dated on April 4 last. Meanwhile, after the Sunday’s trading session, the share price of the BATBC settled at Tk 1616.90 each from Tk 4565.50 on adjustment of dividend after the record date. The company earlier recommended 500 per cent cash and 200 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2018.
United Power tops turnover chart
United Power Generation and Distribution Company (UPGDC) topped the Sunday’s turnover chart following investors’ increased participation. On the day, the company featured a turnover of above Tk 337.60 million and grabbed 10.21 per cent of the market turnover. Its share price declined 1.40 per cent or Tk 5.40 to close at Tk 381.10 per share. Following the price correction witnessed by the major sectors, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) featured the lowest turnover since December 18, 2018. At the end of the Sunday’s session, the DSE’s turnover stood at above Tk 3.30 billion which was 9.0 per cent less than the turnover of the previous session. Of total turnover, 40.09 per cent came from the transactions of top 10 turnover leaders. Of other turnover leaders, Fortune Shoes featured a turnover of above Tk 191.80 million and captured 5.80 per cent of the market turnover.
DSE sets up online complaint cell
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has set up an online complaint cell to allow investors to file complaints with ease and get result. Now stock investors can complain against stock brokers and listed companies through the cell along with the manual system. KAM Majedur Rahman, managing director of the bourse, says the initiative is part of the DSE’s efforts to mitigate the troubles faced by investors. As per the MD, Investors will now be encouraged to make a complaint as the process has become very smooth. The online complaint cell will allow investors to attach files to back up their claims. The bourse plans big about the complaint cell: it will regularly analyse the number of complaints it receives and the number of complaints it addresses.
Govt urges China to fast-track loan deals
Dhaka has called upon Beijing to speed up the process to sign loan agreements of China-funded projects undertaken following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in October 2016. Deals involving only five out of 27 projects have been inked since the two countries signed the framework agreement during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka. The five projects involved financing of $4.5 billion against a total of $22.5 billion for the 27 projects. The slow pace in the signing of loan agreements has led Dhaka to remind Beijing about the conditions of the framework.
BOGSOA seeks financial stimulus for oceangoing ships
Bangladesh Oceangoing Ship Owners’ Association (BOGSOA) on Sunday sought financial stimulus and other facilities enjoyed by export oriented industries. As per the BOGSOA leaders, the oceangoing ship sector was declared as industry in 1994 but they are yet to receive financial and other facilities. They raised the issue in a meeting with Industries Minister Nurul Majid Humayun at the ministry office. They sought the intervention of the minister for deduction of tax at source, UDF loan and packing loan along with the financial stimulation. In the meeting, problems and potentialities of Bangladesh-flagged oceangoing vessel industry was discussed.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 63.46||↑0.38||↑0.60%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 70.74||↑0.40||↑0.57%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.5000|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.8300|
|EUR 1||BDT 93.6205|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2028|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<