Financial Inclusion agenda gets a lift
The central bank’s order to open bank or mobile financial service (MFS) accounts for disbursing the salaries of employees of export-oriented factories from the government’s Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package will give a leg up to the digitalisation and financial inclusion agenda. Only half the garment sector’s 40 lakh workers now get salaries through bank or MFS accounts and opening another 20 lakh new accounts in less than two weeks will be difficult. It’s true that opening 20 lakh new accounts will be a tough task and hence banks, MFS operators and owners need to collaborate to that end. Currently salaries worth more than Tk 1,000 are disbursed every month through the MFS platform, according to BB data. The number will double if the new accounts can be opened, which will also be a milestone in the country’s financial inclusion efforts. In the first two months of 2019, Tk 2,171 crore was disbursed as salary through the MFS accounts, the amount being 32 per cent higher than a year earlier, according to the BB. Over the past few days, the factory management has been working to open bank accounts for all 20,000 workers employed in the four units.
SAARC calls for project proposals
The Saarc Development Fund (SDF) has asked all eligible agencies in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to submit proposals to secure finances for projects aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The total fund for the SDF-Covid 19 Emergency projects shall be $5 million for all eight member states, according to a letter of the finance ministry of Bangladesh. The Social Window (SW) has committed $73.74 million out of $100 million allocated for SW projects and currently has a balance of $26.26 million. The member countries have created a Covid-19 Emergency Fund, with an initial contribution of $10 million from India following a video conference of Saarc leaders called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 15 on the pandemic. Bangladesh has committed to contributing $1.5 million to the fund, Sri Lanka $5 million, Afghanistan and Nepal $1 million each, the Maldives $200,000 and Bhutan $100,000.
Venture Capital Assoc seeks Govt support
Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) has demanded collateral-free loan at 2. 0 per cent interest for VCPEAB members and their portfolio companies to help them meet their working capital requirement. The association, in a meeting recently raised six proposals, making a plea to the government to consider these on urgent basis to stave off the losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the startup businesses in the country are on the verge of collapse. Nearly 300 startups are in serious trouble over the anticipation of more than BDT 4.50 billion losses as selling of products and services is at halt in the local market. Implementation of these proposals will ensure continuous revenue and cash flow for the startups and their ventures can be saved from the serious blow due to the ongoing crisis. When the situation achieves stability, venture capital and private equity firms will be able to raise fund from local and foreign investors to support the startups with financing or re-financing to keep their businesses running.
StanChart pledges $1b to finance companies helping fight pandemic
Standard Chartered Bank has recently announced a set of measures in the global fight against coronavirus that has brought world to its knees. Chief among them is the $1 billion financing commitment of loans, import/export financing and working capital, at preferential rates, for companies providing goods and services to help in the fight against coronavirus, and support those re-deploying production resources to help fight the pandemic. The British lender has also created a $50 million fund to help communities affected by the lethal virus across its global footprint. Of the sum, $25 million will immediately be donated to support emergency relief in its most affected markets. The measures come after the British multilateral lender last week announced a host of initiatives to support its clients in Bangladesh. .
IFIC Bank donates Tk 50m to PM’s Relief Fund
IFIC Bank Limited donated Tk 50 million to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help fight the outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID-19, said a statement. The bank handed over the cheque to the PM’s relief and welfare fund through Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) recently. .
Pragoti donates Tk 10m to PM’s Relief Fund
Pragoti Industries Limited, a firm under the industries ministry, has donated Tk 10 million (Tk 1.0 crore) to the Relief and Welfare Fund of the Prime Minister aiming to combat the epidemic of the deadly coronavirus in the country.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
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|FTSE100||5706.88||↑ 29.15||↑ 0.51 %|
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World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$26.44||↑ 1.35||↑ 5.38 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 34.10||↑ 1.26||↑ 3.84 %|
|Gold Spot||$1,661.56||↑ 15.42||↑ 0.94 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.3090|
|GBP 1||BDT 102.919|
|EUR 1||BDT 90.5146|
|INR 1||BDT 1.09844|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<