Dhaka Bank signs deal with Regent Airways
Regent Airways has signed an agreement with Dhaka Bank Limited at Retail Business Headquarters of the bank in the city recently, according to a statement. Under the agreement, Dhaka Bank credit and debit cardholders will enjoy 10 per cent discount on base fare of all international flights and 7 per cent discount on base fare of all domestic flights. Moreover, Dhaka Bank credit cardholders will enjoy up to 6 months instalment purchase option at 0 per cent interest under its “SWIPE IT” scheme. H. M Mostafizur Rahaman, Head of Cards of Dhaka Bank and Hanif Zakaria, Chief Commercial Officer of Regent Airways, signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Pubali Bank signs MoU with Rose View Hotel
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pubali Bank Limited and Rose View Hotel, Sylhet has been signed at the bank’s Head Office on Wednesday, according to a statement. Under the MoU, all debit and credit cardholders and employees of Pubali Bank Limited will avail 50 per cent discount on room tariff along with other facilities. Md. Abdul Halim Chowdhury, Managing Director & CEO, Safiul Alam Khan Chowdhury, Additional Managing Director and Mohammad Ali, Deputy Managing Director of Pubali Bank Ltd. were present at the MoU signing ceremony.
Step up efforts to tackle corruption, poor risk practices in banking sector: ICCB
The International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB) has called for stepping up efforts to tackle deep-rooted problems of corruption and poor risk practices in the banking sector. As Bangladesh has graduated to a developing country, all efforts should be made to strengthen the banking sector which is the backbone of the economy, it said. The requirements and challenges of many to a developing country must not be ignored and the best way to do this is strengthening the capital and liquidity ratio of the banks, the ICCB said in the editorial of its current News Bulletin (Jan-Mar 2018) released on Wednesday. Until now, only limited action has been taken to penalise defaulters, improve risk management and strengthen bank management, it added. The ICCB said Non-Performing Loans (NPL) is one of the issues that is impacting capital adequacy of the industry, especially the eight state-owned commercial and specialised banks. For decades, state-owned banks have been the prime leader to the large corporate borrowers, particularly in the industrial sector of the economy.
Muhith supportive of publishing loan defaulters’ names in media
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the government might publish the name, address, and identity of the bank loan defaulters periodically in the media. He made the statement while responding to a supplementary question from independent lawmaker Rustam Ali Farazi in the parliament on Wednesday. Finance Minister said he had given lists of loan defaulters several times to lawmakers in parliament. “For this the members of the parliament helped me – they wanted to see the list. I shared lists several times,” he said. But he mentioned that he never thought to publish the names and addresses of the loan defaulters in the newspapers. “I did not think about the matter till now, but surely that can be done. I think this proposal is eligible for consideration,” he said. “Their names can be published periodically.” Finance Minister said loan defaulters have incurred a massive loss for the nation.
‘Investment flow to remain steady for stable environ ahead of polls’
Both local and foreign direct investment (FDI) will not be affected ahead of the upcoming national elections, as a stable political environment is expected to prevail in the country then, BIDA executive chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam has opined. The government has also taken a number of steps, including identifying the necessary way-outs and launching a one-stop service, to help boost investment in the country, he said. “I hope the political stability will continue in the country this year ahead of the general elections, and there will be no negative impact on inflow of investment.” The BIDA executive chairman further said the government has been setting up two LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals to reduce gas supply shortage in the industrial sector. BIDA is going to launch the much-expected ‘one-stop service’ by June or July to reduce the delays and resolve the problems related to investments. He said these while speaking at a press conference at Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) office in the capital on Wednesday.
Government spends one-fourth of current budget in H1
Bangladesh recorded a budget surplus of BDT 2.37 billion in the six months to December of the current fiscal year, mainly due to slow spending of budgetary resources. The surplus is significantly larger than previously-estimated as Bangladesh had a deficit of BDT 64.44 billion in the same period a year ago, according to the documents placed in the Jatiya Sangsad. The documents show that there were two reasons for such type of fiscal surplus: Rise in foreign funding in the budget and the net sales of national saving certificates. Finance minister in his statement said the there was no budget deficit up to December last. However, the government estimated a budget deficit of 4.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) or amounting to BDT 1.0678 trillion for the current financial year. Funding from external sources to meet the budget deficit was estimated at 2.1% of the GDP while that of domestic sources at 2.7%. External funding used to meet the budget deficit during the period under review was much lower, only BDT 24.23 billion.
WB gives $55m for renewable energy expansion
The World Bank (WB) would provide US$55 million additional funds to expand Bangladesh’s renewable energy in rural areas as the global lender approved the loan today (Wednesday). The loan will be additional financing from the current US$233 million WB loan for the renewable project in the country. The WB Board in Washington approved the $55 million concessional loan, to expand use of clean renewable energy in rural areas of the country where grid electricity cannot reach easily, the WB Dhaka office said. These interventions will also help the country reduce carbon emissions. This additional $55 million loan will be used to the Second Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) Project to be ended in December 2018.
Now ADB differs with growth estimate of BBS
After the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank has now projected a growth figure that is much lower than the government’s provisional estimate of 7.65 percent. The Manila-based multilateral lender yesterday said Bangladesh’s economic growth this fiscal year would be 7 percent as consumption demand slackens despite a rebound in remittance inflow. Earlier this week, the World Bank cast doubts over the provisional estimate, saying Bangladesh’s potential GDP growth is 6.5-6.6 percent. The question is whether the economy is doing well and the answer is yes, said Manmohan Parkash, ADB’s country director, while unveiling the Asian Development Outlook 2018, the lender’s flagship annual publication, at its Dhaka office at Agargon.
Planning minister protests World Bank comments on growth
Planning Minister has protested the World Bank’s comments on Bangladesh’s economic growth, asking the global lender to amend its latest update by next month. He urged the bank to sit with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) for gathering knowledge about the questions it raised on different government data and to bring changes in its just-published Bangladesh Development Update report. He also urged the Asian Development Bank to verify the government data on the economic growth and other issues sitting with the national statistical agency. The World Bank report expressed doubt over the government’s GDP growth projection of 7.65% for the current financial year (FY) 2017-18 and raised the question over different data and statistics. The bank forecasted a 6.5% GDP growth rate for the current fiscal year, a 1.15%age points lower than the government’s provisional estimates of 7.65%. There is no scope for assumption on the economy, he added. The minister insisted that the economy at the end of the year is expected to surge at more than 7.65% rate.
ADP spending stands only at 45.65pc in 9 months
Progress in implementation of the annual development programme remained sluggish in the first nine months of the current fiscal year 2017-2018 as the government agencies could implement only 45.65 per cent of the total ADP outlay. According to Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division data, 57 ADP implementing ministries and divisions of the government in July-March of FY 2018 spent Tk 71,940 crore, out of the total allocation of Tk 1,57,594 crore for the year. In nine months of the last FY 2017, the agencies spent Tk 53,864 crore or 45.15 per cent of the total ADP allocation of Tk 1,19,296 crore for the year. Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday revealed the data at a press briefing held at the NEC auditorium at Agargaon in the city.
Global tech giants under scanner
A group of lawyers have filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking immediate measures from the government for realising appropriate tax, VAT and other charges from the revenues earned by different digital platforms from Bangladesh. Digital platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, YouTube and their ilk are progressively earning substantial amounts from Bangladesh since 2007 but they do not pay any tax against the earnings. This compelled six lawyers to file a petition against the tech giants under public interest litigation on Monday. “In the last few years we observed that these global digital companies are sucking huge amounts of money from our country but we have no information on whether they are paying due taxes or not,” said Mohammad Humaun Kabir, a barrister of the Supreme Court and one of the petitioners. Kabir said they requested the court to pass an order to present a report on the issue encompassing the last 10 years. The hearing might take place today.
Govt opts for costlier Chinese credit to buy railway cars
The government is in talks with China to secure costlier credit for purchasing railway coaches, which officials said might attract as high as 6.0 per cent interest rate. The CRRC Sifang Company Ltd, a subsidiary of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group), will supply the carriage to Bangladesh Railway by arranging financing from Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. Officials at the state-run Economic Relations Division called the suppliers’ credit ‘very costly’. The Chinese company recently submitted a revised credit proposal to the division and the Bangladesh Railway, elaborating the terms and conditions of the loan. Under the loan, Bangladesh Railway (BR) will procure some 200 passenger carriage.
Govt to import another 500MW from India
The government is set to import 500 megawatt more electricity on a short- and long-term basis from India to meet the growing demand for power in the country. The proposal to import electricity from two Indian companies for Tk 4.7148 to Tk 6.5474 kW/h has already been approved by the cabinet committee on purchase yesterday. The short-term would be from June 2018 to December 31, 2019. Bangladesh will purchase 300MW of electricity from NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) for Tk 4.7148 kW/h ($0.0566) and 200MW from PTC India for Tk 4.8647 kW/h ($0.0584). The same companies will also provide power over the long-term: from January 1, 2020 to May 31, 2033.
Development project execution rate at a standstill for years
The government’s development project implementation capacity has not improved over the years, as the budget spending rate of its agencies is almost stagnant compared to the previous years, analysts said on Tuesday. The government agencies spent about 45 per cent of Annual Development Programme (ADP) until third quarter (Q3) of the current financial year (FY), 2017-18, almost same to that in FY 17 and in the previous fiscal. The ADP implementation performance (in terms of financial values) was somewhat better in the past couple of years, as the agencies spent about 47 per cent of their total allocations in Q3 of both FY 15 and FY 14. Meanwhile, the ministries of planning and finance took several steps to quicken the project implementation rate, which virtually went in vein, the analysts also said.
Impose anti-dumping duty on plastic products: BPGMEA
The country’s plastic goods manufacturers recently suggested the government to impose anti-dumping duty in the next national annual budget on import of certain plastic products from India. The imported plastic products include toys, melamine, plastic jewelry items, hair band and clip, according to the suggestions made in the budget proposals of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA). The national budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 (FY19) will be announced in the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) in early June. Through imposing a rational anti-dumping duty on these types of plastic goods, the country’s economy will get a positive result, according to the budget proposals of the BPGMEA. They also proposed to impose necessary Regulatory Duty (RD) on the products which have initial sign of dumping.
Bonded warehouse benefit for new export products
The revenue authority will extend duty-free or bonded warehouse benefit for import of raw materials to make products for overseas markets as part of the government’s efforts to expand the export basket. “I can give you assurance that if you want to export and ask for bonded warehouse facility I will provide it, but not for the domestic market,” said National Board of Revenue Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan. Since he took up the reins of the NBR in January, Bhuiyan has extended bonded facility for a host of new export items, he said at a luncheon organised by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its office. His comment comes following pleas from the motorcycle manufacturer Runner Automobiles for incentives and bonded warehouse privilege for raw materials and components to make two-wheelers for overseas markets.
Ten BD cos join Japan investor programme
Ten companies from Bangladesh are participating in an on-going ‘Japanese Investor B2B Partnership’ programme in Japan, according to a press release issued by HAISON. The companies are: AK Khan & Co., Pacific Quality Control Centre, Conveyor Group, HNS Group, Japan Solar Tech, SIMCO Spinning and Textiles, Synergies Sourcing Bangladesh, Amex Knitting & Dyeing, Newaz Nahid Consulting and Al Maruf Khan of Hawladar Yunus & Co. The Bangladesh companies will discuss prospective business deals with their respective Japanese counterparts and exhibit their products and negotiate with the Japanese companies, it added. HAISON, an investor adviser and management services firm, has organised the programme beginning from April 08 and ending on April 14, with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Tokyo.
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)||$ 67.13||↓0.31||↓0.46%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 72.31||↓0.25||↓0.35%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,351.25||↓2.13||↓0.16%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.05|
|GBP 1||BDT 117.77|
|EUR 1||BDT 102.70|
|INR 1||BDT 1.27|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.