BB frees up Tk 3,000cr for farmers, micro enterprises
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday unveiled a financial package of Tk 3,000 crore for underprivileged farmers, professionals and micro enterprises to keep them afloat. Marginal businesses and farmers with no access to banks and non-bank financial institutions will be allowed to get loans from the revolving fund at 9 per cent interest rate. Microfinance institutes (MFIs) with certificates from the Microcredit Regulatory Authority can give out the loans. Under the package, the BB will initially provide the fund to banks at 1 per cent interest, which they will lend to MFIs at 3.5 per cent interest. The MFIs will be allowed to charge a maximum of 9 per cent interest to borrowers. Small businesses like roadside tea stalls can get loans, the highest amount of which would be Tk 75,000. If the small businesses are owned by more than five persons, the loan ceiling would go up to Tk 3 lakh. The loans must be paid back within a year. But MFIs will be allowed to disburse loans ranging from Tk 10 lakh to Tk 30 lakh to micro enterprises and their repayment duration would be two years. Banks will have to follow the instruction until June 30.
Listed companies holding AGMs online
Some listed multinational companies (MNCs) including Grameenphone will hold their annual general meeting (AGM) through digital platform avoiding public gathering to contain COVID-19 infection. The move came after the securities regulator paved the way of holding AGM or EGM using digital platform amid the alarming spread of COVID-19. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on March 24 last relaxed the compliances regarding holding AGM/EGM and board meeting, among others. Of the MNCs, Grameenphone will hold AGM today (April 21), while British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company (BATBC) will hold its AGM tomorrow (April 22). Both the companies will hold their AGM for the year ended on December 31, 2019. Grameenphone recommended 40 per cent final cash dividend (i.e. total 130 per cent cash dividend for the year 2019 which represents 50.86 per cent of profit after tax for the year 2019 inclusive of 90 per cent interim cash dividend which has already been paid). The company reported EPS of Tk. 25.56, NAV per share of Tk. 28.40 and NOCFPS of Tk. 42.50 for the year ended on December 31, 2019 as against Tk. 24.71, Tk. 27.28 and Tk. 44.74 respectively for the same period of the previous year. The BATBC recommended 400 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. The company reported EPS of Tk. 51.37, NAV per share of Tk. 198.85 and NOCFPS of Tk. 86.61 for the year ended on December 31, 2019 as against Tk. 55.62, Tk. 164.05 and Tk. 49.58 respectively for the same period of the previous year. .
Meghna Bank gets new MD
Meghna Bank Ltd. has appointed Sohail R. K. Hussain as its Managing Director and CEO. Mr. Hussain has over 30 years of experience and expertise in corporate, SME, green, retail and infrastructure financing. He is a pioneer in digitisation, redefining strategies, merger & acquisition, advisory, and structured finance transactions. Mr Hussain played an instrumental role in transforming Eastern Bank Ltd and The City Bank Ltd. He served The City Bank as Managing Director & CEO from November 2013 to January 2019. Previously, Mr Hussain served the Eastern Bank, Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank, and ANZ Grindlays Bank. He was also the Vice Chairman of Association of Bankers.
Guardian Life starts online claim settlement under lockdown
Under the ongoing lockdown and social distancing situation, Guardian Life Insurance is all set keep its commitment to the customers by introducing “Online Claim Submission (OCS)” platform to submit claims digitally. Corporate customers of Guardian Life from now on will be able to submit Life and Medical claims (Hospitalization / Outdoor Patient / Death) via mobile, laptop or desktop anytime, anywhere. The claims will then be evaluated by the team from the system and eventually be paid out from the system via online payment channels. Guardian Life is already selling Life Insurance Policies Online through its EasyLife App and Website where customers can buy life insurance policies within just 15 minutes from anywhere. While ensuring the continuity of its business operations with the philosophy of ‘Stay home, stay safe’, Guardian Life has taken necessary steps to safeguard the health and well-being of its customers, members, employees and the community as a whole.
Lentil, sugar, ginger prices rise further
The prices of kitchen stuff like lentil, sugar and imported ginger have witnessed a further hike, hitting hard the commoners during this stay-at-home period. All types of lentil have witnessed a Tk 10-20 hike in prices per kg in the past two days, adding woes to the consumers in this time of coronavirus lockdown. The price of finer lentil variety shot up to Tk 140-145, medium quality to Tk 100-110 and coarse variety to Tk 80-85 a kg on Monday. The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has recorded an 8.0-28 per cent surge in lentil prices in the past two days. Meanwhile, sugar rose in price to Tk 70-75 a kg from Tk 68-72 two days back, according to the state agency. Imported Chinese ginger prices also continued to swell it was retailed at Tk 310-360 per kg. Bangladesh has an annual demand for 1.45 million tonnes of pulses of which lentil comprises 0.65 million tonnes. It produces only 0.18 million tonnes of lentil while the rest is met through import.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↓ 592.05||↓ 2.44 %|
|FTSE100||5812.83||↑ 25.87||↑ 0.45 %|
|Nikkei 225||19276.41||↓ 392.71||↓ 2.00 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 1.55||↑ 39.18||↑ 104.12 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 25.41||↓ 0.16||↓ 0.63 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1687.25||↓ 8.40||↓ 0.50 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.1795|
|GBP 1||BDT 103.615|
|EUR 1||BDT 90.3703|
|INR 1||BDT 1.09387|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<