Govt’s borrowing from Banks almost half of its plan
The Government’s Bank borrowing last fiscal year was almost half of what it had planned to, thanks to its lower development expenditure and higher sales of national savings certificates, much to the relief of the cash-strapped Banking sector. In fiscal 2018-19, Tk 17,179 crore was borrowed from the Banking sector although the target set at the beginning of the year was Tk 30,895 crore, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. The difference was made up by extensive sales of savings certificates: Tk 49,939 crore against the target of Tk 26,197 crore. Furthermore, the need to borrow from Banks was not pressing as implementation of the development budget lagged. The ministries and divisions could not spend Tk 18,619 crore of the development budget of Tk 167,000 crore, according to the data from the planning ministry. Similarly, the full allocation for non-development purposes and subsidies was not used up, said a finance ministry official. The lower expenditure on all fronts also cushioned the blow of the National Board of Revenue missing its collection target of Tk 280,000 crore by a staggering Tk 56,108 crore.
BB plans uniform method to calculate Cost of Funds
The Central Bank is set to come up with a new formula for calculating the Cost of Funds for Banks with a view to bringing down the interest rate on lending, much to the trepidation of Bankers. The Cost of Funds is the interest rate paid by lenders for the funds they use in their business. The move comes as Banks now calculate their Cost of Funds following different methods, raising questions of transparency. In a bid to bring uniformity the Bangladesh Bank has now decided to come up with a blanket formula that all Banks must use to calculate their Cost of Funds. Bankers said that the forthcoming method will help the Central Bank to keep the interest rate on lending at 9 percent — a move that will have a negative impact on lenders. To make profit, Banks keep the spread at at least 5 percent. The spread between the Cost of Funds and the interest rate charged to borrowers represents one of the main sources of profit for many financial institutions. The Cost of Funds is one of the most important input costs for a lender since a lower cost will end up generating better returns when the funds are used for short-term and long-term loans to borrowers. Lenders will also be allowed to include a maximum of 70 percent of their administrative expenses — such as salary payment to their employees — when they will calculate their total cost. Besides, expenditures related to the corporate social responsibility and performance and incentive bonus payment for their employees will not be included with the total cost. Banks are now calculating 100 percent administrative cost, provisioning for default loans, CSR expenditure and performance and incentive bonus to determine their total cost. For this reason, the total cost of Banks will decrease when the new method will be effective. The country’s Banking sector is now following the global best practices to determine their Cost of Funds, said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, a platform of the private Banks’ managing directors. Asked whether the upcoming formula will arrest the lending rate, he said there is no scope to make a comment to this end as the guidelines are yet to be circulated.
Sojitz, Energypac want PPP to build Seaport, Industrial Park
Japanese Sojitz Corporation and local Energypac want the Bangladesh Government to get involved in their $2-billion plan to build a seaport and energy industrial park in Chattogram under a public-private partnership (PPP). The PPP is aimed at faster implementation of the project at Mirsarai Economic Zone and raising funds as well, said Nurul Aktar, a director of Energypac Power Generation. Sojitz and Energypac have shared their plan with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Chittagong Port Authority in order to involve the Government with the project. As per the initial feasibility study, the two firms will need to invest $1.2 billion within 2024 to complete the first phase of the seaport and the investment will reach $2 billion to build the full-fledged seaport. The port would be able to anchor 30,000 to 40,000-tonne cargo vessel, much higher from the present capacity of only 10,000-tonne at Chattogram port. The port and industrial park would create 100,000 jobs and business opportunities for different sectors such as logistics and shipping.
Trading on DSE, CSE resumes today
Trading and official activities on both the bourses of the country will resume today (Sunday) after a nine-day Eid-ul-Azha holiday, officials said. Trading hours on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) are from 10:30am to 2:30pm while the office hours are from 9:30am to 5:30pm. Both the bourses closed higher on August 08, the last trading session before the Eid vacation, including a public holiday and the weekends. DSEX, the prime index of the prime bourse, settled at 5,201, gaining 14.22 points or 0.27 per cent. The Chittagong Stock Exchange also closed marginally higher with the CSE All Share Price Index-CASPI-advancing 44 points to settle at 15,896 while the Selective Categories Index-CSCX-gaining 27 points to finish at 9,660.
26 Listed Companies’ categories changed in first six months
The categories of 26 Listed Companies were changed during January-June, 2019 based on their performances including the recommendation of dividends. Of 26 companies, 14 were upgraded to ‘A’ category from their previous ‘Z’ and ‘N’ categories, according to information of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). Three ‘Z’ category companies were upgraded to ‘B’ category, while seven ‘A’ category companies were degraded to ‘B’ category. Two ‘A’ category companies were also degraded to ‘Z’ category, the worst performing status, as they failed to declare any dividend. To qualify in ‘A’ category, a company must be regular in holding annual general meeting (AGM) along with declaring dividend at the rate of 10 per cent or above. A company which holds AGM regularly but unable to recommend dividend at least at the rate of 10 per cent is traded under the ‘B’ category. Most of the companies which were upgraded to ‘A’ category were newly listed and traded under ‘N’ category. The ‘N’ category companies which were upgraded to ‘A’ category are M. L. Dyeing, Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals, Advent Pharma, VFS Thread Dyeing, Kattali Textile, SK Trims & Industries, Bashundhara Paper Mills, Intraco Refueling Station, Aman Cotton Fibrous and Queen South Textile Mills. Three ‘Z’ category companies namely Bangas, Shurwid Industries and Eastern Cables were upgraded to ‘A’ category. The ‘B’ category company Bangladesh Autocars was also upgraded to ‘A’ category. Presently the number of ‘A’ category companies is 220 on the premier bourse DSE.
Govt considers LNG buy from Spot Market
State-run Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd has initiated master sales agreements (MSAs) with 17 global suppliers separately to source liquefied natural gas (LNG) from spot market. Final deals will be signed soon following the approval from the cabinet committee on economic affairs. The Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) has already decided, in principle, to import around one-fourth of the country’s total LNG requirement from the spot market to reap the benefit of falling prices. Spot market is a public market in which financial instruments or commodities are traded for immediate delivery. Spot market for the LNG was developed over the past several years with the gluts of LNG output alongside the growth of emerging markets for LNG (liquefied natural gas). Market insiders said the Platts JKM, which represents the prices of spot cargoes delivered to northeast Asia, averaged around $4.93 per MMBtu (million British thermal unit) in the second quarter of 2019, down from $8.26 per Mmbtu a year ago. However, state-run Petrobangla has been importing LNG under term deals within the range of around $8.5 per Mmbtu to $10 per Mmbtu over the past one year since April 24, 2018, when the first shipment reached Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal.
Dhaka wants to host C’wealth Business Conf’ce in 2020
Bangladesh wants to host a Commonwealth business conference early next year. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has proposed to host the ‘Commonwealth Business-to-business Connectivity’ conference in Dhaka in the first quarter of 2020, reports bdnews24.com. The UK, Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, hosted the 18th CFAMM, a special meeting marking the 70th founding anniversary as it embarks on a historic reform process. The state minister headed a six-member Bangladesh delegation at the meeting. Shahriar Alam outlined Bangladesh’s plan to launch a virtual hub for connecting business, trade and policy making bodies for both documentation and showcasing business opportunities across the Commonwealth. He urged the Commonwealth member states to share their business and trade information to help enrich the proposed virtual platform.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Nikkei 225|| 20,418.81||↑13.16||↑0.06%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 54.87 ||↑0.40|| ↑0.73%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 58.64 ||↑0.41||↑0.70%|
|Gold Spot|| $ 1,513.52||↓9.77||↓0.64%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.9330|
|GBP 1||BDT 100.666|
|EUR 1||BDT 91.9561|
|INR 1||BDT 1.16135|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<