Deal on $185m WB assistance for renewable Energy
The World Bank [WB] will provide $185 million to Bangladesh to add up to 310 Megawatt [MW] in renewable energy generation capacity and mobilize private sector participation to meet the growing demand for electricity in the country, reports BSS. The Economic Relations Division [ERD] Secretary Monowar Ahmed and World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Dandan Chen will sign the loan agreement for the “Bangladesh Scaling-up Renewable Energy Project” on behalf of their respective sides today [Thursday] at the NEC-2 Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The $185 million credit also includes a $ 26.38 million loan and a $ 2.87 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund [SCF] of the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds [CIFs]. The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association [IDA], which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period, and an interest rate of 1.25 per cent with a service charge of 0.75 per cent. The SCF loan is on Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme [SREP] loan terms and has a maturity of 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years. The project will help mobilize up to $ 212 million from the private sector, Commercial Banks and other sources of financing and establish a dedicated Renewable Energy Financing Facility to provide credit to developers of both rooftop solar Photovoltaic [PV] and large-scale solar PV projects. The power sector in Bangladesh has grown rapidly with maximum generation capacity increased from a little over 4,000 MW in 2009 to more than 20,000 MW in 2018.
Option open for importing LNG from Spot Market
The government yesterday gave the green light to Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] purchase from the global spot market as it looks to ensure an uninterrupted supply for the fast-growing economy. At present, the government purchases LNG under long-term agreements from Qatar and Oman, and given the rise in geopolitical tension in the region there are risks of supply disruptions. As per the spot market policy on LNG import, the government can purchase LNG from 17 companies at rates prevailing in the global spot market. Of the companies, six are from Singapore and four from Japan. The Japanese firms are Mitsui & Co, Marubeni Corporation, Osaka Gas and Jera Co Inc. The Singaporean Companies are Diamond Gas International, Vitol Asia, Trafigura, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore, Cheniere Marketing LLP and Chevron USA Inc, Singapore.
DMCB receives BIZZ AWARD from US Organization
World Confederation of Business [WORLDCOB], a US-based international organization, has handed over the BIZZ AWARD-2019 to Dhaka Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd. [DMCB]. BIZZ AWARD is an international awards programme which offers recognition of business excellence in different countries across the globe. The DMCB was selected to receive the prestigious award considering its good business leadership quality, quality service, innovation, management systems, good governance and corporate social responsibility [CSR] activities. The WORLDCOB was founded on September 9, 2004, in the city of Houston, Texas, USA, under the name of MPBM, Co.
New Era begins in Livestock Insurance
Green Delta Insurance and Brac Bank yesterday rolled out the country’s first-ever livestock insurance for cattle farmers on a pilot basis, a development that can go on to become a game changer for the cattle industry. The loan-based product, which is backed by insurance, will be piloted for one year on 400 farmers across the country. Disability, death and pregnancy-related complexities of cattle would be under insurance coverage and premium of the insurance would be 3 percent of the assumed value of the livestock. Farmers who take loans from Brac Bank for their livestock would be able to take the insurance coverage. Green Delta began a weather index-based crop insurance in 2016. It has been insuring around 10,000 farmers in several crops and settled claims to 2,200 farmers for unseasonal excess rainfall, cyclone signal and cold spell on different seasonal crops. Cattle insurance was first launched in 1970 by Sadharan Bima Corporation but it was nipped in the bud due to the absence of technology.
Axiata-Trust Bank JV gets nod to launch MFS
A joint venture of Trust Bank and Malaysia’s Axiata Group is set to roll out a new kind of mobile financial service in Bangladesh after it received a no-objection certificate from the central Bank yesterday. The Kuala Lumpur-based group is the parent company of Bangladesh’s second largest mobile phone operator Robi and controls 68.7 percent stake. Robi has 4.79 crore active subscribers. Axiata Digital Ltd, the digital services arm of the group, has partnered with Trust Bank Limited, a private commercial Bank, to join the growing MFS sector. The joint venture is planning to promote wallet-based services, which will ultimately help expedite financial inclusion in the country. In 2015 both parties reached a consensus and decided to form a joint venture company styled Trust Axiata Digital Ltd, where the Bank would hold 51 percent stake. The entity’s initial paid-up capital has been proposed to be Tk 45 crore. Axiata Digital currently offers digital financial services in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Indonesia – the countries where Axiata Group has mobile business. In these markets, Axiata Digital is offering various savings products and fixed deposit. Even customers can get business loans through accounts.
BD to set up 12 Hi-tech Parks with Indian Support
State Minister for Information and Communications Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak has said that the government will set up 12 Hi-tech Parks in the country within next four years with the help of India. After completion of the Parks, around 30,000 youths will be trained as skilled IT manpower. The present government has been able to negotiate the water issues of the Ganges, Teesta, Hill Peace Agreement and a revolutionary change in the development of the power sector. Bangladesh’s trade with India has exceeded 10 million dollar. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das was present as the guest of honor at the workshop. The Indian government will be funding the setting up of 12 hi-tech parks in 12 districts of Bangladesh.
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