Imports hit all-time high
For the first time in Bangladesh’s 47-year history, imports crossed the $50 billion mark in a single fiscal year. In fiscal 2017-18, letters of credit settlement stood at $51.53 billion, up 16.40 percent year-on-year, on the back of rising demand for food grains and petroleum products. Rice imports ballooned more than 23 times to $1.71 billion thanks to abnormal flooding last year that destroyed crops. Import of petroleum products stood at $3.34 billion last fiscal year, up 32.70 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. On June 30, the inter-bank exchange rate stood at Tk 83.75 per dollar, up from Tk 80.60, according to data from the BB. Last fiscal year, import of industrial raw materials increased 12.36 percent year-on-year to $18.22 billion and that of capital machinery 4.48 percent to $4.66 billion. The opening of overall LCs stood at $69.42 billion last fiscal year, up 44.25 percent from a year earlier.
$44b export target set for FY19
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday said the government has set an export target of US$44 billion for fiscal 2018-19 (FY19). Of the total, $39 billion is targeted for goods export while $5.0 billion for service sector,” he said at his secretariat office after a meeting that finalized the new target, reports BSS. In the current fiscal (FY19), he said, the government has decided to provide 10 per cent cash incentive to nine new products along with the existing 27 items.
The new products are soft shell crab, pharmaceutical items and its raw materials, ceramic items, galvanized iron coil slit shit, photovoltaic modules, razor and razor blades, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, caustic soda and Hydrogen peroxide etc. In fiscal 2017-18 (FY18), export earning was $40.94 billion against the target of $41 billion. The growth in goods export was 6.36 per cent while in the service sector it was 7.43 per cent. The overall export growth was 6.47 per cent.
DSEX crosses 5,400-mark as banks keep gaining
Stocks finished higher for the two straight sessions with core index of the premier bourse exceeding 5,400-mark on Wednesday as investors continued their buying spree. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) went up by 24 points or 0.44 per cent to settle at 5,405. DSEX crosses the 5,400-mark after six weeks. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, also advanced 3.45 points to finish at 1,905 points. However, the DSE Shariah Index fell 4.0 points to close at 1,252. Turnover, an important indicator of the market, also increased slightly as the total turnover stood at Tk 7.24 billion, which was 2.0 per cent higher than the previous day’s Tk 7.10 billion. The textile sectors topped the turnover chart, grabbing 25 per cent of the day’s total turnover, followed by engineering with 20 per cent and banking 11 per cent. Telecommunication witnessed the highest loss of 1.85 per cent, followed by power with 0.67 per cent, financial institutions 0.10 per cent and pharmaceuticals 0.02 per cent. Of the 338 issues traded, 163 declined, 141 advanced and 34 issues remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor. A total number of 153,890 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with trading volume of 191.38 million securities.
No rate cut on savings tools this year
The interest rate on savings instruments will remain unchanged for the time being, in a development that can be termed an about turn for Finance Minister AMA Muhith. The rate of interest on savings certificates is about 12 percent whereas deposits with banks yield 6 percent. On the basis of the recommendation of the finance ministry the new government will take a decision. Banks last week pledged to lower the interest rates on lending and deposits to 9 percent and 6 percent respectively from August 9. The state-owned enterprises must keep their funds with private banks and the interest rates on national savings instruments are lowered in line with the bank deposit rates.
LafargeHolcim Bangladesh inks deal with Citibank
LafargeHolcim Bangladesh Limited (LHBL) and Citibank, N.A., Bangladesh have signed an agreement towards cooperation that enables LHBL to implement its ‘Supplier Invoice Financing’ programme, according to a statement. CEO of LHBL and N. Rajashekaran, managing director and Citi Country Officer – Bangladesh, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Supplier Invoice Financing” is a programme offered by LHBL for their loyal and long standing suppliers. Under this programme, LHBL’s suppliers will avail early payment facility with simple and convenient terms and procedures.
Intra-Commonwealth trade can reach $700b by 2020
Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland yesterday underscored the need for further promoting trade within member states, saying that the volume can be enhanced to $700 billion by 2020. Scotland was presenting a lecture on “Commonwealth Advantage: Progress and Potential” organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in Dhaka. She urged liberalising trade within member countries which would boost economic development. If red-tapism and paperwork can be reduced by 10 percent, merchandise exports among member countries can be raised by 5 percent…amid growing trend of trade protectionism in the world, member countries can reap huge benefit through common trade facilitation system. Graduating into middle-income status, sees good value and use in rules-based preferential and free trading system, especially within a Commonwealth of 2.3 billion people. To enhance trade and investment, he said, they seriously need to take forward the visa liberalisation project discussed during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta for providing smart cards or long-term multiple visa schemes for bona fide businesspeople.
38 govt, pvt agencies ink deal with NBR
A total of 38 government and private agencies signed agreements with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to be connected with the National Single Window (NSW) system. The NBR and the International Finance Corporation, an arm of World Bank Group, jointly organised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony on ‘National Single Window’ at a city hotel on Tuesday. The NBR is implementing the NSW with support from the World Bank Group under Bangladesh Regional Connectivity Project with customs modernisation and NSW implementation components involving $74.1 million. The DFID-funded Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund is providing technical assistance to design and develop technical and functional specifications while IFC is implementing it. The MoU outlines the general principle of collaboration, roles of different parties, preliminary commitment for business process and policy reform to make NSW system effective and sustainable. According to the NBR, a total of 0.3 million traders, importers and exporters are expected to be benefited from reduced time and cost for trade in the fifth year of the operation of the solution.
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)||$67.02||↑0.08||↑0.12%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$72.52||↑0.24||↑0.33%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8050|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.9408|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.3395|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2229|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.