BB clears way for freelancers to earn more from abroad
The central bank yesterday raised the maximum limit for inward remittances from $2,000 to $5,000 per transaction for freelancers and outsourcing companies. Bangladesh Bank issued a notice yesterday, allowing authorised dealers to bring in funds from overseas against outsourcing services by signing deals with online payment gateway service providers. Shameem Ahsan, a former president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services or BASIS, welcomed the decision. “This will help freelancers and outsourcing companies bring in their export income in larger amounts,” he said. The facility covers inward remittances against small-value services such as data entry/data processing, offshore IT services, business process outsourcing. Under the initiative, freelancers and outsourcing companies can receive their overseas payments through Paypal, Money Bookers, Best Payment Gateway and Virtual Pay.
IDLC Investments yesterday formally introduced a monthly investment product — Easy Invest — for the retail investors, especially those who have limited knowledge on the capital market. Easy Invest offers an individual investor an opportunity to deposit a minimum of Tk 3,000 a month, which IDLC will trade in a structured manner for them and reduce the risks for cost averaging over a long time. It is a discretionary portfolio management product that will build a portfolio over time, with small investments at regular intervals. The newly launched product is designed to attract small savers and bring people who lost hope since the market crash five years ago back to the stockmarket, said Arif Khan, managing director of IDLC Finance that owns IDLC Investments. “This is a new concept in our country, even though it is popular in India — commonly known as systematic investment plan,” he said at the launch of Easy Invest.
AKM Shameem has recently been appointed as the managing director of The Farmers Bank Ltd. He joined this new bank in May 2013, the bank said in a statement yesterday. Before joining the bank, he has been serving Mutual Trust Bank, according to the statement. He started his banking career with Agrani Bank. Shameem did his honors and masters in economics and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration under Dhaka University. He has also been an executive committee member of Bangladesh Economic Association.
Point-to-point inflation in July declined to 5.40% as the non-food inflation decreased considerably, official data showed Tuesday. In the previous month, June, the inflation rate was recorded at 5.53%. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in its data showed that the inflation on the non-food items fell significantly by 0.52% points to 6.98% in the past month from 7.50% in the previous month. The food inflation in July, however, increased slightly by 0.13% points to 4.35% from that of 4.23% in June. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal unveiled the BBS consumer price index (CPI) Tuesday in Dhaka after a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). About the higher food inflation, Mr Kamal cited celebration of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival as one of the reasons. According to the BBS data, the inflation rates both in rural and urban areas also fell in July compared to that of previous month. The national statistical body’s data showed that the inflation rate in the rural areas in July this year recorded a slight fall to 4.54% from 4.63% in June.
Country’s overall economic situation was positive in the immediate-past financial year and it would even be better in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal, says a leading business body. The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Dhaka, portrayed the fair looks of the economy while making a review of the situation that was in the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16. As per the chamber’s forecast, exports, imports and remittances would increase further in the Q1 of the current fiscal in a relatively calm political situation to form the bedrock for a better economy. It held the view that although the progress made was below the potential, the country experienced stable growth, with inflation remaining under control, the exchange rate stable, and foreign-exchange reserves rising to a comfortable level. According to the review, the agriculture sector performed well in FY16, but continuous government support with inputs and finance would be needed to sustain the sector’s growth. The services and manufacturing sectors are also doing well but they will need government support in different fields. But, the existing infrastructure deficits and gas-and power- supply problems, according to the MCCI, are undermining the performance of all productive sectors of the economy.
World Bank to give USD 120.0 million to develop infrastructure
The World Bank (WB) will provide Bangladesh with USD 120.0 million in technical and financial support under a project for development of infrastructure in the bordering areas to increase regional connectivity and trade under the BBIN initiative. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said this after an exchange of views meeting with a WB delegation led by WB Country Director Qimiao Fan, at his secretariat office on Tuesday. Primarily, the Bangladesh Regional Connectivity Project-1 will be implemented involving BDT 10 billion, he said. The Ministry of Commerce will implement the project on Bangladesh side. Earlier four countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) – had signed a deal to facilitate regional trade and develop connectivity to foster growth. The project will promote investment to improve a couple of land-ports under the Ministry of Shipping, and will also support National Board of Revenue to set up a single window for trade, which will connect the ministries concerned.
Banks reluctant to give loans to marginal people from Bangladesh Bank fund
Banks are reluctant to disburse loans to BDT 10-account holders by taking fund from the Bangladesh Bank refinance scheme of BDT 2.0 billion as they (banks) think that the rate of interest on the credit product is lower than that of other loans. Due to the banks’ stance, marginal people are being deprived of loans under the scheme, BB officials said. According to the latest BB data, the 32 banks which signed participation agreements with the central bank to use the refinance fund, disbursed only BDT 0.2 billion, or 18.3% of their annual target of BDT 1.2 billion, in the first six months of 2016. A BB official told New Age on Tuesday that the banks had not taken adequate measures to disburse the loans to marginal people considering the rate of interest on the credit product was lower than that of other loans.
Grameenphone yesterday launched MyGP application to help its customers access all services, offers, bonus and rewards of the telecom operator from a single digital self-care channel. The app, which is now available for downloads in Google Play and Apple Store, was launched at a programme at the Westin Dhaka. Regular data charge will be applicable for download and usage of the app, the operator said in a statement. The app can also be used offline, but real time information will not be updated without internet connection, according to the statement. Both prepaid and postpaid customers can use the app. A user’s current bill, usage, remaining data, call rates, STAR status and offers will be shown in the top of the dashboard. With Grameenphone’s internet, users will be automatically logged in; but if they are on Wi-Fi, they need to log in using a Connect ID, which is the login solution of Telenor. If a user changes his/her handset, they have to re-install the app on the new device.
Voluntary retirement for Airtel employees on cards
Airtel employees are free to leave Robi under a voluntary retirement scheme after the two operators merge, if they do not want to be a part of the merged entity. All 450 employees of Airtel will get the benefit under the scheme, which will be of international standards. The development, which was chalked up by the telecom regulator, will go some way toward assuaging the nerves of Airtel’s employees who fear job losses after the merger. Grameenphone announced a similar scheme in June, which was taken up by about 350 employees. According to Grameenphone’s programme, employees in three categories, based on the tenure of service, will receive the scheme benefit.
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.
ABOUT DHAKA BANK
Dhaka Bank has truly cherished and brought into focus the heritage and history of Dhaka and Bangladesh from Mughal outpost to modern metropolis. Most of its presentation, publications, brand initiatives, delivery channels, calendars and financial manifestations bear Bank’s commitment to this attachment.