Eid pushes up call money rate
The call money rate edged up to around 4.5 percent yesterday after hovering between 2 percent and 3 percent for several months on the back of a cash withdrawal pressure in the lead up to Eid-ul-Azha. Still, the rate is far less than the cost of funds for banks, as there is ample liquidity in the banking sector. Presently, banks take deposits at least 6 percent interest rate. The weighted average rate in the call money market went to nearly 4.5 percent yesterday, up from 4.37 percent a day earlier, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. At the end of June, the total excess liquidity in the banking sector stood at nearly Tk 94,000 crore, up 22.25 percent from three months earlier. The call money market had remained calm despite a large amount of cash withdrawal from banks ahead of Eid as there was no liquidity crunch in the banking sector. The rate was a mere 1.5 percent on the first day of this month, 1.58 percent on August 7 and 2.68 percent on August 13. The interest rate has gone up in the call money market as clients had withdrawn cash heavily from banks ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. The highest rate in the call money market remained unchanged at 5 percent yesterday like the previous working days.
Mobile data leads to internet boom
The number of the country’s active internet connections increased about 20 percent year-on-year to 8.78 crore at the end of June on the back of fast-growing mobile internet and the government’s push for digitalisation. The internet industry added more than 1.44 crore active connections in the last one year. The launch of 4G in February this year, subscribers are getting higher speed and the fourth-generation technology is expected to boost the internet connections further. Mobile internet users numbered 8.20 crore at the end of June, meaning out of the country’s 15.09 crore active mobile connections, 54.34 percent have internet connections. When 3G was launched, mobile internet connections stood at 3.65 crore. The mobile industry added more than 1 crore new connections every year on an average to their network in the last five years.
Dhaka stocks soar on BSEC’s market makeover move ahead of PM visit
Dhaka stocks soared on Sunday, extending the gaining trend to the third day, as investors went for heavy buying of financial scrips amid a speculation that the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission was trying to ‘improve’ the market condition ahead of a scheduled visit of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to the commission.Despite a fall in the prices of two-thirds of the traded scrips, DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, advanced by 1.29 per cent, or 70.76 points, to close at 5,538.50 points on Sunday because of heavy gains of financial scrips. The DSEX gained 160 points in last three consecutive sessions. In line with the previous session, the market began with an upbeat momentum that increased sharply in late trading. The market regulator’s move to suspend the trading of shares of three low-profile companies due to an unusual rise in their share prices and send five more to spot market drove investors towards the financial sector scrips — banks, non-bank financial institutions and insurance companies. Investors should not take decision on the basis of rumours. NBFIs and banks shot up by 5.4 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively with strong trading volume. All the issues of financial sectors advanced except two banks which remained unchanged on Sunday. Besides the financial scrips, the share prices of cement, pharmaceuticals and food advanced on the day.
Falling rupee a double-edged sword for economy: analysts
India’s rupee hit fresh record lows Thursday amid warnings that benefits to exporters from a weaker currency would be offset by the higher price paid by Asia’s third-largest economy for oil. The rupee slid to 70.38 to the dollar just two days after crossing 70 for the first time as India got dragged into the turbulence of the Turkish financial crisis. The rupee has been steadily falling throughout 2018 after starting the year at 63.67. The weaker rupee will help India sell goods and its huge services sector in overseas markets, but the country is a massive importer of oil, securing more than two-thirds of its needs from abroad. South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Russia have all seen their currencies slip over the past week because, like Turkey, they remain heavily dependent on dollar-dominated foreign capital. India’s central bank has raised interest rates twice this year, in part to help increase the value of the rupee. But the currency can expect more fluctuations until the price of oil and economic conditions in emerging markets stabilize.
BB pumps Tk 3.6b into three banks
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) injected funds amounting to nearly Tk 3.60 billion into three banks on Sunday to help minimise their cash withdrawal pressure ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha. The central bank provided the funds to the banks using its assured liquidity support facility to help manage their funds smoothly. The weighted average rate (WAR) on call money rose to around 4.50 per cent on Sunday from 2.17 per cent on August 12. They also said the banks now see low demand for cash from their vaults ahead of the Eid festivals. A large number of people are now using MFS, agent banking and e-banking for transactions. These services have reduced the tendency to keep cash in their wallets. Presently, around 10 million debit cards and more than 0.90 million credit cards are being used across the country.
Bangladesh to invite US to invest in SEZs
Bangladesh would request the United States to invest in the special economic zones in Bangladesh but would not discuss the issue of generalised system of preferences (GSP) at the fourth round of meeting of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement to be held in Washington on September 13. They were setting the agenda for the meeting and the issues including investment opportunities, market access of Bangladeshi products and implementation of trade facilitation agreement would get high priority. Another commerce ministry official said that trade and investment issue, market access of Bangladeshi products, custom and supplementary duty structure, labour issue, prices of Bangladeshi export products especially readymade garments would be discussed in the fourth round of TICFA meeting. By producing the progress Bangladesh would demand ensuring ethical buying practice from the US buyers.
Banks, NBFIs perk up stocks
The Dhaka bourse continued to gain for the third consecutive day yesterday thanks to the investors’ increasing interest on shares of bank and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs). The price rise of the two sectors—bank 4.38 percent and NBFIs 5.40 percent—pulled the index up at a time when most of the other stocks experienced a huge fall. For instance, textile lost 3.27 percent, engineering 2.08 percent and fuel and power 0.59 percent. However, the DSEX, the benchmark index of the premier bourse, rose 70.76 points or 1.29 percent before finishing the day at 5,538.50. Investors are leaning towards banks and NBFIs to find an alternative to low-cap stocks and junks, which are facing a new regulatory squeeze because of abnormal price hikes. Banking stocks declined 28.5 percent and lost Tk 20,730 crore in market capitalisation in the current year. To create a balance in investments, investors are pouring money in banks and NBFIs.
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)||$ 65.67||↓0.24||↓0.36%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$71.61||↓0.22||↓0.31%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8050|
|GBP 1||BDT 106.7927|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.7556|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1996|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.