Trade deficit rises to USD 2.8 billion in July-October
The country’s trade deficit increased by 12.5% to USD 2.8 billion in the first four months of the current financial year of 2016-17 compared with that of USD 2.5 billion in the corresponding period of FY16. The deficit increased during the period due to lower export earnings against higher import payments. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, the export earnings posted a 6.8% growth in the July-October period of the FY17 compared with that of 3.9% growth in the same period a fiscal year ago. The export earnings stood at USD 10.5 billion in the first four months of the FY17 while the earnings were USD 9.9 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year. The imports registered a growth of 7.9% in the July-October period compared with that of 1.7% growth in the first four months of FY16. The import payment stood at USD 13.3 billion in the first four months of the FY17 while it was USD 12.3 billion in the corresponding period a year ago. The current account balance, the gap between export receipts and net earnings in services including remittances and import payments and profit repatriation by multinationals and local people, registered a deficit amount of USD 16.0 million in the first four months of FY17 from a surplus amount of USD 1.2 billion in the same period a fiscal year ago. The BB data showed that the country’s inward remittance posted a negative growth of 15.6% in July-October of FY 17 compared with that of a negative growth of 0.58% in the same period a financial year ago. The inflow of inward remittance decreased to USD 4.2 billion in the first four months of FY17 from USD 4.96 billion during the corresponding period of FY16.
IDRA to carry out special audit of eight non-life insurers
The insurance regulator Wednesday appointed eight independent auditors to carry out special audits on authentication of management expenses and allied matters of eight non-life insurers. The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) had earlier carried out identical audit on life firms. People, familiar with the development at the IDRA, told the FE the special audit is meant for protection of interests of policyholders and shareholders. The IDRA sent an official order in this respect to the non-life firms concerned Wednesday. The eight firms are Continental Insurance Company, Express Insurance Company, Federal Insurance Company, Green Delta Insurance Company, Islami Insurance Bangladesh Company, Progati Insurance Company, Union Insurance Company and Phoenix Insurance Company. The auditors will check, review, analyse and verify different heads of expenses in order to justify and authenticate expenses by the general insurance companies. The special audits will give detailed picture of the premium accounts. The audit teams will examine capital expenditures (investment) as well.
75pc of migrant workers received lower wages than promised
More than 75 percent of migrant workers said they received wages lower than what they were promised before they left their home countries, or experienced unforeseen deductions. About 14.5 percent of the respondents said they did not receive wages on time, according to a survey by the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation conducted in the Asia-Pacific and Gulf regions. The findings of the survey were presented yesterday at the 16th ILO Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting in Bali, Indonesia. The number of respondents was not disclosed. About 30 percent of the workers did not have a contract prior to departure and they experienced health-related problems. Of them, about one in five had serious work-related injuries, which is above the national averages.
The government revenue earnings from the premier bourse fell 11.0% year-on-year in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY) on the back of falling trade volumes. Market insiders said on the back of falling trade volumes, the government earnings from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) fell accordingly, as earnings is related to trading volume. The government bagged tax worth about BDT 611.0 million in the first five months for July-November period of the FY 2016-2017, which was BDT 689.0 million in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to statistics from the DSE. The government earned the amount on TREC (trading right entitlement certificate) holders’ commission and share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders.Of the total revenue earnings of BDT 611.0 million in the first five months of the FY 2016-17, BDT 494.0 million came from the TREC holders’ commission and BDT 117.0 million came from the share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders, the DSE data showed. The DSE, on behalf of the government, collects the tax as TREC holders’ commission and share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders at the rate of 0.05% and 5.0% respectively and deposits the amount to the government exchequer. On the other hand, the government collected BDT 689 million in the first five months for July-November period of the FY 2015-16. Of them, BDT 462 million came from TREC holders’ commission and BDT 227.0 million came from share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders, according to DSE data.
Indian and Chinese companies are set to sign deals on four major components of Payra seaport — the third in Bangladesh that is being constructed at an estimated cost of $16 billion. A primary agreement on a major component of the port is likely to be signed with India Ports Global during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming visit to New Delhi this month. The two neighbouring countries’ shipping secretaries started talks in Dhaka yesterday to finalise the details of the agreement on the construction of a multipurpose (container) terminal at the port.
Petrobangla to ink deal wth Daweoo under special law
The state-owned Petrobangla initiated a deal with South Korean Posco Daweoo Corporation on Wednesday to carry out hydrocarbon exploration in deep-water gas block DS-12. Final production sharing contract (PSC) with Daewoo will be inked after getting clearance from the law ministry. This is the maiden PSC that Petrobangla has initiated under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provisions) Act 2010, Petrobangla Chairman Istiaque Ahmad said at the signing ceremony. The special law facilitates awarding of contracts bypassing tenders and also indemnifies officials concerned against prosecution for making decisions. Petrobangla inked all the previous PSCs with international oil companies under open tendering. As per the negotiation between the two sides, the Korean company will get two years instead of three years for initial exploration to carry out 2D seismic survey in 1,800 line kilometre area. Besides, in the third year of exploration, Daewoo will carry out 3D in 1,000 square-km area, and in the fourth and five years the Korean firm will drill at least one exploration well in the Bay, he said. Currently, no oil and gas exploration is being carried out in Bangladesh’s deep offshore blocks. Under the agreed terms, the contractor will bear all the costs. Recovery of the costs is subject to discovery of petroleum.
The number of mobile internet connections rose 7.9% to 63.0 million in September compared to the previous month, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Mobile internet accounts for more than 94.0% of the country’s total internet connections. As of September, the number of internet connections stands at 66.9 million. Of the number, 3.8 million are fixed broadband connections. The number of WiMax connections stands at 100,000 as of September with a consecutive decline, according to BTRC. In the last few months, the telecom industry lost many active mobile connections and mobile internet connections thanks to the launch of biometric re-registration that ended on May 31. In September, mobile operators got back 1.3 million SIMs while the industry now has 119.1 million active connections. The industry started 2016 with 133.7 million active connections, which went down to 117.7 million by the end of August.
Mobile users’ number rises in September after 3-month fall
The number of country’s active mobile phone users rose in September after three months as the mobile phone companies were losing subscribers following biometric SIM registration. According to the latest data released by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the total mobile subscribers of the country stood at 119.0 million in September which was 117.7 million in the previous month. In the June-August period, the mobile phone operators lost 13.6 million subscribers after the end of deadline for biometric SIM registration of mobile phone users on May 31. As per the rules the mobile operators have to count any number as active unless it remains off for three consecutive months, BTRC officials said. As the biometric re-registration ended in May the operators had to adjust the active subscriber number that affected the user growth, they said. The latest BTRC data showed that leading operator Grameenphone added 5 lakh new subscribers in September that took its total subscriber base to 55.0 million. In the June-August period, GP lost 2.4 million active subscribers. Banglalink’s active subscriber base rose to 29.4 million in September as the operator added 0.5 million new subscribers in the month. The operator lost 3.0 million subscribers in the previous three months. Robi added 0.6 million new subscribers in September that took its total subscriber base to 23.8 million while it lost 4.2 million subscribers in the previous three months.
Regent Airways will start its flight to Kathmandu from Dhaka on December 21, the airline said in a statement on Monday. The private carrier will fly a Boeing 737-700 aircraft that has 12 business class and 114 economy class seats. The aircraft of the carrier will leave Dhaka on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 3pm and reach the capital of Nepal at 4.15pm local time. It will leave Kathmandu at 5.15pm and reach Dhaka at 6.45pm.
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.