Sales of savings tools on the rise
Net sales of savings certificates rose 8.49 percent year-on-year to Tk 17,315 crore in the first four months of the fiscal year as savers’ appetite for the high-yielding tools shows no sign of fading. In July-October, the government’s borrowing through the savings instruments was more than 57 percent of the entire fiscal year’s target of Tk 30,150 crore, according to data from the Directorate of National Savings. Savers are largely interested in savings tools because they offer higher interest rates — 11.04 percent to 11.76 percent — way higher than the 7 percent rate offered by banks on fixed deposits. In fiscal 2016-17, net sales of savings tools hit an all-time high of Tk 52,327 crore, more than 2.5 times higher than the government’s target of Tk 19,610 crore. The trend would continue this year as well if the government does not slash the rates on the savings certificates, said a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank.
Bangladesh Bank prefers research before issuing cryptocurrency
Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury on Saturday said the matter of the issuance of cryptocurrency by the central bank in the country still needs lots of research as it has both good and bad sides. The deputy governor said central bank’s issuing cryptocurrency is still in the stage of study and observation. He, however, added that, ‘We are seriously thinking on it.’ Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Lots of research, technological supports are needed in this regard, said Sur adding that with the outputs of the studies ‘We will decide in the policy level of central bank whether now we will move for the cryptocurrency or not.’ The deputy governor came up with the remarks while addressing a discussion titled ‘The prospect and challenges of digital currency in Bangladesh’ marking the biggest ICT exposition in the city.
BD boarding interoperable payment platform for building less-cash society
Bangladesh moves to board an interoperable payment platform to build up a less-cash society gradually through reducing or discouraging cash transaction, suiting a fast-emerging global knowledge economy. As part of the move, the central bank has already established the interoperability of internet banking based on its national payment switch among five banks, according to officials. Interoperability stands for the ability of different systems to connect with one another. Besides, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) is now working to set up the interoperability between banks and mobile financial services (MFS) shortly, they added. “We’re working to establish the interoperable payment platform by June next calendar year,” SK Sur Chowdhoury, deputy governor of the BB, said while replying to a query at a seminar at the ‘Digital World-2017’ exposition at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Saturday. The seminar, titled ‘The prospect and challenges of digital currency in Bangladesh’, was organized by the CTO Forum Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Wednesday the ‘Digital World’ aimed at showcasing the progress in Bangladesh’s IT industry. The deputy governor further disclosed that the central bank is also planning to introduce digital wallet to facilitate digital payment in Bangladesh.
Give farmers loans with crop insurance product
Managing Director of Sadharan Bima Corporation (SBC) Syed Shariar Ahsan on Saturday said the financial institutions providing agricultural credit to farmers can package ‘weather index-based crop insurance product’ with the loans. Such kind of arrangement will protect framers from losses as well as add value to the credit scheme and ensure a risk-free loan disbursement on the part of financial institutions, he explained. Selling insurance products through banking channels is called ‘bancassurance’, which life and non-life insurers’ had been demanding for long, he said, adding that both the central bank and the insurance regulator, IDRA, need to make joint efforts to introduce such service.
Active bond market to attract genuine investors
The country’s FDI flow not will be up to the mark if more companies having good fundamentals are not listed with the stock exchanges. Arif Khan, managing director of IDLC Finance, said this on Saturday at a seminar held at the capital market expo 2017.
The online news portal arthosuchak.com has organised the expo in the capital Dhaka. Khan said around $20 billion is required in a year for the country’s infrastructure development to continue the ongoing development trend. “The development of the capital market is urgent for the sake of infrastructure development,” said Mr. Khan, also a former commissioner of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). Young professionals having sound track record in this field should be encouraged to build career in this sector, Khan said.
Source : http://today.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/stock-corporate/active-bond-market-to-attract-genuine-investors-1512834138
Govt in haste to get road dev project approved
The government is set to approve yet another road development project without conducting a proper feasibility study and determining its priority, officials said Saturday. Roads and Highways Department (RHD) officials said they would build the Sultanpur-Chinaier-Akhaura road to help improve the cross-border transport facilities with the seven north eastern states of India. They said presently the road is being utilised by the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala passenger bus service. The road link has reduced the travel distance between Kolkata and Indian state of Tripura by nearly 1,100 km. “The project proposal was sent to the Planning Commission (PC) in the last week of November last. Coming under pressure, the Project Evaluation Committee of the PC recommended it within a week for approval. The Planning Minister is expected to endorse the project,” said a PC official.
Ceiling for income tax payers rises fivefold
The government raised the ceiling of income tax payment by treasury chalan five times for the convenience of taxpayers and easing collection complexities. Now taxpayers are allowed to pay up to Tk 50,000 in income tax by treasury chalan, following a steep rise from a maximum amount of Tk 10,000. Officials said the income-tax wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) amended the relevant provision of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984 by a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), dated December 04, 2017. However, the NBR has invited complaints or suggestions on the amendment to the law in 15 days. In case of no suggestions or complaints, the amendments will be considered final after expiry of the timeframe. Taxmen usually prefer tax payment by treasury chalan for quick disposal, said NBR member (tax administration and human resource development) Md Abdur Razzaque, who signed the regulatory order.
RMG export to India sees stellar growth, China falls in Jul-Nov
Country’s readymade garment export to India in the July-November period of the current financial year grew by 56.35 per cent riding on an impressive performance by knitwear products, while RMG export to China fell by 10.93 per cent during the period. RMG export to India in the five months of FY 2017-18 increased to $87.43 million from $55.92 million in the same period of FY 2016-17, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data. In the period, knitwear export to India grew by 68.70 per cent to $30.12 million from $17.85 million. Exporters, however, are puzzling over the reason for the sudden growth of readymade garment export to India in the five months of FY18. They also said that failure in maintaining lead time was one of the major factors for losing export growth in China.
Export earnings post modest growth of 6.86pc in Jul-Nov
The country’s export earnings in the July-November period of the current financial year 2017-18 grew by 6.86 per cent to $14.56 billion from $13.62 billion in the same period of the FY 2016-17. Export earnings in November this year grew by 6.22 per cent to $3.05 billion from $2.87 billion in the same month last year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Thursday. Exporters said that the export earnings returned to the positive track in the five months of the current financial year but were yet to reach the required level.
Further rise in rice prices likely
Prices of rice may rise further as Aman harvest has already failed to tame the uptrend in the domestic market, traders say. They had predicted that the price may fall after a harvest of the Aman paddy but that is not happening at all. Floods ruined 591,647 hectares of Aman paddy field in 32 districts this year, according to a government estimate in August. Rice market heated up in that month, prompting the government move to import rice to curb the market. Traders and governments then said prices would fall after harvesting of Aman paddy in the country.
Ctg port launches new mobile scanner
Chittagong port yesterday launched a new mobile scanner, which would help the authority check imported goods faster and provide users with quick taxation services. This is the second mobile scanner launched at the port. The first one that came into operation in 2010 went out of order on October 30 this year. “The scanners will also make it easy to catch fraudulence and to stop illegal trade in the port,” said Nojibur Rahman, chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) while inaugurating the scanner. “With the new one, five gates of Chittagong port now have five scanners. We have taken initiative to set up scanners at all the 12 gates by 2018,” Rahman said. The new machine can scan a container within five to 10 minutes, said Apelo Barua, manager for operations at Nuctech Company Ltd.
Suits, blazers emerging as strong export items
Suits and blazers have emerged as one of the most promising value-added apparel items from Bangladesh as local entrepreneurs train their focus on grabbing a share of the $52 billion tailoring market. Bangladesh’s men’s tailoring industry now exports $200 million worth of products, up from about $20 million even 3-4 years ago. Even five years ago, there was only one suit manufacturing factory in Bangladesh. Now, the number is more than six, said Humayun Rashid, managing director of Energypac Fashions, one of the leading suit exporters from Bangladesh. The company ships suits worth $26 million a year. “We have set a target to export $100 million worth of suits by 2021,” said Rashid. He said his factory in Gazipur is fully loaded with work orders from Western retailers. To facilitate the achievement of the target, he has chalked up an expansion plan for next year.
VAT on internet data may go, says Muhith
Finance Minister A M A Muhith hinted on Saturday that he will consider withdrawing Value Added Tax (VAT) on internet data usage in the budget for the next fiscal year. “The next budget is my last budget. I will think about it, if I can do anything,” he said while replying to a request by BASIS President Mustafa Jabbar for withdrawing VAT and surcharge on internet data usage. He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the four-day Digital World 2017 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital. ICT Division, BASIS and A2i of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) organised the exhibition. More than 0.5 million visited the expo in last four days, according to the organisers. Expressing gratitude to the young generation for implementing Digital Bangladesh, the finance minister said, “The ruling government only facilitated various digital facilities, the young generation of the country implemented it.”
BD IT cos making their mark in int’l arena
Information Technology companies from Bangladesh have huge untapped scopes for investment in the burgeoning IT sector of Bhutan, Maldives and various Sub Saharan African nations, a group of high level government delegations from overseas have said recently. Bangladesh, which itself has gone through significant digitisation of its systems and procedures in recent years, can offer valuable experience for other developing nations, they opined. Such optimistic observations came from a number of ministers and other high level overseas representatives who were in Dhaka recently to visit the Digital World 2017 that ended in the capital Saturday.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||6,218.23||↓ 18.07||↓ 0.29%|
|DJIA||24,329.16||↑ 117.68||↑ 0.49%|
|FTSE100||7,393.96||↑ 73.21||↑ 1.00%|
|Nikkei 225||22,811.08||↑ 313.05||↑ 1.39%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 57.36||↑ 0.67||↑ 1.18%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 63.40||↑ 1.20||↑ 1.93%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,248.49||↑ 1.27||↑ 0.10%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.53|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.50|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.16|
|INR 1||BDT 1.28|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.