Govt seeks opinions of Central Bank, BSEC
The Ministry of Finance [MoF] has sought opinions from the Central Bank and the securities regulator on a loan amount of Tk 100 billion [10,000 crore] sought by stock brokers to shore up the moribund stock market. The chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission [BSEC] confirmed to the FE the receipt of the letter sent by the MoF. Earlier on October 24 around 20 stock brokers submitted the proposal to the MoF seeking Tk 100 billion in loan from the government against the backdrop of the continuing erosion in stock prices. The broad index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange [DSE] dipped to 42 months’ low on Wednesday as panic-driven investors continued their selling spree. The DSEX lost a total of 300 points in the past one month and 1,533 points since January 24 this year, when the index hit its peak at 5,950. The market capitalisation also shed Tk 178 billion in the past one month and Tk 827 billion in the past eleven months. On December 5, stock brokers submitted a work-plan on investment of the fund sought from the government. The stock brokers also said the fund would be invested in shares of listed companies having market capitalisation of at least Tk 5.0 billion each. After the 2010-11 stock market debacle, the government provided Tk 9.0 billion under the capital market refinancing scheme to reduce the woes of small investors, affected in the market crash.
ESCAP sees BD’s positive Trade Growth in 2019
Despite sluggish merchandise exports from Bangladesh in the outgoing year 2019, a United Nations [UN] body forecasts positive annual export growth for the country. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP] made the projections in its latest Asia-Pacific Trade in Goods Trends and Outlooks. According to the ESCAP, exports from Bangladesh would rise by 9.10 per cent in value and 6.30 per cent in volume in 2019. The outlook, released on Wednesday, also cited that goods imports to Bangladesh would increase by 5.80 per cent in value and 6.10 per cent in volume. The ESCAP said only Vietnam would register higher growth in trade than Bangladesh. Exports of Vietnam are anticipated to rise by 7.70 per cent and import by 9.40 per cent in volume. Citing the shrinkage of the Asia-Pacific trade, it said trade is declining in both value and volume in the region for the first time since the 2009 global economic crisis. The total export volume fell by 2.5 per cent and import by 3.5 per cent, the report revealed. In 2018 and 2019, the ESCAP said, trade performance in Asia and the Pacific followed the global trend, slowing down from the second half of 2018 onwards. However, nations such as Bangladesh, India and Vietnam challenged this trend, registering 4.0 per cent to 8.0 per cent export volume gains.” According to the Export Promotion Bureau statistics, exports of goods stood at $38.81 billion during the January-November period of 2019. It was $35.82 billion in the same period last year. Exports faced negative growth in the second half of 2019. Merchandise exports from July to November fell by 7.60 per cent over the same period of 2018. Goods exports during the January-June period of this year increased by 6.85 per cent compared with the corresponding period of last year. Meanwhile, the Central Bank statistics has showed a negative trend in merchandise imports so far. During the January-October period of 2019, merchandise imports declined by 2.41 per cent to $49.44 billion from $50.67 billion during the same period of 2018.
Apparel Sector wants revised Building Code immediately
Apparel sector leaders on Wednesday demanded immediate publication of the revised Bangladesh National Building Code [BNBC] to help the sector avoid costly western prescriptions further. The leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association [BGMEA] also disagreed with the possibilities of achieving the target of US$ 50 billion in export earnings from the readymade garment [RMG] sector by 2021. As a result, the prescription disrupts and ends up being super expensive for the sector, she said, adding that US$ 1.5 billion has been invested in installing the equipments only for fire safety during the last six years. As the RMG sector has created employment for millions of workers and making significant contribution to the country’s economy, this sector should be prepared for minimizing disaster risks and supply chain process of this sector needed to be resilient.
Renaissance Dhaka Gulshan begins journey
A new luxury hotel, Renaissance Dhaka Gulshan has formally begun its journey aiming to meet the growing demand for world class hospitality service for business and leisure travelers. The hotel is the fourth outlet of US-based diversified hospitality company Marriott International in Bangladesh, which will uphold local culture with a balance of contemporary lifestyle. The new 211-room Renaissance Hotel offers several restaurants, dedicated meeting and banquet space. The Marriott has established 160 hotels under ‘Renaissance’ branding located in over 30 countries around the world
BEZA appoints Consulting Firm for developing Japanese EZ
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority [BEZA] signed an agreement with Nippon Koei to this effect on Wednesday, according to a BEZA statement. The Japanese Economic Zone [JEZ], spreading over 1,000 acres of land in Araihazar Upazila of Narayanganj, is expected to be operational in 2022. Once completed, the country-specific Economic Zone [EZ] would bring in investments worth US $20 billion from mostly renowned Japanese brands, according to BEZA. BEZA Manager Saleh Ahamed and Masayuki Fujii of Nippon Koei signed the deal at the BEZA headquarters in the city, with BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury in the chair. The JEZ is the country’s first economic zone being established under the government to government [G2G] scheme. Half of the 1,000 acres of land for the JEZ has already been acquired, while the acquisition process for the remaining 500 acres is ongoing. A project titled ‘Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project’ has been undertaken in March this year to develop the land for JEZ, build infrastructure and install utility lines at a cost of Tk 25.82 billion
$50b export not achievable by 2021: BGMEA President
Bangladesh will not be able to export $50 billion-worth apparel products by 2021 because of low valuation and declining global trade, according to Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association [BGMEA]. She said the target was set in 2014, just one year after the Rana Plaza collapse, but the world market now was going down because of declining trade and consumption. According to World Trade Organisation, the world trade forecast took a downward turn to 1.2 percent for 2019 from a previous 2.6 percent. She said RMG’s contribution to the GDP was only 11 percent, which clearly indicated that the value addition was very little. Huq said the garment sector was going through a very bad time as exports had witnessed negative growth of over 6 percent in the past five months of the fiscal year. She pointed out some reasons behind the RMG’s lower growth including economic recession around the world and pressure from the nation’s currency. The BGMEA president stressed on having a plan for diversification of industries. She said the Accord and Alliance came in 2013 with some prescriptions where the national context was missing. One example is that fire alarm systems were imported follow their prescription but those did not work in Bangladesh for inconsistencies with the country’s humidity patterns.
ICAB gets new President, Vice Presidents
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh [ICAB] has elected Muhammad Farooq FCA as President and Sidhartha Barua FCA, Sabbir Ahmed FCA and Mohammed Forkan Uddin FCA as Vice Presidents of the Institute for the year -2020. The new office bearers of ICAB were elected unanimously by the members of the Council -ICAB shortly before holding 47th Annual General Meeting of the Institute which was chaired by outgoing ICAB President A F Nesaruddin FCA at ICAB auditorium on Wednesday. Muhammad Farooq FCA will take over the charge of President of ICAB on 1 January 2020.
Govt to tie up with Chinese Firm
The government is planning to form a strategic partnership with Kingdom Engine International – a leading Chinese firm – to transform services in the financial and smart urbanisation sectors. Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Engine International Leagan Ling met with State Minister for Information and Communications Technology [ICT] Zunaid Ahmed Palak at his ICT Division’s office in the city to discuss the issues. Kingdom Engine International, a Chinese supplier of software and technology services with having US $10 billion market capital, five Research and Development [R&D] centers and 8,000 employees – 60 per cent of them are developer and programmer, has formed joint venture [JV] with Asian Tiger Capital Partners. They are working on three different areas in Bangladesh – Financial Technology [Fintech] capital market, digital transformation in banking and insurance and smart city and smart health. The major shareholders of Kingdom are Tencent, JD.Com, Pingan insurance and Hong Kong
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↓ 27.88||↓ 0.10%|
|FTSE100||7,540.75||↑ 15.47||↑ 0.21%|
|Nikkei 225||23,851.86||↓82.57||↓ 0.34%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 60.92 ||↓ 0.01||↓ 0.02%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 66.17||↓ 0.00||↓ 0.00%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,477.94||↑ 2.54||↑ 0.17%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.3361|
|GBP 1||BDT 109.096|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.7240|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17241|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<