Foreign aid inflow jumps by 91pc in five months
Bangladesh received US$1.72 billion worth of foreign aid in July-November period this fiscal year (FY2017-18). The disbursements of the concessional medium- and long-term (MLT) assistance were 91 per cent higher than $903.18 million registered in the corresponding period of last FY (2016-17), according to provisional data released Monday. Of the total assistance, the development partners provided $1.60 billion in concessional loans and $126.73 million in grants, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) data showed. Meanwhile, the aid commitments of US$6.71 billion were registered during the first five months of the current FY. The commitments were very high at $13.42 billion in the same period of last FY when the government signed a loan agreement of $11.38 billion with Russia for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project, an ERD official said.
Banks disburse 40.35pc agri loans in five months
Specialised, state-owned and private commercial banks, including foreign commercial banks operating in the country, have already disbursed 40.35 per cent agriculture and non-farm rural credit in past five months from July to November 2017, reports BSS. The scheduled banks have disbursed a total of Tk 82.311 billion (Tk 8,230.88 crore) till November while the target is Tk 204 billion (Tk 20,400 crore) for the current fiscal year 2017-18, central bank sources said. Foreign and private commercial banks have shown better performance than the public banks during the period.
Banking sector snares 34pc turnover
The heavyweight banking sector grabbed nearly 34 per cent transaction of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) Tuesday while Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) topped the chart. Market operators said investors were active on banking sector issues throughout the trading session with six banks featured on the day’s top transaction chart. Out of 30 listed banks, share prices of 24 banks also closed higher, with Rupali Bank and Dutch-Bangla Bank featured on the day’s top 10 gainer chart, soaring 9.84 per cent and 3.28 per cent respectively. “As the year-end near, a section of investors took position on lucrative banking sector issues, especially Islami Bank’s shares, amid optimism, taking it topped on the chart,” said an analyst at a leading brokerage firm.
Reshadur Rahman, Chairman and Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director & CEO of Dhaka Bank Limited (DBL) receives memento from the Trustee Members of Muktijuddho Jadughar
Reshadur Rahman, Chairman of Dhaka Bank Limited along with Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director & CEO of Dhaka Bank Limited received a memento from the Trustee Members of Muktijuddho Jadughar for the special financial contribution towards the construction of New Building of Muktijuddho Jadughar at Agargaon, Dhaka recently. The museum building was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina on April 16, 2017.
ICC Bangladesh arranges workshop for bankers in Bangkok
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – Bangladesh, is jointly organizing a workshop on “International Trade Finance” for bankers from Bangladeshi banks. The joint partners are The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and ICC Thailand. The two-day workshop begins today (Wednesday), said a statement. Around 53 bankers from 17 commercial banks, 45 from Thailand and 17 participants from Cambodia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal & Vietnam will be participating at the workshop together with Bangladeshi bankers. ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman will lead the team.
Standard Bank opens 119th branch
Standard Bank Limited opened its 119th branch at Gawsia Plaza, Jewellery Potti, Kalibari Road, Narsingdi recently. Ferozur Rahman, Director & former Vice Chairman of the Bank formally inaugurated the Branch as Chief Guest while Mr Mamun-Ur-Rashid, Managing Director & CEO of SBL presided over the ceremony. Vice Chairman of the Bank Mr S. A. M. Hossain was present as special guest, said a statement.
WB approves $510m for improving secondary education system
The World Bank (WB) will provide $510 million to help improve the secondary education system and student performance in Bangladesh. The concessional credit was approved by the WB Board at its headquarters in Washington DC on Monday, said a WB press statement. The financing will be available under the ‘Transforming Secondary Education for Results programme’ which aims to benefit 13 million students in grade 6-12. The programme would help enhance quality of teaching and learning as well as improve access and retention of students, especially girls and children from poor households, according to the statement. To improve quality of education, the programme will support modernisation of curriculum and ensure professional development, management, and accountability of teachers. It will also support learning assessments and reform examinations, it mentioned. The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm. The credits are interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a six-year grace period, and carry a service charge of 0.75 per cent, according to the press statement.
Government revenue receipts far off its lofty target
Government revenue receipts remain far off an ‘ambitious’ target set for the current financial year (FY) as the collection in July-November period missed the mark by BDT 95 billion. By official count, the tax-revenue collection in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2017-18, however, marked a 17% growth over that of the corresponding period of the last FY, of amount BDT 745.16 billion in taxes against a target of BDT 840.66 billion. A senior official of the NBR however said that the last quarter of an FY is the peak time for revenue collection as government development works get into high gear at the fag-end of the fiscal. All of the three wings of the NBR missed their respective revenue-collection targets in the period as they are chasing a “highly ambitious” target in the present economic context. The aggregate revenue-collection target has been set at BDT 2.48 trillion for the current financial year, expecting a robust 34% growth over the previous FY’s collection of BDT 1.85 trillion. Average tax-revenue-collection growth was 14.28% in the last five years, according to NBR data. The VAT wing netted the highest amount of revenue worth BDT 282.77 billion despite deferment of the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 from the set execution timeline, July 1, 2017. Income tax marked a 15.60% growth with a collection of BDT 216.45 billion in the July-November period.
Postal Dept’s income from money order service slumps
Government’s resource mobilisation from money order, the once-popular public money transfer machinery which now turns into electronic money transfer service, dropped by more than 95 per cent in last six years. People familiar with the development at Postal Department told the FE that this sorry state of electronic money order service which used to contribute an adequate amount of resources to the national exchequer has been created mainly due to introduction of the mobile financial system. The government earned only Tk 13 million from money order related transactions in the past fiscal year against Tk 282.30 million in the fiscal year (FY) 2011-12, a 95.4 per cent decline, according to the document received by the FE.
Textile millers want to import furnace oil without duty amid gas shortage
Textile factory owners want to import high-speed furnace oil with exemption of all duties and taxes to run their captive power generation units which they say are suffering from a severe shortage of gas supplies. Bangladesh Textile Mills Association in a letter last month sought government approval for allowing them to import the fuel oil. In the letter, they have complained that they are not getting adequate gas supplies while the price was raised by more than 222 per cent in the past two years. The government now supplies less than 2,700 million cubic feet of natural gas per day against an overall demand for more than 3,700 mmcfd. The association has requested the government to rationalise its policy for captive power generation units at textile factories with duty-free furnace oil imports, a facility rental power suppliers have been enjoying since 2012. The association says that power generation costs Tk 11 per unit or kilowatt-hour using furnace oil supplied by the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation at Tk 42 per litre. It claims that the cost will come down to Tk 6.50 per unit if the captive power unit owners are allowed duty-free imports. The association vice-president, Mohammad Ali Khokon, told New Age on Tuesday that they were yet to get any response from the government.
Denmark to provide Tk 390m for climate adaptation project
The government of Denmark will provide DKK 30 million (Tk 390 milion) to Bangladesh for the ‘Climate Adaptation and Resilience Engagement (CARE) in Bangladesh’ project, reports BSS. An agreement was signed between the two countries at the NEC-2 Conference Room of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the city on Tuesday, said a press release. ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Danish Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther signed the agreement. Of the total outlay of DKK 50 million (Tk 650 million) for the project, the government of Denmark will contribute Tk 390 million and the government of Bangladesh will provide Tk 260 million. The project will have duration of three years from December 2017 to November 2020.
Biman plans to buy three 80-seater aircraft
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is set to buy three 80-seater aircraft from Canada for $22.42 million each under a government-to-government arrangement. The aircraft, which are fuel-efficient and cost-effective, will be used on seven domestic routes and three regional ones: Kolkata, Yangon and Kathmandu.
Ctg to be ‘among world’s top 30 seaports’ by 2030
The country’s prime seaport Chittagong ought to be turned into one of top 30 seaports in the world, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Tuesday, setting a timeline up to 2030. “I believe this should be among the top 30 seaports in the world within the next thirteen years,” he said at a programme organized by Chittagong Port Authority in the capital on Tuesday, taking a cue from its recent elevation by international standards. The projection by the finance minister came at a time when on Llyod’s List of top 100 seaports in the world, Chittagong’s rank got elevated from 98 in 2009 to 71 in 2017. Reflecting on this feat, the Finance Minister said, “Often, the government has not been able to allocate enough money for the efficient operations of the seaports. In addition, there are also some management problems.” He adds: “Despite all these limitations, this is a wonderful achievement for the Chittagong Port.”
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 57.75||↑0.19||↑0.33%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 63.93||↑0.13||↑0.20%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,263.97||↑2.27||↑0.18%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.58|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.60|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.79|
|INR 1||BDT 1.29|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.