Import orders double in five months
Overall import orders almost doubled in the first five months of this fiscal year as opening letters of credit (LC) for bulk purchase for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) gave a spurt. By official count, the opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, rose by 91.25 per cent or US$17.06 billion to $35.75 billion during the July-November period of the FY 2017-18 from $18.69 billion in the corresponding period of FY 17.
Dollar price high on hot demand
The US dollar became much costlier on Dhaka’s informal money market amid higher demand, selling between BDT 84.20 and BDT 85. Traders and customers said the exchange rate of the greenback against the Bangladesh currency increased rather faster, as the rate was around BDT 82.50 on the kerb market three weeks back. However, the dollar price in the commercial banks continued to shoot up and the selling rate of the greenback stood at BDT 83.75 on the day while the rate was BDT 80.90 early last month. People in the business mentioned higher imports as reason for the hike in dollar’s exchange rates.
Dutch-Bangla Bank opens 175th branch in capital
Dutch-Bangla Bank, a private commercial bank, opened its 175th branch at Mirpur Road in the capital on Tuesday, says a statement. Abul Kashem Md Shirin, Managing Director and CEO of the bank, inaugurated the ‘New Market Branch’ branch at Golden Gate Shopping Centre in a ceremony on Tuesday.
SIBL opens branch at Dakhkhinkhan
The Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL), a private commercial bank, opened its 136th branch on Tuesday at Dakhkhinkhan in the capital, says a statement. SIBL Chairman Professor Md Anwarul Azim Arif inaugurated the ‘Dakhkhinkhan Branch’ in a ceremony as the Chief Guest. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank Quazi Osman Ali presided over the programme.
Keep single instalment with minimum premium provision
Stakeholders including the rights activists suggested the government on Tuesday to keep the provision of single instalment with minimum premium in the proposed insurance products for the outbound workers to protect their interest. Their other suggestions included making contracts with well-performing and high-ranking companies as well as analysing their capacity to properly provide benefit to the workers residing abroad. They placed their recommendations at a meeting on the draft insurance scheme, held at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban in the city.
Fund collection from IPOs fall to 74.18% in 2017
There has been a sharp decline in using Initial Public Offerings (IPO) for fund raising this year. It fell by 74.18% to Tk219.25 crore which is the lowest since 2009. Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) records show that a total of six companies and a mutual fund has raised Tk219.25 crore this year, which was Tk849.30 crore in 2016. After the stock market crash in 2010, IPOs saw the highest fund raising of Tk1677.71 crore in 2011. IPO issue manager and the stakeholders say a lack of proper policy has deterred companies from going public, with the lengthy process of getting regulator approval is one of the biggest impediment.
Regulator moves against oil import price-fixing
The energy regulator asked the power board to gather information about international oil prices before making payment to private importers to check alleged price-fixing and money laundering. Sources said the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) gave the directive to the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) following widespread allegations about the above-mentioned irregularities. They said the move, aimed at ensuring transparency in fuel trade under private sector, came six years after the opening of furnace-oil import. Allegations are rife against private-sector oil importers about tampering with the oil prices both in invoices and marketing locally, which prompted the regulator to act, a senior BERC official told the FE.
BCIC to import 0.22m tonnes of fertiliser to avert crisis
The government has moved to import some 220,000 tonnes of fertiliser on an emergency basis, aiming to avert any possible crisis in agricultural input supply in the country, reports UNB. The state-owned BCIC (Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation) had to initiate the move because of the energy ministry’s decision to suspend gas supply to state-owned fertliser factories, officials at the Industries Ministry said. As per the decision, the BCIC has already invited an international tender and selected two bidders to supply 100,000 tonnes of bagged granular fertiliser. Of the bulk fertiliser, some 75,000 tonnes of fertiliser will be imported through Chittagong port while the remaining 25,000 through Mongla port for facilitating the smooth distribution of the agro-input throughout the country.
2017 in review: Power generation continues to grow, and so does price
Bangladesh’s power generation capacity was 4,942MW when the Awami League-led government took office in 2009. Over the years, the capacity has increased to over 13,000MW. With increased power production, the price was also raised many times, leading to dissatisfaction among consumers. But despite all the headway, people continue to suffer from regular power cuts.
A stellar year for ICT
Bangladesh’s ICT sector will bid farewell to 2017 on a high note as the year saw digital services thrive, exports hit a new peak and local companies go global. Experts and entrepreneurs termed the passing year as ‘dynamic’ as the whole digital ecosystem progressed to the next level. “In 2017, we observed that lots of new business windows have opened up banking on the digital platform,” said Yasir Azman, deputy chief executive officer of Grameenphone. Some of them began operations in 2016 but got momentum this year; 2018 will only take the narrative forward for them.
Flood-Ravaged Rural Roads: Projects worth Tk 8,152cr get the govt nod
The government has taken up three projects costing Tk 8,152 crore for repairing rural infrastructures, especially roads damaged by recent floods, and constructing new ones in Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh regions. Yesterday, a meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the projects, which will be implemented by 2022.
Govt recasts essentials’ price monitoring teams
The government has reconstituted 14 teams that will monitor the price movements and prevent abnormal situation in the city markets, officials said. But the drives carried out by the monitoring teams earlier could not make any visible impact on the market, sources concerned said. The government intends to closely monitor the price situation with a view to keeping the prices of essentials within the buying capacity of the common people, a high official of the ministry of commerce said. The reconstituted watchdog panels will inspect the wholesale and retail prices of essentials in the Dhaka city. The teams were formed on Sunday last.
Dhaka Int’l Trade Fair gets a digital touch
A mobile app will be launched at the 23rd annual Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), which will begin from 1 January 2018. The app will help visitors locate the stalls at the fair. The deputy director (finance) of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Mohammad Abdur Rouf, told The Independent that this app will help visitors navigate through the fair. Upon installing the app, people will first get a bird’s-eye view of the stalls, he said. The Ministry of Commerce and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) are jointly organising the fair at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka.
Govt moves to adopt revised DAP updating database
The government is working to adopt the revised Detailed Area Plan (DAP) for Dhaka for the 2016-2035 period, updating the existing database, amid doubts from the experts and environment activists over its successful implementation. Under the initiative, Rajuk has already started consultation with the relevant agencies and other stakeholders to finalise the second DAP.
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