Govt starts working on Bank Commission
The government has finally started working on forming a bank reform commission to review the sector’s health and take necessary remedial measures. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has already talked to some former bankers, bureaucrats and economists, whom a ministry official believes are probable chairman and member candidates of the commission. According to the official, the commission is likely to be formed by this month if the members are finalized. While unveiling the budget for fiscal 2019-2020 in June last year, Kamal said a banking commission would be formed at the earliest. The sour loans average 10.69 percent of the total outstanding loans while, in case of state-run banks, over 25 percent. The actual size of bad loans is, however, more than double the officially recognised figure, according to a recent report of International Monetary Fund. The finance minister recently gave defaulters a chance to have their loans rescheduled by making a 2 percent down payment. The central bank recently decided to cap the interest rate on industrial loans in a move that would be a boon for manufacturers as their cost of funds would go down to single digit at the expense of banks’ profitability. But experts and economists say the bad loan situation would not improve without good governance in the banking sector.
LafargeHolcim grabs top position
LafargeHolcim Bangladesh on Monday topped the charts of most traded stocks and top gainers as well on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). The company featured a turnover of above Tk 262 million and hoovered up 7.0 per cent of the market turnover. The company was also the number one gainer as its share price rose 7.06 per cent to close at Tk 39.40 each. Of other turnover leaders, Khulna Power Company posted a turnover of above Tk 207 million and captured 5.5 per cent of the total market transaction. On Monday, the company’s share price declined 0.94 per cent or Tk 0.5 to close at Tk 52.60 each. BRAC Bank posted a turnover of above Tk 175 million and grabbed 4.7 per cent of the market turnover. The company’s share price declined 6.71 per cent or Tk 3.40 to close at Tk 47.30 each. ADN Telecom made its debut trading on Monday and posted a turnover of above Tk 168.4 million which was 4.5 per cent of the market transaction. At the end of the day’s session, the company’s share price closed at Tk 40.50 each with a rise of 13.5 per cent or Tk 50. Rupali Bank featured a turnover of above Tk 117.3 million and grabbed 3.1 per cent of the market value. Mutual Trust Bank posted a turnover of above Tk 113 million and grabbed 3.0 per cent of the market value. Of other companies, Square Pharmaceuticals posted a turnover of above Tk 90.8 million followed by Beacon Pharmaceuticals Tk 89.1 million, Pioneer Insurance Company Tk 72 million and Genex Infosys Tk 65.5 million.
Tea production rises to 95m kg in 2019
Though tea production has increased significantly in Bangladesh in the just-ended decade, the country’s annual tea production has not yet surpassed its domestic demands. According to the officials of the BTB, the tea gardens of the country produced around 89.65 million kilogram (KG) of tea from January to November in the last calendar year. The country’s total tea production is estimated to be around 95 million KG from January to December in 2019. Whereas, the country produced 82.13 million KG tea from January to December in 2018. The annual production has increased by 13.77 million KG till November in the just-ended year. Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) officials said tea production in the country increased in the past year than the previous year. In last year, the tea gardens produced around 95 million KG of tea, they mentioned. According to the BTB, tea January-November (2019) tea production was around 89.65 million KG while production in the last 12 months (Jan-Dec, 2029) will be more than 95 million KG. Jan-Nov, 2019, tea production was 13.77 million KG more than that in the 12 months of the previous year. BTB sources said, Bangladesh produced a total of 59.99 million KG tea in 2009, a total of 60.04 million KG tea in 2010, 59.13 million KG tea in 2011, 62.52 million KG in 2012, 66.26 million KG in 2013, 63.88 million KG in 2014, 67.38 million KG in 2015, 85.05 million KG in 2016, 78.95 million KG in 2017 and 82.13 million KG in 2018.
IFC, SREDA sign deal to spur solar power generation in BD
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh to support a solar power plant of 35-50 megawatt capacity in Kushtia district. The pilot project, which will be developed through competitive bidding under a public-private partnership model, is aimed at demonstrating a viable model for a solar power plant in Bangladesh, drawing in the private sector. At present, around 90 per cent of Bangladeshis have access to electricity. In addition to increasing access, Bangladesh aims to boost the share of renewable sources in its energy mix from less than 3 per cent to 10 per cent of generation by 2021 and double that by 2030. Currently, over 90 per cent of the power generation is dependent on fossil fuels. The country also faces challenges with renewable energy projects due to limitations of land. IFC has a committed global portfolio of over US$ 8.2 billion in power and energy sectors, half of which is in renewables.
Oil jumps to $70, gold hits six-year high on fear of US-Iran war
Oil prices surged, gold hit a more than six-year high and most equities tumbled Monday after the US assassination last week of a top Iranian general fanned fears of a major conflict in the Middle East. Both main crude contracts rallied in Asian trade, with Brent above $70 for the first time since September when attacks on two Saudi Arabian facilities briefly halved output by the world’s top producer. The losses on equity markets extended into Asia, with Tokyo down almost two percent as dealers returned for the first time since the New Year break. Hong Kong lost 0.8 per cent. Singapore fell 0.7 per cent, Seoul shed one per cent, Taipei and Mumbai each lost more than one per cent and Manila dived 0.9 per cent, with Jakarta down 0.7 per cent.
Jamuna Bank Foundation provides free medical camp
Under the initiative and financing of Jamuna Bank Foundation, a free medical camp was provided at Kewachhara Tea Garden, Airport Road in Sylhet recently. About 3,275 patients were provided free medicine along with the treatment and 329 patients were selected for free eye operation. Also, special medical care was provided to dental patients by an experienced doctor.
BASIS SoftExpo 2020 to begin February 06
A four-day BASIS SoftExpo 2020 will begin at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital on February 06, aiming to promote the country’s information technology (IT) sector. The trade show is expected to create a greater matchmaking platform among the local and international stakeholders at one place. Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) is organising the 16th edition of the event with the slogan ‘Transforming Life through Innovation’. Businesses related to different fields of IT including software development, financial technology (Fintech), mobile innovation, digital commerce and IT enabled services (ITES) will take part in the expo.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,331.95866||↓ 68.1817||↓ 1.55 %|
|↑ 68.50||↑ 0.24 %|
|FTSE100||7,575.34||↓ 47.06||↓ 0.62 %|
|Nikkei 225||23,511.13||↑ 306.27||↑ 1.32 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 62.56 ||↓ 0.71||↓ 1.12 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 68.13 ||↓ 0.78||↓ 1.13 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,559.29||↓ 6.45||↓ 0.41 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.2303|
|GBP 1||BDT 109.264|
|EUR 1||BDT 93.0651|
|INR 1||BDT 1.15581|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<