Important Business News Extracts – January 09 2017
Mutual Trust Bank arranges preference shares for Star Ceramics
The closing ceremony of Issuance of Redeemable Cumulative Preference Shares under syndication of BDT 935.0 million for Star Ceramics Limited was held at a city hotel recently. Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) is the Lead Arranger and Agent & MTB Capital Ltd. is the Issue Manager of this syndication.
Foreign partners compelled Islami Bank to usher in changes: Finance Minister
The sudden changes at Islami Bank Bangladesh were made due to mounting pressure from the lender’s foreign partners, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday. His comments came two days after the country’s largest bank brought wholesale changes to its management, including appointment of former secretary Arastoo Khan as its chairman. Muhith said Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, which has stakes in IBBL, had considered retreating from the venture altogether but later changed its mind. For the last two years, the bank has been under surveillance, Muhith said.
Standard Chartered yesterday attached a relatively stable outlook to Bangladesh for 2017, saying the country is positioned to be one of the fastest growing Asian economies in the year amid a volatile global scenario. The Asia-focused British lender said it thinks the global economic landscape this year will be very different from that in the previous years. The US economy’s potential reflation — which is a fiscal or monetary policy designed to expand a country’s output and curb the effects of deflation — is fueling optimism, but this is overdone as tightening financial conditions may stunt growth before fiscal stimulus takes root. Tighter conditions are also likely to unleash further volatility, leading to re-pricing of risk in many emerging markets.
Prime Minister Hasina pledges efforts for sustainable capital market development
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reassured on Sunday that her government would continue its efforts for sustainable development of the capital market, report agencies. She also expressed the hope that the capital market would be the dependable long-term source of financing for building a developed Bangladesh. The Prime Minister said while inaugurating countrywide Financial Literacy programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) organized by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
Bangladesh needs to think beyond apparels, World Bank economist says
Though Bangladesh’s export performance in the apparel sector is impressive, the country needs to think beyond the sector as a part of its efforts for attaining the next phase of growth and poverty reduction. Sanjay Kathuria, the lead economist at the World Bank (for South Asia), made the observation in a write-up which appeared in the bank’s South Asia region blog. Titled ‘How will Bangladesh reach higher levels of prosperity?’, the blog post said that Bangladesh joined the rank of a lower middle-income country. But the next phase of growth and poverty reduction is harder, since the more obvious sources of growth have largely been exploited.
Clerics to motivate people to pay taxes: National Board of Revenue (NBR)
The National Board of Revenue is going to engage clerics in creating awareness and motivating people to pay taxes, it said in a statement yesterday. “We are establishing a close partnership with the religious affairs ministry to implement the new VAT law. Clerics will be the main persons to create public opinion about the law,” NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman said at a workshop on the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012. The revenue authority organized the event at the office of the VAT online project to make small and medium enterprises aware of the new VAT law. The government aims to implement the law from July through the automation of VAT system in a bid to increase VAT collection and compliance.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam said on Sunday Bangladesh would send about 0.8 million (eight lakh) workers abroad this year, reports BSS. The minister was briefing media on the ministry’s achievements and successes last year at the ministry’s conference room. In 2016, a total of 0.75 million (7.56 lakh) Bangladeshi workers went abroad for work.
The government has started an initiative to introduce CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) guidelines for organisations to spend a portion of their profit on social activities under certain bindings, officials said. They said Finance Minister AMA Muhith has directed the bank and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) to finalise a draft guideline urgently. The BFID has also been asked to provide the minister with well-thought opinions in this regards within next one month.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has been asked to pay back the money it owes to the national exchequer out of its profit, officials said. The ministry of finance (MoF) has advised the state-run enterprise to seek fund again from the exchequer whenever necessary for implementing any of its development projects, according to a recent MoF letter to BPC. Officials said the BPC earned a hefty amount of profit due to substantial fall in fuel oil prices in the international market since 2014. The BPC owes the exchequer Tk 263 billion it had taken to foot oil import bills over the past 15 years before the price fall, MoF sources said. But, it paid only Tk 10 billion back to the exchequer after June 2014.
State-run Power Development Board is likely to award contracts on build-own-and-operate basis nine furnace oil-fired power plants to private companies through bidding at different locations across the country, with a combined generation capacity of 1,028 MW. ‘We are expecting to sign power purchase contracts by this month with the companies that won the bidding,’ the power board chairman, Khaled Mahmud, told New Age on Sunday. The power division plans to send the proposals this week to the cabinet division for approval of the cabinet committee on the government purchase, said officials. Once the purchase committee approves the proposals, the power division would then send the draft contracts to the law ministry for vetting before allowing the power board to sign power purchase deals for a period of 15 year each, they said.
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