Govt, WB sign $250m credit deal today
The government and the World Bank (WB) are set to ink a US$250 million financing agreement today (Wednesday) for implementing the ‘First Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit’. The financing will be available as the first tranche of a proposed $750 million budgetary support under the ‘Development Policy Credit (DPC)’. The remaining $500 million credit is expected to be disbursed in the next two financial years in two equal instalments, depending on fulfilment of the conditions set by the WB. The last time the Washington-based lender provided a budgetary support of $175 million was in financial year (FY) 2007-08. The bank had provided a total of $1.75 billion worth of development support credit (DSC) in six tranches from FY 2003 to FY2008. The government had completed negotiation with the WB for getting the $250 million worth of DPC in November last year, which would be used mainly for job creation in Bangladesh.
DSEX back above 5700 mark after nine months
The main index of the country’s premier bourse exceeded the 5,700-mark after nine months as enthusiastic investors continued to put money anew in stocks. People familiar with the capital market developments said stocks maintained its post-election rally amid spontaneous participation on hopes and excitement of investors, taking the core index above the 5,700-mark again. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), soared more than 115 points or 2.04 per cent to settle at the nine-month high at 5,770. It was the biggest single-day rise of DSEX in nine months since April 01, 2018. The DSEX gained nearly 150 points or 2.67 per cent on April 01, 2018. Along with the rising index, the daily trade turnover on the Dhaka bourse scaled the Tk 10-billion-mark once again, as investors’ enthusiasm sustained after peaceful election held on December 30 last. Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, stood at Tk 10.10 billion on the country’s premier bourse, climbing further by 5.0 per cent over the previous day’s mark of Tk 9.65 billion. Market capitalisation of the DSE reached Tk 4,076 billion, the highest in eight months. It was Tk 4,077 billion on April 19 last year. Gainers outpaced losers as out of 346 issues traded, 238 advanced, 85 declined and 23 issues remained unchanged on the DSE floor.
Tk 8.90b investment plan to revamp Chhatak Cement Co
Chhatak Cement Company Limited incurred an accumulated loss of over Tk 3.63 billion in last five fiscal years from 2013-14 to 2017-18 mainly due to gradual erosion in production capacity with old, outdated machinery. Presently, the annual production capacity of the 80-year-old state-owned factory, a concern of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), declined to only 70,000 metric tonnes. The factory was established in 1937 with an initial annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes of ordinary Portland cement. However, the capacity reached to 190,000 tonnes following three times of BMRE (Balancing, Modernisation, Rehabilitation and Expansion) in 1985, 1987 and 2000. The production capacity of the factory would then increase and the company is expected to turn into a profit-making one, said the official, adding that the annual profit would stand at around Tk 1.0 billion if the project is implemented. The project is planned be implemented with government finance at an estimated investment of Tk 8.90 billion – Tk 5.34 billion as loan with a payback period of seven years and the rest as equity.
BD pays $1.15b to ACU for Nov-Dec imports
Bangladesh has made a routine payment of US$1.15 billion to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during the November-December period of last calendar year. After the payment, the foreign exchange (forex) reserve fell to $31.01 billion on Tuesday from $32.09 billion on the previous working day, according to the central bank officials. The amount of ACU payment rose to $1.15 billion during the period under review from $1.13 billion earlier mainly due to higher imports from the ACU member countries particularly from India. Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interests thereof are to be paid at the end of every two months among the member countries. The ACU is an arrangement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, through which intraregional transactions among the participating central banks are settled on a multilateral basis.
BB pushes banks to clear import bills Bangladesh Bank has expressed dissatisfaction over the unwillingness of banks to make import payments despite giving acceptance to their corresponding lenders. Allegations have been found against some banks that continued to show reluctance to repay the import bills on time, according to a BB letter sent to all lenders yesterday. Banks have been asked to send information on their payable import bills to the BB by January 13.
BSEC approves CAPIEC Unit Fund prospectus
The securities regulator has approved the draft prospectus of CAPIEC Popular Life P.F. Unit Fund. The approval came Tuesday at a meeting held at the office of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). The initial size of the fund will be Tk 100 million. The sponsor will contribute Tk 10 million, while remaining Tk 90 million will be collected through sales of units. Popular Life Insurance Company Limited Employees Provident Fund is the sponsor of the unit fund. CAPITEC Asset Management will work as fund manager. Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) is both trustee and custodian of the unit fund whose draft prospectus was approved on Tuesday.
Mongla EPZ exports rise 16 times in 10 years
The exports from Mongla Export Processing Zone (EPZ) have increased by 16 times in last 10 years. Investments also witnessed a rise by 11 times and about 4,500 people got jobs as well during the period. Out of a total of 192 industrial plots of the zone, 165 plots have already been allocated among the investors. In 2008, the EPZ drew investments worth Tk 450 million, but investments witnessed a rise significantly in 2018 as the port town EPZ drew Tk 5.10 billion worth of investments, 11 times in the last 10 years. Activities of EPZ and Mongla port were slowed down when the BNP came to power in 2001. But the port and EPZ became active again on the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2009. Currently, there are very few empty plots in Mongla EPZ. There has been a great industrialization within the Mongla EPZ. The process of bringing in the raw materials is being done using the Mongla Port. For this reason the use of Mongla Port is at a rise.
Sonali Exchange in US posts profit Sonali Exchange Co Inc., USA, a subsidiary of the state-owned Sonali Bank Limited, saw a significant profit last year after counting a loss in the previous two years. It sent $87.15 million in remittances to Bangladesh in 2018, the highest in the last five years. The Sonali Exchange earned a profit of $19,000 in 2018, thanks to growing confidence of the expatriate Bangladeshis in the exchange house and sincere cooperation from all concerned. The money transfer company counted a loss of $227,000 in 2017 and $66000 in 2016, but it bounced back last year when it sent remittances amounting to $87.15 million, $2.15 million more than the target. Zahurul said the number of remitters has increased to 122,431 in 2018, 11,000 up from the previous year and the number was the highest in the last eight years. Sonali Exchange sent nearly $3 billion to Bangladesh in the last 24 years.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,770.77513|| ↑ 115.58798|| ↑ 2.04%|
|DJIA||23,787.45||↑ 256.10||↑ 1.09%|
|FTSE100||6,861.60||↑ 50.72||↑ 0.74%|
|Nikkei 225||20,455.74||↑251.70||↑ 1.25%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 50.48||↑ 0.70||↑ 1.41%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 59.41||↑ 0.69||↑ 1.18%|
|Gold Spot||$1,284.05||↓ 1.34||↓ 0.10%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.7516|
|GBP 1||BDT 106.7079|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.9458|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1930|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<