Important Business News Extracts – January 10 2017
SME credit crosses TK 1t in 9 months
Aggregate disbursement of credit to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector crossed Tk 1 trillion (Tk 1,000 billion) during the first nine months of 2016. Statistics available with Bangladesh Bank revealed that the country’s banks and financial institutions disbursed Tk 1011.60 billion (Tk 1.01 trillion) as SME credit during January-September period of the previous year. The amount was Tk 819.54 billion in the same period of 2015. Thus, SME credit disbursement jumped by around 23.5 per cent during the period under review.
Many IBBL staff in fear over job future after major shake-up
Many staff of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd are in fear of losing job following major changes in the bank’s board of directors and top management. A number of IBBL officials told New Age on Monday that panic spread among the staff of the bank that the new management would sack a number of employees to operate IBBL under its (management) new design. On January 5, former secretary Arastoo Khan was elected chairman of the board of directors of IBBL in his maiden meeting as director of the bank. He replaced Mustafa Anwar in a major shake-up in the country’s largest private commercial bank. The new IBBL board appointed Md Abdul Hamid Miah as managing director and chief executive officer of the bank, replacing Abdul Mannan, on the same day. Hamid began his duty at IBBL from Monday after getting approval from Bangladesh Bank. The new IBBL board, however, on Sunday assured the bank’s employees that the board and management would not terminate anyone without any cause.
Brac has topped the NGO ranking of Geneva-based NGO Advisor for the second consecutive year. The NGO Advisor, the independent media organisation committed to highlighting innovation, impact and governance in the non-profit sector, published the 2017 Top 500 NGOs World rankings yesterday, said a Brac press release. Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, claimed the second spot and The Skoll Foundation, a social entrepreneurship foundation based in Palo Alto, California, was number three. Oxfam and Save the Children were seventh and eleventh, the release added.
Bridges Div requests cut in allocation for current FY
The builders of high-priority Padma Multipurpose Bridge are unable to spend its budgetary allocations for this fiscal as it had a surfeit of funds against a slow execution performance, officials said. As such, the Bridges Division has requested the Planning Commission (PC) to trim down the funds by 21 per cent to Tk 47.74 billion from the allocated Tk 60.26 billion in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.
The state-run BPDB inked a deal with Southern Solar Power Ltd (SSPL) Monday to purchase around 200 megawatt (MW) of solar electricity. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will purchase the electricity from SSPL for 20 years on ‘no electricity, no payment basis’ under the agreement. The tariff has been fixed at USD 17 cents per unit (1 kilowatt-hour).
Bapex is set to shell out USD 28.9 million for joint exploration of gas blocks in the Bay of Bengal to gather first-hand experience of offshore search. Australia-based Santos Sangu Field Ltd will lead the exploration. Santos had made the proposal to Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (Bapex) to explore the Magnama geological formation in Block 16 of the Bangladesh seabed. If Bapex was interested, it would have to shoulder 49% of the costs, as per the proposal. Santos had earlier invested USD 92.0 million, which was counted as sunk cost and Bapex will now have to pay USD 12.7 million towards it. Initially, Santos claimed USD 40.6 million from Bapex as sunk cost, but later through negotiation it was brought down to USD 12.7 million, officials said. For digging Magnama-2 well in the sea belt, the total cost is expected to be USD 26.0 million – 49.0% of which must be borne by Bapex. The amount comes to USD 16.0 million.
Bridges Division requests cut in allocation for current FY
The builders of high-priority Padma Multipurpose Bridge are unable to spend its budgetary allocations for this fiscal as it had a surfeit of funds against a slow execution performance, officials said. As such, the Bridges Division has requested the Planning Commission (PC) to trim down the funds by 21.0% to BDT 47.8 billion from the allocated BDT 60.3 billion in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have discussed signing a free trade agreement between the two countries when the new Bangladesh High Commissioner Riaz Hamidullah called on Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Finance Ministry on Friday, reports dalynews.com. The discussion was centered on the benefits to be tapped by both countries from a regional trade agreement.
The Asian Development Bank said on Monday that its operations for Asia and the Pacific reached an all-time high of $31.5 billion in 2016, a 17 per cent increase from 26.9 billion dollars in 2015. The Manila-based bank said approvals of loans, grants, technical assistance, and co-financing have been growing steadily over the years as development needs in the region continue to rise. ‘The increase in our development financing to Asia and the Pacific is reflective of our strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving people’s lives in the region,’ said ADB president Takehiko Nakao. ‘Asia is growing at a steady pace, but more needs to be done to achieve development that is both sustainable and inclusive,’ Nakao said.
The liability to foreign loans of the national flag carrier, Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BBA), has swelled to about US$ 592 million (more or less Tk 46.77 billion) due to its poor operational performance, sources said. The state-owned airlines owe the debt to a total of nine international financial institutions. The credit has been used mainly to purchase aircraft for the BBA, they added.
Square Pharmaceuticals, a listed company, will set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing subsidiary company in Nairobi, Kenya, to meet up the growing demand in that African country. The officials said company that would be established in Kenya will be a fully owned subsidiary company of the Square Pharmaceuticals. According to company officials, the central bank has already given its consent to equity investment in the subsidiary manufacturing company.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) has offered VAT exemption on import of composite LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders for the local industries for facilitating industrial growth. Value Added Tax (VAT) Wing has waived 15.0% VAT on the product at its import stage following proposals of Beximco Group, officials said. LPG cylinders with capacity below 5,000 liters are entitled to enjoy the VAT exemption up to June 30, 2017.
The use of bandwidth in Bangladesh more than doubled year-on-year to 380 gigabits per second in 2016, driven by local contents and expansion of 3G services. The number of internet users was 54.1 million at the end of 2015, which rose to 66.8 million in September 2016, according to data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission or BTRC. The Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh said the bandwidth used at the end of 2016 was no less than 400gbps. The use of bandwidth increased at a time when Bangladesh is experiencing a slow internet connection because of breakdowns in three Indian undersea cables. On January 4, the connection of India’s Tata Indicom Cable was the latest to go out of order, which provides around half of the internet bandwidth that comes from India to Bangladesh.
Vegetable production has more than doubled in just over a decade, making Bangladesh one of the fastest-growing vegetable producers in the world. The growth in recent years stems from better seeds and technologies as opposed to the growths in the 80s and early 90s when more agro land was dedicated to vegetable farming. With rice and other cereals occupying over 75 percent of the country’s 8.5 million hectares of arable land, the land for vegetable cultivation is shrinking.
Famous business magazine Fortune named Enron “America’s Most Innovative Company” six years in a row prior to its collapse in 2001. The rise of this company was simply spectacular, could easily beat the imagination of even the fiction writers. After being formed in 1985 by a merger between Houston Natural Gas Co and InterNorth Inc, in just 15 years, Enron grew from nowhere to America’s seventh largest company, employing 21,000 staff members in more than 40 countries. Its share price skyrocketed to an all time high of $90.56 in the year 2000. To the surprise of everyone the success story took an about-turn within just a few days.
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