BB sells over $1.0b to banks in six months
The central bank has injected more than US$1.20 billion so far this fiscal year into the market to help keep the country’s foreign exchange (forex) regime stable. As part of the measure, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) sold the US currency directly to the commercial banks as liquidity support for meeting their import payment obligations. According to an official BB provided such foreign currency support to the banks so that they can make import payment bills, particularly for fuel oils, capital machinery for power plants, LNG (liquefied natural gas) and fertilizer. The central bank has also provided the US currency to the banks to help them make import payment obligations for electronic voting machines. A total of $1.12 billion sold to the commercial banks during the first six months to December as part of its ongoing support, the BB data showed. Besides, it was selling $97 million to the banks from January 01 to January 10 last to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market, according to central bankers. The central bank sold $ 2.31 billion during the FY 18 on the same ground.
BB seeks Tk 8.0b for ESF to fund agro-based projects
The central bank has sought an allocation of Tk 8.0 billion for its ‘Entrepreneurship Support Fund’ (ESF) in the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2019-20 for financing agro-based projects. Besides, it has projected a requirement of Tk 35 billion for its ESF between 2020-21 and 2023-24. Currently, some Tk 20 billion will be required for smooth operation of the agro-based projects under ESF. According to a Bangladesh Bank Official BB have requested the finance ministry to allocate Tk 8.0 billion for the agro-based projects in the next fiscal year under ESF. BB have received a number of applications from entrepreneurs that are lying pending with us. But ESF agro fund faces a capital deficit whereas the information technology sector has a surplus of fund. According to an official of Financial Institutions Division they have received a letter from the central bank. We are now working on the issue.” The government introduced the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF) in the fiscal year (FY) 2000-01 to help promote entrepreneurship and create employment opportunities in the areas of agro-based industry (excluding conventional sub-sectors such as rice and flour mills, fishing trawlers, cold storage, etc), and information technology (IT).
DSE turnover hits 14-month high
Stocks witnessed a marginal correction on Monday, snapping recent rally, as investors booked quick-profit, particularly on financial issues. Market analysts said stocks returned to the red as a section of investors opted for booking profit on stocks which saw sharp gain in recent price upsurge. Banking sector witnessed the highest correction, losing 1.20 per cent, followed by financial institutions with 0.30 per cent and telecommunication sector 0.20 per cent. According a leading broker Investors witnessed cautious trading with the market gauge crossing 5,800-mark on Sunday after nine months. The market was in positive territory in the first half of the session and prime index gained 27 points, but profit booking tendency, particularly on financial stocks, wiped out the early gains. At the end of the session, DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down by 23.98 points or 0.41 per cent to settle at 5,836.
Le Méridien issues Tk 1,200cr bond to pay off loans
Best Holdings, the parent company of Le Méridien Dhaka, issued a bond to raise Tk 1,200 crore with a view to paying off its bank loans, which it has been struggling to service despite raking in profits. The company had taken loans amounting to Tk 1,160 crore for the upscale hotel’s construction. As of August 31, 2018, Best Holdings owes Tk 838 crore to a total of 13 banks and non-bank financial institutions. Curiously, four of the banks — United Commercial, Southeast, Trust and NCC — and one of the non-bank financial institutions (IDLC Finance) that are investing in the bond, which will yield interest of 10 percent over an eight-year period, are owed money by Best Holdings. Best Holdings owes Tk 78.82 crore to UCBL, Tk 145.31 crore to Southeast, Tk 15.44 crore to Trust, Tk 85.70 crore to NCC and Tk 40.73 crore to IDLC Finance. Construction for the hotel on four bighas of land in the capital’s Nikunja area began in 2006 but the property did not open its doors to guests until 2015 for political uncertainty and delays in getting gas and electricity connections.
‘Rupali’ app to help boost fish production
The ACI Agribusiness is developing a digital platform called ‘Rupali’, an android application, under a project to help farmers and other stakeholders get advice and information about aquaculture at their fingertips. The project will initially target five southwestern districts-Bagerhat, Khulna, Gopalganj, Satkhira and Jessore-the first three have fish productivity below the national average. The project involving US$ 5,00,000 in its first year is being implemented jointly by ACI Agribusiness and WorldFish. According to Managing Director and CEO of ACI Agribusiness Dr FH Ansarey, It will enable fish farmers to increase their productivity and generate more income by giving advice through the digital platform. Rupali is expected to be launched by the second half of 2019 via a mobile app, website, SMS, and outbound and inbound call centres. The project has a target to have 7,500 users in the first year and 45,000 or more in the second year.
Govt may revoke three more solar park projects
The government is likely to revoke three more solar park projects in the private sector as the implementing agencies have failed to make any progress though the deadlines of the projects expired. The government has already issued ‘Event of Default Notice (EDN)’, the initial process to terminate a contract, to the sponsors of the projects to this end, Power Division Joint Secretary (Renewable Energy) Mohammad Alauddin told UNB. The three projects are 32 MW Sunamganj Solar Park, 50 MW Mymensingh Solar Park and 5 MW Lalmonirhat Solar Park. Earlier, the government cancelled the 200 MW Teknaf Solar Park project as US firm Sun-Edison failed to implement it as per the schedule. However, the executing agency has moved the international arbitration challenging the government’s decision.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,836.23416|| ↓23.416 || ↓ 0.41%|
|DJIA||23,909.84||↓ 86.11|| ↓ 0.36%|
|FTSE100||6,855.02||↓ 63.16||↓ 0.91%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 51.14|| ↑0.63||↑ 1.25%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 59.71||↑ 0.72|| ↑1.22%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,291.94|| ↑ 0.22||↑ 0.02%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.7624|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.0367|
|EUR 1||BDT 96.1927|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1809|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<