Taka falling against US$ despite BB’s support
Depreciating trend of the local currency against the US dollar is continuing despite the central bank’s foreign currency support to the commercial banks. The exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated by five paisa against the greenback in the last two days mainly due to higher demand for the US currency in the market. The US dollar was quoted at Tk 82.85 each on Wednesday against Tk 82.83 of the previous working day. It was Tk 82.80 on Monday, according to the market operators. On the other hand, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) has strengthened its foreign currency support to the banks for settling import payment obligations, particularly of food grains, fuel oils and capital machinery. As part of the move, BB sold US$24 million directly to seven commercial banks on Wednesday to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market. On Tuesday, the central bank similarly sold $25 million to five banks on the same ground. “We’re selling the US currency to the banks at market rate for making their import payment bills,” a BB senior official told the FE. He also said the central bank may continue providing such foreign currency support to the banks in line with the market requirement.
Stakeholders decide to meet BB governor to discuss way out
Merchant bankers and stockbrokers have decided that they would hold a meeting with Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir soon to put forward some proposals for improving the current bearish situation at the stock market. They made the decision at an emergency meeting between the DSE Brokers Association and the Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association, held at the Dhaka Stock Exchange office premises in the city on Tuesday. They held the meeting to discuss reasons responsible for the continued fall in share prices at the market and to find a way out.
Agent banking shows signs of promise: Bank Asia celebrates Agent Banking Day
Bank Asia, on Wednesday celebrated the day as ‘Agent Banking Day of Bank Asia’ through a programme in the area along with the agents, bankers and clients. Humaira Azam, deputy managing director of Bank Asia; Sarder Akhter Hamed, head of micro, small and medium enterprise, and Ahsan Ul Alam, head of the agent banking division, attended the gathering. Muhammad Islam Sheikh, the first agent of Bank Asia who took up the challenge to start the new business, talked about his success. Sheikh said he was looking for an opportunity to begin a suitable business and received an offer from the bank to open the outlet although he knew nothing about the concept. Now the deposit of the outlet stands at Tk 4.15 crore furnished by 2,000 accountholders. In fact, agent banking is increasingly getting popular across Bangladesh. The number of total agent outlets stood at 1,272 as of September last year, according to central bank data.
StanChart, Friendship team up for 400 cataract surgeries
Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh has recently teamed up with non-government organisation (NGO) Friendship to sponsor 400 cataract surgeries for underprivileged people in coastal areas. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, the bank’s CEO, and Runa Khan, the NGO’s founder and executive director, signed the relevant agreement in Dhaka on Tuesday, Friendship said in a statement yesterday. Bitopi Das Chowdhury, the bank’s country head for corporate affairs, and Kazi Golam Rasul, the NGO’s director and head of health, were present. The NGO aims to help poor people in remote and unaddressed communities in Bangladesh.
AB Bank signs deal with Bangladesh Eye Hospital
AB Bank Limited signed a Medical Services Agreement with Bangladesh Eye Hospital Limited by dint of the agreement all Debit & Credit Card holders of AB Bank Limited will enjoy special discounts and privileges from Bangladesh Eye Hospital Limited. President and Managing Director of AB Bank Limited Mr. Moshiur Rahman Chowdhury and Chairman of Bangladesh Eye Hospital Limited Dr. Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Managing Director of Bangladesh Eye Hospital Limited Dr. Niaz Abdur-Rahman and Deputy Managing Director of AB Bank Limited Ms. Shamshia I. Mutasim along with other high officials attended the signing ceremony.— Statement.
Govt signs deals with OFID for infrastructure dev
The government signed Wednesday two loan agreements with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for US$60 million aiming to implement two projects, titled ‘Construction of Paira Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) on Barisal-Patuakhali Road’ and the ‘South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project’. Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and OFID director general Suleiman J Al Herbish signed the agreements on behalf of their respective sides at a city hotel. Finance Minister AMA Muhith was present at the signing ceremony. The money coming from the OFID will be channelled into a $30 million loan as additional funding for the construction of Lebukhali Bridge over the Paira River and $30 million to be used to meet an extra cost of SASEC Road Connectivity Project. Roads and Highway Department (RHD) under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridge is implementing the ‘Construction of Paira Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) on Barisal-Patuakhali Road’ project.
Set up state window to bankroll PPP projects
Speakers at a discussion stressed Wednesday the need for a master plan to select and implement Public-Private Partnership projects to make sure those are efficient and effective. They said the government could consider floating initial public offerings (IPOs) or special bond to collect funding for PPP projects because commercial banks are not interested in extending long-term loan such projects require. The speakers also noted that there should be adequate discussion and analysis on the failure and success of PPP projects and failed projects must receive punitive action. The comments came at a roundtable on ‘What Must We do: To Meet PPP Investment Challenges’ at a hotel in Dhaka. State-backed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority and Watermark MCL jointly organised the discussion, sponsored by Prime Bank.
Apparel exports to India soar 66pc
Garment exports to India soared 66.41 percent in the first six months of the fiscal year on the back of demand from Western brands operating in the neighbouring country and closure of some small- and medium-scale factories. Between July and December last year, garment shipments to the neighbouring country fetched $111.33 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. “India is becoming a major market for us,” said Mohammad Hasan, executive director of Babylon Group, a leading garment exporter. The reason for the spike, he says, is that global retail giants like H&M and Walmart have started sourcing apparel items from Bangladesh for Indian consumers.
No meat import to save local farmers
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda said on Wednesday the government will not import meat considering the interest of local farmers. Opposing the Ministry of Commerce’s move to import frozen meat from India, the minister said the country has been producing the item more than its demand. He gave assurance of stopping import of frozen meat, being brought to the country illegally by taking advantage of the loopholes of the existing law. The minister said these while answering the questions of media at a press briefing. It was organised at Bangladesh Secretariat on the occasion of Livestock Service Week 2018.
Demand for LPG to reach 3.0m tonnes by 2025
State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid on Wednesday urged the companies operating in the country’s LPG sector to maintain quality of fuel and keep the price within the means of general consumers. He also suggested the sector people diversify their products for different types of consumers-from industrial to the community. The state minister made the suggestions at the closing ceremony of the ‘5th Asia LPG Summit 2018’ held at International Convention City, Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka. The two-day summit was organised by the World LPG Association (WLPGA), All Event Groups, Singapore and Global Event Management Services Ltd with the support from the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources.
Omera Petroleum awarded as the best private organisation at the 5th Asia LPG Summit
Omera Petroleum was awarded as the best private organisation at the 5th Asia LPG Summit, which began at ICCB in the capital on Tuesday. Md Tajul Islam, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, inaugurated the event as the Chief Guest.
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