Important Business News Extracts – January 22 2017
Banks face tighter stock market rules
The central bank has tightened its reporting requirements on capital market activities for banks and its subsidiaries to monitor the market closely. Under the revised provisions, the banks will have to submit their consolidated reports on capital market activities on a weekly basis instead of the existing fortnightly basis to the central bank. Bangladesh Bank announced the decision on Tuesday. With the latest decision, the central bank went back to November 2015 when it had relaxed the capital market exposure reporting rules for banks from weekly to two-week basis.
The finance ministry has received a directive from government high-ups for providing a specific outlook on proposed banking to apparel workers by a new rural bank within this month. Officials said the prime ministers’ office (PMO) sent in the instruction to the ministry about the micro-savings programme proposed by Palli Sanchay Bank (PSB). The move gathers momentum although the Bangladesh Bank (BB) had differed with the proposal earlier, they said.
Net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Bangladesh appeared much smaller than what was estimated earlier as the central bank revised the data matching an updated matrix. The FDI netting in the last fiscal year, 2015-16 (FY16), was earlier estimated at USD 2.0 billion, but the latest calculations put it at USD 1.3 billion.
The country’s import payments registered a 9.3% in December last year against the 17.8% growth posted in the previous month. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, letters of credit involving USD 4.1 billion were settled in December against LCs worth 3.8 billion settled in November. The year-on-year import payments in December also increased by 25.7% to USD 4.1 billion from USD 3.3 billion in the corresponding period a year ago.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Thursday the government wanted to bring about devolution in the local government bodies rather than decentralization of power to attain an economic growth to be steady at 7.0% and above. He underscored the need for strengthening and restructuring the local government to sustain the present trend of growth, leading to desirable economic development in the country.
The government is set to introduce a time-bound checklist for project preparation in a bid to cut habitual delays in the implementation. It takes more than one year to get the project moving after obtaining approval, and by the time 20 percent of a project’s fund is released, half of the project’s time elapses, according to the Asian Development Bank.
The government plans to sign an agreement with Nepal in order to invest in hydropower projects in the Himalayan country to produce and import electricity, the state minister for power said yesterday. The deal will be signed within a month, Nasrul Hamid said at the monthly “meet the reporters” programme of the Dhaka Reporters Unity at its auditorium in the capital. Bangladesh is increasingly looking outside to meet its growing demand for electricity. Though the country more than doubled its power generation in the last eight years, one-third of the population still does not have access to electricity, while the government plans to bring all households under the electricity coverage by 2021.
Runner Automobiles Ltd has started exporting its motorbikes to Nepal, the first by any company in Bangladesh, diversifying the country’s export basket. A programme was organized on the factory premises of the automobile company in Bhaluka, Mymensingh to mark the shipment of 200 motorbikes to the Himalayan country. At the function, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh has started a glorious journey towards industrialization by stepping into the global market through the exports.
Runner and other motorbike makers may get cash incentives for exports: Commerce minister
The government will provide cash incentives to local entrepreneurs for exporting two-wheelers from the next fiscal year, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed has said. The cash incentives is expected to be announced in the coming budget to encourage local motorcycle manufacturers to break into the export markets, commerce minister said while launching the exports of Runner branded two wheelers to Nepal on the company’s factory premises at Bhaluka in Mymensingh Saturday. By exporting bikes manufactured by Runner Automobiles Limited, the country has been able to diversify its exports basket, he said.
A British food distribution company has expressed interest to invest in mobile phone production in Bangladesh, reports BSS citing a press release. The Eurofoods Group, a Wales-based company, conveyed their willingness to invest in Bangladesh to Bangladesh High Commissioner to UK Nazmul Quaunine while he was visiting its factories in Newport, Gwent, Wales on Thursday. Eurofood Group already has several fish and food processing plants in Bangladesh.
Mobile operators are witnessing their active subscriber bases expand following a nosedive induced by biometric registration that ended on May 31 last year. The industry started 2016 with a record 13.37 crore connections, but biometric verification cost the operators 1.5 crore connections in total. But by the end of October 2016, the industry regained 2.52 percent of the lost connections, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said in a report published last week.
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