BB pushes banks to attain farm credit target
The central bank has asked commercial banks for taking effective measures to achieve their agro-credit disbursement targets by the end of this fiscal year. The instruction came at a special meeting with senior officials of 30 foreign and local private banks at the Bangladesh Bank (BB) headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday. BB Agricultural Credit Department general Manager chaired the event where BB executive director was present as the chief guest. The banks, whose disbursement performance was below 50 per cent, made a commitment to achieving their targets by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. According to BB officials at the meeting, they also provided updated information on the overall agro-credit activity in line with the central bank’s requirements and BB will closely review the banks’ performance to help them achieve their targets by the end of FY ’19. The BB’s latest moves came against the backdrop of a falling trend in farm credit disbursement in recent months of this fiscal. The agriculture loan disbursement dropped by nearly 5.0 per cent to Tk 102.31 billion during the July-December period of FY ’19 from Tk 107.56 billion in the same period last fiscal. The next review meeting of all private commercial banks and foreign commercial banks is due for February 20 at the BB headquarters.
Banks’ CSR spending sees sudden rise
Private banks’ spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes for disaster management purposes witnessed a whopping 162 percent year-on-year rise last year. The expenditure aimed at distributing blankets and warm clothes for winter-stricken people hit Tk 480 crore in 2017-18, up from Tk 183 crore in 2016-17, according to Bangladesh Bank data. Banks had spent the amount either by own channels or through donations to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund. According to the central bank’s half-yearly report on philanthropic activities of banks, the higher expenditure for disaster management fuelled the total CSR spend in the second half of 2017 and in the first half of 2018. The banking sector’s total CSR expenditure almost doubled to Tk 1,045 crore in the last fiscal year, from Tk 541 crore a year ago. In April last year, the Bangladesh Association of Banks, the forum of directors of private commercial banks, donated Tk 163 crore to the PM’s relief fund. In the first half of 2018, banks spent Tk 247 crore for disaster management, the second highest after education among the eight sectors where CSR money could be spent. The amount was 39.36 percent of the entire CSR expenditure of Tk 627 crore, BB data showed.
Premier Bank leads DSE turnover chart
Top ten traded companies captured 27 per cent turnover of the Dhaka bourse on Tuesday while Premier Bank topped the chart after long time. Three banks — Premier Bank, Dhaka Bank and IFIC Bank featured in the top turnover chart, accounting for 11 per cent of the day’s total turnover. Market analysts said investors continued their focus on the banking sector’s issues amid dividend expectations. The banking sector also gained 0.70 per cent on the day as prices of 18 banks closed green, while seven declined and five remained unchanged. According to the data from the DSE, about 37.96 million shares of the Premier Bank were traded, generating a turnover of nearly Tk 607 million, which was 6.82 per cent of the DSE’s total turnover. The total turnover on the DSE stood at Tk 8.90 billion on Tuesday which was Tk 8.851 billion on the previous session. The bank’s share price closed at Tk 16.40 each, registering an increase of 9.33 per cent over the previous day. It was also the day’s third highest gainer. The Premier Bank, which was listed on the DSE in 2007, disbursed 15 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2017.
Stocks edge up on GP, bank shares
Stocks finished slightly higher on Tuesday after volatile trading as some investors showed their buying appetite, particularly banking and telecommunication shares. Market analysts said investors were active on large-cap stocks on telecommunication, banking and power sectors, taking the market in the green territory. The telecom sector posted the highest gain of 1.20 per cent as the sector’s heavyweight Grameenphone’ share soared 1.12 per cent to close at Tk 388.90 each. The banking sector also rebounded gaining 0.70 per cent as prices of 18 banks closed green, out of 30. The insurance sector faced correction, snapping the recent sharp gain, losing 2.90 per cent. Prices of 41 insurance companies fell out of 47. Following the recent price surge, the prime bourse also served show-cause notices on 12 insurance companies. The companies separately informed the DSE Tuesday that there was no undisclosed price sensitive information for the recent unusual price hike of the shares.
Jul-Oct raw material imports rise 12pc
Import of industrial raw materials increased by nearly 12 per cent during the July-October period in 2018 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. The rise in import was because of the fast growth in local investments. Economists attributed the increase in investment to political and economic stability that prompted the business community to invest more in the country. Raw material import showed positive growth, meaning that the existing companies were not facing problems with their business. According to a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the local entrepreneurs were encouraged to invest more due mainly to a sound financial climate, and he expressed hope the higher import of industrial raw materials would help boost productivity in near future.
BPDB, Chinese co to build 150MW plant
The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a deal with the Dongfang Electric International Corporation (DEC) of China on Tuesday to construct a 150-megawatt (MW) power plant in the country’s northern region. The plant will be built on 18 acres of land in Syedpur under Nilphamari district within 540 days by June 2021. It will be run with diesel, to be imported from India through a 130-km (kilometre) cross-country pipeline. The Chinese firm will build the power plant as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The total cost to build the power plant has been estimated at around Tk 10 billion, of which the government will provide around Tk 3.02 billion. Besides, the BPDB will provide around Tk 2.15 billion from its own coffer, and the remaining Tk 4.83 billion will be project loan. The power plant will be built under the buyer’s credit, and the Bank of China will provide 85 per cent of the EPC cost worth US$ 68.49 m.
ECNEC approves eight projects involving Tk 18.93 billion
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its first meeting under the new government endorsed eight development projects involving a total of Tk 18.93 billion. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting held in the city on Tuesday. Emerging from the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan told reporters that the prime minister asked the ministries and agencies to implement the development projects in time meeting the quality standards. Jatrabari-Demra highway upgrade project is one of the eight projects approved in the meeting. Under the project, the Jatrabari-Demra highway (from Mayor Hanif Flyover to Sultana Kamal Bridge) would be upgraded into four-lane one at a cost of Tk 3.69 billion to facilitate smooth traffic movement and ease traffic congestion.
Large-cap companies help stocks keep afloat
Dhaka stocks inched up on Tuesday despite a fall in share prices of two-thirds of the traded scrips, as a section of investors purchased sector-specific large capitalised scrips while others went on selling shares for profits. DSEX, the key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, added 0.10 per cent, or 6.15 points, to close at 5,865.46 points on Tuesday after losing 27.97 points in the previous session. According to the market operators the market started bullish but soon after moved downward before a flat finish and some investors went for investing on the sector-specific scrips amid expectations that the market would remain bullish in the months to come while others went on selling shares for profits. The investors were observing the market movement after the market hit an 11-month high in just a month. Despite the positive ending on Tuesday, share prices of two-thirds of the traded scrips dropped on the day as many investors continued selling shares to book profits to avoid any losses. The market finished up as average share prices of telecommunications, pharmaceutical, energy and bank advanced by 1.25 per cent, 0.79 per cent, 0.78 per cent and 0.63 per cent respectively.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,865.46428|| ↑ 6.15985 || ↑ 0.11%|
|DJIA||24,404.48||↓ 301.87|| ↓ 1.22%|
|FTSE100||6,901.39|| ↓ 69.20||↓ 0.99%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 52.57||↓1.23||↓ 2.29%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 61.48||↓0.02||↓0.03%|
|Gold Spot||$1,284.28||↓0.94||↓ 0.07%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8273|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.6653|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.2949|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1734|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<