Prime Minister launches e-passports
The introduction of e-Passport will brighten the image of Bangladesh further in the digital world, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has advanced one more step in the digital era with undertaking the e-Passport project. Noting that 118 countries have already introduced e-Passport, she said: “Bangladesh is the first country in South Asia and 119th country in the world to introduce e-Passport.” Sheikh Hasina said the goal is to make passport and immigration services time-befitting, keeping pace with the developed world. Mentioning that Bangladesh Awami League in its 2008 election manifesto announced to build the country as Digital Bangladesh, she said the country has witnessed a digital revolution and the government has been able to reach internet services almost throughout the country. The e-Passport is now initially being issued from three offices – Uttara, Jatrabari and Agargaon -of the Department of Immigration and Passports in Dhaka. These offices have the capacity to issue 25,000 passports a day.
Stocks nudge higher on prime bourse
Dhaka bourse on Wednesday closed marginally higher mainly riding on two major sectors–engineering and financial institutions. On the day, the DSEX, DSE broad index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) displayed volatility following mixed performance of the large-cap companies. At the end of the session, the DSEX settled at 4440.29 with a rise of 0.73 per cent or 32.18 points. Of the large cap companies, the share price of Square Pharmaceuticals, British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company (BATBC) and BRAC Bank rose ranging from 1.56 per cent to 2.81 per cent. On the other hand, the share price of Grameenphone and Renata declined by 0.66 per cent and 1.68 per cent respectively. On Wednesday, the shariah based index DSES advanced 1.08 per cent or 10.98 points to close at 1018.62. The DS30 index comprising blue chip securities closed at 1519.84 with a rise of 0.84 per cent or 12.70 points. The DSE CDSET index settled at 911.84 points with a marginal rise of 6.88 points following mixed performance of the large cap companies. Of the major sectors based on market capitalisation, financial institutions witnessed 5.0 per cent price appreciation followed by fuel & power 1.3 per cent, engineering 1.2 per cent, and pharmaceuticals & chemicals 0.6 per cent. The market capitalisation of telecommunication sector declined 1.0 per cent following the price correction witnessed by Grameenphone. Investors were attracted by engineering sector which featured a turnover of Tk 713 million followed by textile 487 million, pharmaceuticals & chemicals 484 million, cement 383 million, and fuel & power Tk 361 million. Of the top turnover leaders, LafargeHolcim Bangladesh posted a turnover of Tk 377 million followed by Square Pharmaceuticals Tk 208 million, Khulna Power Company Tk 158 million, Paramount Textiles Tk 138 million and Shurwid Industries Tk 129 million.
Sea Pearl price soars 46pc in five sessions
The share price of Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Spa rose 46 per cent in last five sessions executed from the day of publishing quarterly statement that shows the company’s EPS has declined. The company’s EPS declined to Tk 0.16 for October-December, 2019 against October-December, 2018. The company’s share price closed at Tk 41 each on January 15, 2020. Later, the share price witnessed sharp rises in five consecutive sessions and closed at Tk 59.90 each on Wednesday. As a result, the company’s share price rose 46 per cent or Tk 18.90 in last five sessions.
India eyes BD’s machinery, equipment mkt
A three-day trade show on Indian engineering products kicked off in the city on Wednesday, aimed at forging global supply chain with partners from the two neighbouring countries. Industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun inaugurated the fair titled ‘INDEE Bangladesh 2020’ as the chief guest at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) while Indian high commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das addressed the event as the especial guest. EEPC India, the premier Indian trade and investment promotion organisation, organised the event, sponsored by the ministry of commerce and industry, and supported by the Bangladeshi trade bodies like FBCCI, IBCCI, BEIOA and BEMMA. Some 120 leading Indian companies, including Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Earth Movers, are taking part in the event. Terming Bangladesh’s economic growth impressive, she said: “PM Sheikh Hasina announced the light engineering products as the product of the year 2020 in Bangladesh, and ‘INDEE 2020’ is giving an excellent platform to get connected with the engineering equipment and machinery providers of India and Bangladesh.” According to EEPC India, Bangladesh has emerged as India’s major trade partner with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 10 billion along with Bangladesh exports crossing the $ 1.0 mark in the year 2019.
Bangladesh to export bandwidth to Nepal
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL) is looking for new markets to export its huge unused bandwidth and the new destination is Nepal, said officials of the state-owned listed firm. The lone submarine cable company of Bangladesh is now in talks with Nepal Telecom to export about 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth. A memorandum of understanding will be signed within a short time, Mashiur Rahman, managing director of the BSCCL, told The Daily Star recently. Bangladesh has 2,600 Gbps bandwidth capacity from two submarine cables, but only 900 Gbps is consumed locally. BSCCL is working to get its third undersea cable by 2023, which alone will add another 7,200 Gbps. BSCCL is currently exporting 10 Gbps of bandwidth to India’s northeastern state of Tripura though their state-run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). But BSNL does not afford internet bandwidth from Bangladesh anymore and will suspend its deal next month. Bandwidth export to Tripura had begun on February 8, 2016. Initially, the price was $10 per Mbps and BSCCL earned Tk 9.6 crore in the first year. Later, the price was revised down twice to bring it to $6 per Mbps. Still, BSNL has been unable to pay dues since September 2018. The Indian company owes Tk 6.39 crore to BSCCL, which is no closer to recouping the dues. Bangladesh earlier had taken an initiative to export bandwidth to Bhutan, another landlocked neighbour, but the plan did not come to fruition as India did not join in. BSCCL’s shares closed at Tk 100 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday, up 7.53 per cent from the previous day.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,440.29666||↑ 32.19||↑ 0.73 %|
|↓ 9.77||↓ 0.33 %|
|FTSE100||7,571.92||↓ 38.78||↓ 0.51 %|
|Nikkei 225||23,815.42||↓ 215.93||↓ 0.90 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 55.84||↓ 0.90||↓ 1.59 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 62.39||↓ 0.82||↓ 1.30 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,558.45||↓ 0.33||↓ 0.02 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.2880|
|GBP 1||BDT 109.041|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.3216|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17042|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<