BB unveils H2 Monetary Policy Statement today
The central bank is set to unveil its second half-yearly (H2) monetary policy statement (MPS) today (Wednesday) with a likely goal of achieving sustainable economic growth, putting a curb on inflation. Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir will announce the MPS for the January-June period of this fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, at 11:30 am on the day. The BB has formulated the growth-supportive monetary policy, giving top priority to job creation, ensuring greater flow of credit to the productive sectors. The MPS is likely to focus more on the flow of quality credit through strengthening the monitoring and supervision works on the part of the central bank and all the scheduled banks. However, the private sector credit growth target is likely to see a downward revision from the previous target, set by BB in the MPS for H1 of FY 19. The central bank projected that the private sector credit would grow at 16.80 per cent in June 2019, according to the MPS for the July-December period of FY 19. According to one official the private sector credit growth target must be over 16 per cent for H2 of this fiscal.
AIIB forecasts rise in BD infrastructure activity
Forecasting a rise in infrastructural activity in 2019, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) identified high cost and projected currency volatility as risk factors for Bangladesh. According to AIIB, high costs pose an ongoing structural challenge to infrastructure development in Bangladesh. However currency volatility could affect project financing, although multilateral development banks are expected to help with the hedging challenge. According to the report, Bangladesh will remain a priority market for the AIIB in 2019 despite infrastructure stakeholders’ concerns about inflationary pressure and depreciation of taka.
Stocks see marginal rise on DSE
Dhaka bourse closed the Tuesday’s session with a marginal rise following investors’ increased participation in some major sectors. On the day, the broad index displayed daylong volatility as many investors took positions in sector specific sectors while others opted to book profits ahead of disclosing monetary policy. At the end of the session, the DSEX, the broad index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), closed at 5924.53 points with a rise of 0.34 per cent or 20.30 points. After four sessions, the turnover went down below Tk 10 billion on the DSE. The market opened the Tuesday’s session with a positive note and soon later the broad index of the premier bourse declined for a while. A recovery stance was observed during the mid-session and investors’ participation increased in bank, general insurance and telecommunication sectors. Some other major sectors such as financial institutions and pharmaceuticals & chemicals witnessed price correction. Finally, the broad index managed to close positive after the corrections observed in previous two sessions.
Ecnec approves 9 projects worth Tk 16,433cr
The Ecnec in a meeting yesterday approved nine new and revised projects worth Tk 16,433 crore, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directing that no structure could be built on haors and land which yields three crops a year. After the meeting, Planning Minister informed of the directives. The meeting approved a revised project to expand rural electrification where the cost was increased by 26 percent to Tk 8,691 crore to bring an additional 4.5 lakh subscribers under the programme. Ecnec approved the project in March 2016 with a target of bringing 15 lakh subscribers under electricity network by December 2018. Under the revised project, the total number of subscribers in rural areas will reach 19.5 lakh and the timeline has been extended to June 30, 2020. Moreover, electricity lines would be set up on an additional 15,000 kilometres, taking the project’s reach to a total of 59,000 km.
13 companies witness mixed trends in Q2
Some 13 listed companies have displayed mixed performance for October-December (Q2), 2018 compared to same quarter of the previous year. The EPS (earnings per share) of many companies rose for Q2 compared to same period of the previous year. The companies which witnessed rise in EPS are MI Cement, Active Fine Chemicals, Metro Spinning, Ambee Pharmaceuticals, Fu Wang Food, Beacon Pharmaceuticals and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh.
Advance-deposit ratio now within regulatory limits
The average advance-deposit ratio (ADR) of private banks came down within the regulatory limit in September last year after going past the ceiling in April, thanks to adequate liquidity. The ratio came down to 84.38 percent in September from 86.23 percent in April, according to Bangladesh Bank data. Currently, banks are required to maintain an ADR of 85 percent, meaning they can lend Tk 85 against a deposit of Tk 100. In January last year, the BB slashed the ADR by 1.5 percentage points to 83.5 percent in a bid to tighten banks’ capacity to lend. The ratio for Shariah-based banks was cut to 89 percent from 90 percent. The new rate comes into effect from March this year.
Omani firm starts supplying LNG
Oman Trading International (OTI), an Omani firm, started supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Bangladesh from Monday, which will help meet the growing demand for gas in the country. As per one official of Petrobangla a vessel carrying around 136,000 cubic metres of lean LNG reached Bangladesh’s maiden operational floating LNG terminal at Moheshkhali island in the Bay of Bengal on Monday evening. The Omani firm is the second supplier of LNG in Bangladesh after Qatar’s RasGas that has been supplying LNG since April 2018.
Thrust on generating IT-skilled workforce
The three-day Chittagong IT Fair on Monday night with the call for creating information technology rich workforce to take the country towards further development. The fair was organised jointly by the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and the Society of Chittagong IT Professionals (SCITP) on January 26-28 at the CCCI’s World Trade Centre.
29 committees formed to oversee implementation of RMG wage
The government has formed 29 committees comprising officials of Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments and Department of Labour to look into the labour situation and implementation status of the latest wage structures in the labour intensive areas in the country. The committees will monitor the implementation situation of the latest wage structure announced for the workers and also take initiative for massive publicity of hotline established by the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments, or DIFE. In the awake of the recent workers’ movement in the readymade garment sector centring on demand for wage hike, the government formed the committees on January 21.
29 BD apparel, leather makers to take part in Paris fair
A total of 29 Bangladeshi apparel, fabric and leather manufacturers will participate in a four-day fair scheduled to begin in Paris on February 11. Messe Frankfurt has organised the fair which will comprise three shows namely Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Leatherworld Paris. As per the organizer, a wide range of fashion products from the major manufacturing countries, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Cambodia, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey will be showcased in the fair. A national pavilion of Bangladesh will be set up at the fair by the Export Promotion Bureau. The Leatherworld Paris will be held for the second time in February 2019. Tannery and finished leather goods will be exhibited at the event.
Entrepreneur Organization Bangladesh greets Abrar A Anwar
Entrepreneur Organization (EO) Bangladesh held its 5th meeting of ‘Board Room Series’ recently in Dhaka. EO Board Room Series is an open conversation about the leader’s journey to success. The event encompassed an exclusive dialogue and experience sharing session with Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank at Malaysia.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,924.22615|| ↑20.30662 || ↑0.34%|
|DJIA|| 24,579.96||↑51.74|| ↑0.21%|
|FTSE100||6,833.93|| ↑ 86.83|| ↑1.29%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 53.27|| ↓0.04|| ↓0.08%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 61.29||↓0.03||↓0.05%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,313.21||↑1.42||↑0.11%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8024|
|GBP 1||BDT 109.7309|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.8532|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1785|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<