Japan to lend $1.31b for Matarbari power plant
Japan has agreed to lend Bangladesh $1.31 billion under the 40th official development assistance (ODA) loan package for the construction of the Matarbari ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant. Earlier, Bangladesh signed a deal for over $1.2 billion with Japan for four projects, including the second metro rail connecting the capital’s airport and Kamalapur, during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan on May 28-31. Now, the total assistance of Japan under the 40th ODA reached $2.51 billion, which is 38.67 percent higher than the 39th. Monowar Ahmed, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), signed the exchange of notes with Hiroyasu Izumi, ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and the loan agreement with Hitoshi Hirata, Chief Representative of the Bangladesh office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The interest rate of the new loan is 0.09 percent for construction and 0.01 percent for consultation services while the front-end fee is 0.2 percent with 30 years of repayment period, including 10 years of grace period.
Most State Banks hit by Capital deficit
Six of the eight State Banks faced Capital shortfall in the first quarter of the year, a development that shoves the government under the spotlight for its non-action against the lenders’ errant ways. As of March, Agrani, BASIC, Janata, Rupali, Bangladesh Krishi and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan had combined Capital shortfall of Tk 15,953.41 crore, according to Bangladesh Bank data. “The State Banks cannot continue this way,” said Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute. The government injects Capital into the State Banks every year but there has been no improvement in their capital base or their corporate governance. In the last 17 years, the government has injected a total of Tk 20,584 crore into the State Banks. This year, it will provide Tk 1,500 crore.
BERC raises gas prices from today
The gas consumers will have to count an additional 32.8 per cent higher tariff on an average from the first day of the fiscal year (FY), 2019-20, as the energy regulator has announced the ‘biggest-ever’ hike with effect from today (July 01). The new weighted average natural gas tariff will be Tk 9.80 per cubic metre from the existing Tk 7.38. The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Chairman Monwar Islam announced the tariff hike decision at a press conference in the commission’s office at Karwan Bazar in the city on Sunday. Household consumers having single-burner will have to pay Tk 925 per month instead of the existing Tk 750, while the double-burner users will have to pay Tk 975 instead of the existing Tk 800 following the hike.
VAT 5pc on online shopping comes into effect today
The value added tax (VAT) proposed in the budget for 2019-20 on online shopping comes into effect from today, albeit at a reduced rate and under a new calculation. Amidst the e-commerce industry’s outcry and campaigns, the rate has been reduced to 5 percent from 7.5 percent, the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) said in a statement yesterday. However, the taxes proposed on telecom services has remained unchanged, according to the statement. The VAT on online shopping will be calculated based on the difference between what a company pays for a product and sells it for, it said. For instance, if a company buys a product for Tk 100 and sells it at Tk 110, the 5 percent will be calculated on the Tk 10 difference, meaning the VAT will be Tk 0.5.
GPH to invest Tk 60m more in Star Allied Venture
GPH Ispat Ltd is going to invest Tk 60 million more in Star Allied Venture Ltd, which has recently been decided at a Board of Directors meeting. The investment will be made as equity against purchase of 50 acres of land at Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chattogram to set up a TBR Tyre Factory, the Company said in an official disclosure. Earlier, the GPH Ispat also invested as equity for 25,000 ordinary shares of Tk 100 each and the total value of the investment was Tk 2.50 million. The Star Allied Venture will form a joint venture Company with Yunnan Yongle Overseas Investment Co Ltd. (a subsidiary of Kunming Iron and Steel Holding Co Ltd, a state owned Company of China Government). The purpose of the formation of this joint venture (JV) company is to establish a JV investment in Bangladesh with an amount of US$ 2.30 billion.
Govt set to approve draft SME Policy-2019 today
The government is set to approve the draft SME Policy – 2019 today (Monday), offering special policy and institutional support to boost the potential sector. The Ministry of Industries (MoI) has already drafted the policy by incorporating 11-point strategies, including access to finance and business support services for the SME sector. Other strategies include access to technology, innovation, education, training and information.
Perfee officially launched in Bangladesh
International electronic trading platform Perfee has been officially launched in Bangladesh with an aim to facilitate e-commerce services for all. Founder of Perfee, Michel Wu introduced the service along with local partners at a function at the Company’s Dhaka office on Saturday. General Manager Jie Bin and Business Development Head Asiev Chowdhury were present, among others, on the occasion. Logistic partner E-Courier’s Chief Executive Biplob Ghosh Rahul said Perfee has maintained a growing trend in early stage as we experienced in last couple of months during product delivery.
Mercy Miyang Tembon new WB Country Director
Mercy Miyang Tembon has recently been appointed as the World Bank’s new country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. The Cameroonian national will lead the implementation of the WB group’s country partnership framework in support of the development priorities of both countries. She will also lead the policy dialogue with government counterparts, civil society and other stakeholders to achieve country development goals.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Nikkei 225|| 21,634.81||↑358.89||↑1.69%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 59.71||↑1.24||↑2.12%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 66.13||↑1.39||↑2.15%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,392.34|| ↓17.21||↓1.22%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.9869|
|GBP 1||BDT 105.3130|
|EUR 1||BDT 94.3264|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2012|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<