Govt looks to simplify rules as FDI plummets 13.8pc
Gross inflow of foreign direct investment to Bangladesh fell 13.8 per cent to $3.73 billion in the first 11 months of last fiscal year, largely owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which came as a shock to foreign investors. The drop would sound out a warning bell to Bangladesh as it would have to make its laws simple and incentives attractive to attract foreign investors as it seeks to draw FDI moving out of China in the wake of the epidemic. Gross FDI receipts were $4.33 billion during the same period a year earlier, Bangladesh Bank data showed. Net FDI dropped 19.04 per cent year-on-year to $1.97 billion in the 11 months. The fall in FDI was expected as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development last month forecast that global FDI flows to decrease by up to 40 per cent in 2020, from their 2019 value of $1.54 trillion, because of the pandemic.FDI surged 51 per cent last fiscal year to its highest on record, riding largely on Japan Tobacco Inc’s acquisition of Akij Group’s tobacco business for $1.47 billion. In fiscal 2018-19, net FDI stood at $3.88 billion in contrast to $2.58 billion a year earlier, according to data from the central bank. Bangladesh expects a bigger inflow of FDI in the days to come as different nations plan to relocate their factories to countries like Bangladesh to bring down cost amid a cash crunch caused by the pandemic, said Commerce Minister TipuMunshi recently.The government plans to redesign the incentive package for post-pandemic FDI flow, Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, told state-run news agency BSS last week.
Bangladesh-based SOLshare closes $1.1m financing round
Bangladesh-based SOLshare has closed a $1.1 million financing round and the off-grid solar energy marketplace firm will use the fund to bring smart solar micro-grids to off-grid, underserved communities in the country. Dubbed as the AirBnB of the energy off-grid space, SOLshare was founded in 2014 in Dhaka, the company said in a statement yesterday. To date, the company has set up 30 peer-to-peer solar electricity trading grids in Bangladesh and India. SOLshare helps people to turn their excess solar electricity into money with zero hassle.In the aftermath of Covid-19, venture capital rounds dropped by 44 per cent in the US alone. In the first quarter of 2020, no capital was secured by ASEAN-focused private equity funds, demonstrating a challenging fundraising environment. To support SMEs in raising capital, IIX is leveraging on-the-ground data-driven insights to provide businesses and investors with comparative, standardised information on risk, return, and impact (RRI).SOLshare’s peer-to-peer marketplace in solar villages creates economic value, allowing the use by small businesses of individual household’s power that otherwise would be wasted, said Luís Manuel, executive director of EDP Innovation. Even before the pandemic, SMEs formed the backbone of the global economy, making up over 90 per cent of all firms, 70 per cent of total employment, and 50 per cent of gross domestic product. SOLshare is now negotiating a framework agreement to support the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Bangladesh supplying smart solar micro-grids in the Rohingya refugee camps. SOLshare has also announced that it has won the Ashden Award in the energy access category for “Finance and Business Model Innovation”, a gala ceremony referred to as the Green Oscars at the Royal Geographic Society in London, UK. Ashden spotlights and supports climate and energy innovators around the world, including businesses, non-profits and public sector organisations which are delivering proven, ready-to-scale climate solutions.
Banks in Bangladesh have the lowest capital base in South Asia
The capital base of Bangladesh’s banking sector is much weaker than in peer countries — a situation that not only highlights its frailty but also the heightened vulnerability amid the coronavirus pandemic. Capital adequacy ratio (CAR) is the reflection of all financial indicators of banks, including the ratio of defaulted loans, the capability of keeping provisioning against regular and classified loans and the actual situation of corporate governance. The CAR is a measurement of a bank’s available capital expressed as a percentage of risk-weighted credit exposures. Banks in Bangladesh maintained the CAR at 11.60 per cent last year, way less than 17 per cent in Pakistan, 16.5 per cent in Sri Lanka and 15.1 per cent in India.The BB took initiatives to implement the Basel III guidelines by 2019 as part of its effort to bolster the banks’ capital base. Basel III is an internationally agreed set of measures developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in response to the global financial crisis of 2007-09 to improve regulations, supervisions and risk management within the banking sector. As per a roadmap unveiled by the BB in 2014, banks were supposed to push up the minimum CAR to 12.5 per cent by December 2019 from 10 per cent then. Of the 58 banks, 43 met the standard by the deadline. As of December, the CAR of foreign banks was 24.45 per cent, private banks’ 13.62 per cent and state banks’ 4.99 per cent, data from the central bank showed.The central bank also allowed banks to reschedule a large amount of defaulted loans by granting special permissions on a case-to-case basis. Last year, a record Tk 52,770 crore was rescheduled. Of them, Tk 13,284 crore has turned sour again, BB data showed. This means nearly one-fourth of the rescheduled loans slipped into the bad category again. Defaulted loans stood at Tk 94,313 crore at the end of 2019, up 0.42 per cent year-on-year.
DSE/CSE News in Brief (05-07-2020)
Rahima Food Corporation Ltd: A board meeting of the company will be held on July 06, 2020 at 4:30 PM to consider, among others, un-audited financial statements of the company for the third quarter period ended on March 31, 2020. However, the scrip is suspended in CSE. MJL Bangladesh Ltd: A board meeting of the company will be held on July 06, 2020 at 3:00 PM to consider, among others, un-audited financial statements of the company for the third quarter period ended on March 31, 2020.Bata Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Limited: A board meeting of the company will be held on July 08, 2020 at 2:00 PM to consider, among others, un-audited financial statements of the company for the first quarter period ended on March 31, 2020. Another board meeting of the company will be held on July 08, 2020 at 2:00 PM to consider, among others, audited financial statements of the company for the year ended on December 31, 2019. Queen South Textile Mills Ltd: A board meeting of the company will now be held on July 05, 2020 at 4:00 PM to consider, among others, un-audited financial statements of the company for the third quarter period ended on March 31, 2020. Bangladesh General Insurance Company Ltd: The 35th AGM will now be held on July 15, 2020 at 11:30 AM. The AGM will be held virtually by using digital platform.
SIBL offers instant cash back for opening new account
Social Islami Bank Limited offers Tk.100.00 (taka one hundred) instant cash back for opening any newSavings, Current, Notice Deposit account. A campaign named “100 for 1” will continue up to 30 September 2020. Moreover, the clients will instantly get Debit Card and Internet Banking facilities. SIBL has taken this initiative to raise the tendency of savings and reduce cost among people amid Corona pandemic.
City Bank donates ambulance to Ctg Metropolitan Police
City Bank donated an ambulance to Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) to facilitate the emergency healthcare support and transportation of the frontline fighters against Corona Virus. Following an initiative taken by Chairman Aziz Al Kaiser, the ambulance has been donated as a part of bank’s CSR activities.
BRAC Bank celebrates 19 years
BRAC Bank Limited, a member of the BRAC family, observed its 19th founding anniversary on Saturday. Founded by Sir FazleHasan Abed KCMG in 2001, the bank commenced its operations on the 4th of July that year. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the bank refrained from any celebration for its 19th founding anniversary this year.