ICB’s investment capacity raised
The central bank will not consider the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) as a single party borrower of banks in a bid to increase the financial institution’s capacity to invest in the capital market. The move comes in line with the six-point recommendation made by Finance Minister on June 18 to give a boost to the capital market. But the Bangladesh Bank did not implement the other five suggestions in the interest of the banking sector. The minister sent a letter to the central bank governor asking him to redefine the banks’ capital market exposure and increase the investment capability of the ICB, both longstanding demands of stakeholders. In response to the instructions, BB Governor wrote a letter to the minister in the last week of June to inform him that the central bank will refrain from considering the ICB as a single party borrower of banks for the time being.
Stocks finish flat despite quickfire start amid SK Trims debut hype
Dhaka stocks on Wednesday ended almost flat despite a quickfire start as investors went for selling shares in late hours after the Dhaka Stock Exchange announced that SK Trims Industries would make its debut on the bourse on July 15. DSEX, the key index of the DSE, added 0.14 per cent, or 7.94 points, to close at 5,379.24 points after gaining 30 points in the previous trading session. The average share prices of non-bank financial institutions, bank and telecommunication advanced by 1.4 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. On the other hand, the share prices of food, pharmaceuticals and cement dropped by 0.8 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. Turnover on the bourse increased to Tk 1,115.29 crore compared with that of Tk 1,088.19 crore in the previous trading session, hitting a eight-month high. DS30, the blue-chip index of the bourse, also gained 0.18 per cent, or 3.48 points, to close at 1,915.34 points. Shariah index DSES, however, lost 0.14 per cent, or 7.94 points, to finish at 1,266.99 points.
$7.4b deals inked to produce 6,000MW
Bangladesh yesterday took another leap towards addressing its energy shortage, signing two separate agreements involving $7.4 billion to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity largely from liquefied natural gas. One of the deals involves the local Summit Group, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and the US’s General Electric Company, and the other Bangladesh Power Development Board and GE Switzerland. Summit, Mitsubishi and GE signed a preliminary agreement at an event held in the capital’s Sonargaon hotel to invest $3 billion to establish five power plants, two LNG terminals and one oil terminal. In the day’s other deal, BPDB and GE Switzerland will establish a 3,600MW LNG-based combined cycle power plant in Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar at an estimated cost of $4.4 billion. The BPDB will hold 51 percent stakes, GE Switzerland 30 percent and the remaining 19 percent still up for grabs. The four 600MW combined cycle power plants under Summit’s deal will be powered by GE’s flagship 9HA gas turbines.
Govt to import 250MW more electricity from India
The cabinet committee on national purchases in a meeting on Wednesday approved procurement of 250 megawatts electricity from Sembcorp Energy India Limited. The import cost of the same amount of electricity would be Tk 6.17 until 2033 from 2020 in the long term. According to Power Development Board officials, electricity imports from India are expected to hit 7,500MW by 2020, which accounts for nearly 42 per cent of the country’s electricity consumption.
BPC seeks govt nod for oil sale at int’l rate
State-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has sought government approval for selling imported oil for power plants at the international rate to slash losses. The soaring prices of petroleum products in the international market over the past several months have pushed the BPC back into the red zone. The corporation is currently incurring losses of around Tk 220 million a day. The loss stands at Tk 9.46 per litre against trading of diesel and Tk 16.88 per litre for furnace oil, considering July 2, 2018 oil price in the international market. In fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, the BPC imported around 5.80 million tonnes of diesel and furnace oil combined, of which around 2.0 million tonnes were consumed in power plants. The corporation sought government subsidies worth Tk 80 billion for FY 2018-19 unless the domestic oil prices are not raised, said the BPC official. During FY 2017-18, the BPC reached a breakeven point, attaining profit in earlier months while incurring losses in later months.
BR announces start of Padma Rail Link project work
The Bangladesh Railway (BR) formally announced the commencement of Padma Rail Link project two months after signing a loan deal with China. The announcement came after meeting all the conditions attached by the Chinese government. Bangladesh inked a $2.67-billion loan with Chinese Exim Bank for the project on April 27 this year. It was aimed at building the 225-kilometre rail link on both sides of Padma Bridge. Officials said 20 per cent of the contract price and land from Mawa to Bhanga has already been handed over to China Railway First Group Co Ltd. The BR has already held an inception meeting with the Chinese company. It is likely to get the phase-wise full construction planning soon. It signed a $3.13-billion commercial contract with the Chinese firm in August 2016 under the government-to-government (G-to-G) arrangement. However, the overdue loan deal with China delayed the project work for nearly 20 months. Under the deal, China will now provide 80 per cent of the project cost under its preferential buyer’s credit line. The rest of the project funds is to be borne by Bangladesh government.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$70.74||↓3.09||↓4.19%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$74.62||↓3.45||↓4.42%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.76|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.58|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.84|
|INR 1||BDT 1.22|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.