Farmers can apply for loans online
Farmers will be able to get farm loans by filling in an online application through the Union Information and Service Centre, as part of the government’s Digital Bangladesh agenda. The digital credit programme for farmers will be launched tomorrow at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters in the capital. The Access to Information (a2i) programme of the Prime Minister’s Office will provide the facility to farmers so that they can get the loans without any harassment. The farmers will have to mention the credit amount, the lender’s name and the bank branch in the online application form to get the loan, said a BB official. The employees of the UISC will help the farmers to fill up the application and the bank will have to respond to the credit proposal within 10 days, he said. The banks will seek queries from farmers if they are missing information and spot visits will also be made. If the loan application is declined, the bank will have to give the farmer the reason for denying him the funds. The farmers will have to pay a visit to the branch just once during the entire process: when the bank will disburse the loan. Farm loan disbursement rose 3.63 percent year-on-year to Tk 19,624 crore in the first 11 months of fiscal 2017-18, according to data from the central bank.
BSEC allows ICB, AIBL to raise Tk 2,500cr floating bonds
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday allowed two companies — Investment Corporation of Bangladesh and Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited — to float subordinated bonds worth Tk 2,500 crore in total. As per the BSEC approval, ICB will float non-convertible fixed rate subordinate bond worth Tk 2,000 crore and Al-Arafah Islami Bank will issue non-convertible floating rate subordinated bond worth Tk 500 crore. The face value of each unit of Al-Arafah Islami Bank’s bonds will be Tk 5 lakh, while the face value of ICB’s bonds will be Tk 1 crore each. Both of the bonds will be fully redeemable in seven years. Only corporate bodies, financial institutions, eligible investors and funds will be allowed to subscribe the bonds through private placement. Al-Arafah Islami Bank will fulfil the requirement for Tier II capital base by raising capital through the bond issue while ICB will use the fund in primary and secondary market as a market maker, to invest in trust sector of the government and PPP projects. Green Delta Insurance is the trustee and Prime Bank Investment Limited is the mandated lead arranger of the Al-Arafah Bank’s bond while ICB capital management Limited is the trustee and Alfa Capital Management and Roots Investment is the mandated lead arranger of the ICB’s bond.
BSEC okays Tk 25cr IPO of SS Steel
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday approved SS Steel Limited’s proposal to raise Tk 25 crore from the capital market through initial public offering. The company will float 2.5 crore shares at an issue price of Tk 10 each. A BSEC meeting, presided over by its chairman M Khairul Hossain, approved the IPO proposal. SS Steel will use the IPO proceed to purchase machinery, construct building and meet IPO expenses. As per the entity’s audited financial statement for the year ended on June 30, 2017, SS Steel’s net asset value per share and weighted average earnings per share were Tk 15.35 and Tk 0.82 respectively. Citizen Securities and Investment Limited is the issue manager of the company’s IPO.
Stocks dip after slight gain
Dhaka stocks dipped on Tuesday after a slight gain in the previous session amid a decreased turnover due to investors’ cautious approach on the trading floor. DSEX, the key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, shed 0.27 per cent, or 14.43 points, to close at 5,325.48 points after gaining 3.16 points in the previous trading session. Turnover on the bourse dropped to Tk 786.05 crore on Tuesday compared with that of Tk 873.68 crore in the previous trading session. The market had gained momentum when the bank owners agreed to bring down interest rate to single digit from July 1. But only a few banks have so far implemented the decision. The share prices of energy, cement, pharmaceuticals and bank dropped by 1.6 per cent, 0.6 per cent, 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. DS30, the blue-chip index of the DSE, also shed 0.15 per cent, or 2.86 points, to close at 1,894.37 points. Shariah index DSES, however, lost 0.18 per cent, or 2.34 points, to finish at 1,262.99 points.
Jute sector crosses $1b export mark
Earnings from jute and jute goods have risen significantly in the 2017–18 financial year (in the period from July to June) compared to 2016-17 on the back of products diversification, government policy, availability of quality raw materials and better crop management. The sector has fetched export earnings of USD 1.02 billion in 2017–18 (in the July–June period), up from the USD 962.42 million recorded for the same period in 2016–17, thereby showing a growth of 6.56 per cent, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. According to the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), Bangladesh produced 9.2 million bales of jute in 2017 and five million bales in 2016. Around 240 types of products were being produced by the jute sector in Bangladesh and the average annual production was 663,000, Karim said. More than 40 million people were directly or indirectly involved in this sector, the jute exporter added. Jute yarn and twine fetched USD 647.72 million—a growth of 6.55% from 2016-17, according to EPB data. Bangladeshi jute traders were exporting an average Tk. 30-35 crore worth of jute and jute goods per year. According to official records, the BJMC alone had produced 1.8 lakh metric tonnes of jute last year and 1.45 lakh metric tonnes this year.
Xiaomi enters Bangladesh
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi yesterday officially announced its entrance to Bangladesh with a view to establishing a plant within the next couple of years. Xiaomi launched two mid-range smartphones at the event. It will start selling the two smartphones through daraz.com from July 26 and it will take a few more weeks to reach physical stores. Four years past entering India, the company has become a leader in the physical market while grabbing 60 percent of online sales by setting up six mobile plants, said Jain, also the managing director of Xiaomi India. Global brand Samsung has already set up a mobile handset plant in Narsingdi, while five other local and global brands are in the process of establishing assembly plants on the outskirts of the capital.
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