BB raises farm loan targets for banks
The central bank has raised the farm loan disbursement target by 6.86 percent to Tk 21,800 crore for the current fiscal year compared to a year ago. Banks will have to disburse a minimum 10 percent of their agriculture loan to the fisheries sector, the new inclusion in the agriculture credit policy. Some new sectors were also brought under the agriculture loan. The lending target for state banks has been set at Tk 9,875 crore and for the private and foreign commercial banks at Tk 11,925 crore. Banks disbursed Tk 21,393 crore last fiscal year, which was about 105 percent of the target. They disbursed agricultural and rural credit among 39.62 lakh borrowers. Of them, the number of women borrowers was 15.76 lakh, receiving Tk 6,309 crore, according to the central bank data. Small and marginal farmers borrowed about Tk 15,092 crore in 2017-18. Besides, Tk 30.47 crore was disbursed among 8,339 farmers in char, haor and less developed areas. The central bank imposes penalty on banks if they fail to achieve the disbursement target. If a private commercial bank can’t achieve its goal in a fiscal year, it will have to deposit the unachieved portion of the target to the central bank. If the bank can disburse the unachieved portion fully or partly in the next two years, the deposited amount is refunded. Otherwise, the deposited amount is not refunded.
Capital market continues to lose its depth
The country’s capital market is now performing worse than any time in last 10 years. The ratio of market capitalisation to GDP, one of the major indicators of measuring depth of a market, was less than 17 per cent in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 from its peak of about 34 per cent nine years ago in FY 2009-10, the year that saw the market indices skyrocketing for no reasons. The ratio, 17.52 per cent, in 2008-09 was more than the present level — 16.94 per cent. It reached a record level in FY 2009-10 before collapsing. The market cap increased gradually from about US$ 18 billion in FY 2008-09 and about $ 39 billion in FY 2009-10 to $ 46.5 billion in FY 2017-18, DSE figures show. But the growth of market cap could not keep pace with the country’s economic growth. As a result, experts said, the capital market, compared to the size of the country’s economy, lost its depth. The size of the GDP was of over $ 102 billion in FY 2008-09, which increased to over $ 274 billion in FY 2017-18. Presently, the number of listed companies and mutual funds are 297 and 35 respectively.
Dhaka bourse closes marginally lower
The Dhaka bourse closed marginally lower for second consecutive session on Wednesday, amid mixed performance played by major sectors. The turnover, however, moderately rose on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). At the end of the session, the DSE broad index—DSEX—settled at 5319.44 points with a loss of 0.29 per cent or 15.93 points. The shariah based index—DSES—declined 0.20 per cent or 2.54 points to close at 1264.11 points. The DS30 index comprising blue chip securities went down by 0.41 per cent or 7.84 points to close at 1895.09 points. Of total issues traded, 128 advanced, 167 declined and 41 were unchanged on the premier bourse. The turnover value stood at above Tk 9.54 billion which was 33.18 per cent than the turnover of the previous session.
BB eases rules to attract dollar deposits
The central bank has relaxed regulations, allowing banks to pay interest on resident foreign currency deposit (RFCD) accounts at Eurocurrency rates to encourage savings in such accounts. Eurocurrency is a kind of currency held in banks located outside the country that issues it. For example, a US dollar denominated deposits in a Singaporean bank is known as Eurocurrency, or more specifically Eurodollar deposit. The central bank issued a circular in this connection on Tuesday and asked all authorised dealers in foreign exchange in Bangladesh to follow the latest instruction related to pay interest on RFCD accounts. “….it has now been decided that authorised dealers may apply interest to the balance of the RFCD accounts at Eurocurrency deposit rates,” the BB said in its circular. Eurocurrency is not related to either the euro currency or the eurozone. Earlier, the rate of interest on the balances of RFCD account was fixed at one quarter per cent (0.25 per cent) less than the rate at which interest is paid on balances of bank in their foreign currency clearing accounts maintained with the BB.
Cable industry flourishes
Bangladesh’s cable market is growing at 15-20 percent a year thanks to the expansion of power gridlines as the government looks to provide electricity for all by 2021. In 2017, the cable manufacturing industry was worth about Tk 6,000 crore, up from Tk 2,000 crore 10 years ago, according to Ushamoy Chakma, managing director of Eastern Cables. There are more than 70 cable manufacturers in the market but the market leader is BRB with a 41 percent share, followed by Eastern at 15 percent, BBS at 13 percent, Paradise, Partex and Bizli at 6.5 percent each, and SQ at 5.3 percent. The other players account for 22.2 percent of the market. The cable manufacturers are dependent on raw material imports from Chile, China, India, Oman, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.
Govt conducts 5G trial run
South Asia’s first test run of fifth generation (5G) mobile internet took place in Dhaka yesterday when download speeds of up to 4.17 gigabits per second were experienced. The demonstration was organised by the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology in cooperation with telecom vendor Huawei and mobile operator Robi. According to BBC, most countries are unlikely to launch 5G services before 2020, but Qatar’s Ooredoo says it has already launched a commercial service, while South Korea is aiming to launch it next year, with its three largest network operators agreeing to kick off at the same time. China is also racing to launch services in 2019.
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)||$69.38||↑0.64||↑0.93%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$73.97||↑0.95||↑1.30%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.2250|
|GBP 1||BDT 111.1938|
|EUR 1||BDT 98.8212|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2271|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.