Imports up 5.36pc in 10 months
Country’s imports grew by 5.36 per cent in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 over that of the corresponding period of the last FY. According to the official, the growth was mainly due to higher import of intermediate goods and fuel oils. As per the BB, the actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$ 45.79 billion during the July-April period of FY’19 from $ 43.46 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal. However, the import growth during first 10 months showed a downward trend. The downward trend may also continue during the May-June period of this fiscal year. Overall imports grew by 7.32 per cent and 9.04 per cent in the first nine and eight months of this fiscal year respectively.
BB seeks release of Tk 3.0b for EEF’s farm projects
According to official, the Bangladesh Bank has requested the government to release Tk 3.0 billion to finance agriculture projects under the equity entrepreneurship fund (EEF). Official also added, some 2,308 applications have recently been submitted seeking loans, for food and agriculture-related projects from the EEF, which are now under processing. Officials said accepting fresh applications for funds under the EEF have remained suspended since 2017. After recasting the EEF policy, the fund authority in August last sought expression of interest (EoI) from entrepreneurs, who want to get loan from the fund. Until April this year, the authority received 2,308 loan applications for food processing and agriculture sectors and 10 for information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
Number of BO accounts on rise
Around 65,235 new BO accounts were opened in the past five months as investors were more confident in pouring funds into the primary market rather than the secondary one. According to the brokers, guaranteed profit through initial public offerings (IPOs) encouraged the investors to hit the jackpot. To trade in the stock market and apply for primary shares, an investor has to open a BO (beneficiary owner’s) account with the Central Depository Bangladesh Ltd through a depository participant, which is usually a stockbroker or a merchant bank. The data as of May 30, 2019 showed the total number of BO accounts increased to 2,845,026 which was 2,779,791 in January 01, 2019. Among the BO account holders, 2,076,695 are males and 755,075 females, while the remaining 13,256 belong to different companies.
Online shops log Tk 120cr Eid sales
Eid shopping through online platforms reached Tk 120 crore in the first three weeks of Ramadan thanks to the growing popularity of e-commerce among consumers across the country. According to AKM Fahim Mashroor, Chief Executive Officer of ajkerdeal.com, compared to last year, the e-commerce industry has posted about 50 percent growth in sales this year, The industry’s overall order number was about 50,000 pieces from 10th Ramadan to 20th Ramadan, the peak time for e-commerce, up from about 35,000 last year.
Mercantile Bank plans to set up venture capital firm
Mercantile Bank wants to set up a venture capital company as a subsidiary to finance and provide equity to startups. According to AKM Shaheed Reza, Chairman of the Bank, they have applied to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission for approval. The subsidiary will be named MBL Asset Management Company. Venture capital is a form of financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. But it is relatively a new idea in Bangladesh. Traditional lenders finance startups with normal loan products. But there are institutions that have set up subsidiaries to deal with the issue. LankaBangla Finance and IDLC Finance, two leading non-bank financial institutions, have set up venture capital companies. Mr. Reza said Mercantile Bank has a product named “Udayan” to bankroll startups. A startup company gets a maximum Tk 50 lakh as collateral-free loan.
S. S. Steel tops weekly turnover chart on DSE
In last week, S. S. Steel featured a total turnover of above Tk 381.80 million and grabbed 10.32 per cent of the exchange’s weekly turnover. Of five sessions of last week, the Company’s share price rose for three sessions on the DSE. At the end of the week, the company’s share price closed at Tk 28.30 each which was 2.90 per cent higher than the closing price of the previous week. Meanwhile, the Company has reported its EPS of Tk. 0.65 for January-March 2019 against Tk. 0.45 for January-March 2018. The EPS was Tk. 1.61 for July 2018-March 2019 as against Tk. 1.03 for July 2017-March 2018.
Banks should be setting interest rates, not others
As per AKM Shaheed Reza, Chairman of Mercantile Bank, Banks should be the only ones setting the interest rates as they offer loans at rates that are based on factors like cost of funds, credit worthiness of a customer and the prevailing market condition. For example, he added, someone with a lower credit score may be at a higher risk of default, so a bank will charge the borrower more than a regular client. Mr. Reza also added, Banks should determine the interest rates, both on lending and deposit, considering the market trend. The government and the Central Bank have been trying their best to bring down the rising interest rates on lending, but that did not work.
Radisson, Prime Bank launch package offer
Radisson Blu Dhaka and Prime Bank have rolled out a joint campaign, offering the buy-one-get-one-room package at the hotel to the Bank’s cardholders. The Bank’s cardholders who book one night-room package will get another night free under the Twice the Twist promotion.
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