Stocks keep losing amid growing virus tension
Stocks kept the losing streak on Tuesday amid growing tension over the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihoods. DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, went down by 29.91 points or 0.75 per cent to close at 3,969.The core index eroded 91 points in two straight sessions while added 52 points in the opening session after 66-day closure. Of the issues traded, 229 remained unchanged while only 12 issues advanced and 53 declined on the DSE trading floor. The presence of investors is still thin in the trading floor as many investors are yet to back in Dhaka after the prolonged holidays.Earlier on May 11, the central bank asked all the banks not to disburse any cash dividend before September 30 this year with a view to ensuring adequate cash in the banking system to support the economic rebuilding process amid the deadly virus crisis. Two other indices also ended lower. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, fell 16.67 points to finish at 1,330 and the DSE Shariah Index lost 9.75 points to close at 920. Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, stood at Tk 1.55 billion on the country’s premier bourse, falling 21 per cent over the last session’s mark of Tk 1.98 billion.The pharma sectors lost 1.70 per cent, followed by telecom with 1.50 per cent and power 0.40 per cent. A total number of 20,990 trades were executed in the day’s trading session with trading volume of 38.53 million shares and mutual fund units. The market-cap of the DSE also fell to Tk 3,106 billion, from Tk 3,122 billion in the previous session. The pharma sector continued to dominate the turnover chart, grabbing 69 per cent of the day’s total turnover. Square Pharma topped the turnover chart with shares worth Tk 164 million changing hands, followed by Grameenphone, BeximcoPharma, Beximco and Indo-Bangla Pharma.ICB AMCL Sonali Bank 1st Mutual Fund was the day’s best performer, posting a gain of 2.63 per cent while Central Pharma was the worst loser, losing 9.65 per cent.
Two more MFs get another 10-year extension
The tenure of two more closed-end mutual funds, managed by ICB Asset Management Company, have been extended for another 10 years, said an official disclosure on Tuesday. The two mutual funds are Phoenix Finance 1st Mutual Fund and ICB AMCL Third NRB Mutual Fund. The Phoenix Finance 1st Mutual Fund’s tenure has been extended up to May 3, 2030 while ICB AMCL Third NRB Mutual Fund’s up to May 19, 2030. The Phoenix Finance 1st Mutual Fund has reported its net asset value (NAV) of Tk 5.85 per unit on the basis of the current market price and Tk 11.93 per unit on the basis of the cost price against the face value of Tk 10 as of the close of operation on March 23. Each unit price of Phoenix Finance 1st Mutual Fund closed at Tk 8.10 on Tuesday, remaining unchanged over the previous day on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. ICB Third NRB Mutual Fund has reported its net asset value (NAV) of Tk 5.52 per unit on the basis of the current market price and Tk 11.74 per unit on the basis of the cost price against the face value of Tk 10 as of the close of operation on March 23. Each unit price of ICB Third NRB Mutual Fund closed at Tk 5.30 on Tuesday, remaining unchanged over the previous day on the DSE.According to the BSEC directive, the total tenure, including another term of ten years, of the existing closed-end mutual funds will not be more than 20 years. Currently, 37 closed-end mutual funds are listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange.
Prime Bank’s EPS surges 13.5pc in Q1
Prime Bank’s consolidated earnings per share rose 13.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) for January-March, 2020. The board of directors of the bank in a meeting held through digital platform on Monday approved the un-audited financial statements for the January-March, 2020, according to an official disclosure on Tuesday. As per un-audited financial statements, the bank’s consolidated EPS was Tk 0.42 for January-March 2020 as against Tk 0.37 for January-March 2019.Each share of the bank, which was listed on the Dhaka bourse in 2000, closed at Tk 14.20 on Tuesday, remaining unchanged over the previous day. In the last one year, its share traded between Tk 13.50 and Tk 19.90 per share. Recently, the board of directors of the bank has recommended 13.50 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019.In 2018, the bank disbursed 12.50 per cent cash dividend. The company’s paid-up capital is Tk11.32 billion, authorised capital is Tk 25 billion and the total number of securities is 1.13 billion. Sponsor-directors own 38.92 per cent stake in the bank while institutional investors 27.02 per cent, foreign investors 3.51 per cent and general public 30.55 per cent as on February 29, 2020.
Credit growth plunges to 12-year low
As more and more economic data trickle in of the past few months, we are getting a more accurate barometer of the sweeping pall of pessimism that has enshrouded the economy. Take the case of private sector credit growth, which nosedived to 8.86 per cent in March, the lowest since December 2008, indicating the businesses’ overly glum outlook. The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bangladesh were announced on March 8 and 22 days later the government enforced a stay-at-home order to flatten the curve on the rogue virus that has upended lives and livelihoods like no other.The credit growth had been maintaining a downward trend for the last two years but the fall in March was relatively steeper compared with the previous months.March’s figure is also lower than the 9.13 per cent reported in February.Credit flow to the private sector stood at Tk 10,66,474crore as of March, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. Government borrowing from the banking sector has been growing since the beginning of the fiscal year, which can potentially crowd out private sector investment. The government should avoid borrowing from scheduled banks as this would harm the private sector, he said. Both the central bank and the government should start working on mitigating problems so that the private sector can make a turnaround in the quickest possible in keeping with a global recovery.
BeximcoPharma bracing for remdesivir export to 30 countries
Beximco Pharmaceuticals seem to be going through a purple patch of late. After grabbing headlines globally last month for being the first company to market remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has shown promise in treating COVID-19 patients, the local pharmaceutical company is now set to export the medicine to more than 30 countries this month.Though Beximco Pharmaceuticals’ stocks plunged 2.8 per cent to Tk 68 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday, the price is far better than it was three months ago, according to data of the premier bourse.The injection, which was previously developed to treat the Ebola virus but did not work, has come to the limelight as one of the most promising treatments for COVID-19 that has claimed 375,656 lives around the world so far. Data from a trial by the National Institutes of Health in the US showed that remdesivir reduced hospitalisation stays by 31 per cent compared to a placebo treatment, but did not significantly improve survival.Gilead has since licenced five companies including Cipla and Mylan NV in India and Ferozsons Laboratories in Pakistan to make generic versions of the drug and sell in 127 countries. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Beximco Pharmaceuticals sent some remdesivir to Pakistan for three critically ill COVID-19 patients by a special cargo flight. A spokesperson of Beximco said they sent 48 vials of Bemsivir, the brand name of remdesivir, on humanitarian grounds and at the request of the Pakistan high commission in Dhaka.
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