IDLC to expand its footprint into housing finance
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank, has proposed to provide up to $40 million in senior financing in IDLC Finance Ltd (IDLC), the largest non-banking financial institution in Bangladesh. In a pre-investment disclosure, IFC said the proceeds, which will be in Bangladeshi Taka equivalent, will be utilized by IDLC for supporting affordable housing finance for purchase or construction and extension of houses to individuals under low and medium income group in Bangladesh. Registered with the Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, IDLC has a substantial SME portfolio and presence in tier II and tier III cities across the country. When contacted, Arif Khan, CEO & Managing Director said, “If the proposed financing from IFC goes through, it will help IDLC extend financing to middle and lower middle income population of the country, enabling many of them to realise their dreams of owning a home.” “Our home loan now comprised 40 per cent of our loan portfolio. We process home loan faster than any other financial organizations in the market. We have one of the largest home loan portfolios in the market. As of now, we have disbursed over Tk 100 billion worth of home loan. This is even higher than the amount disbursed by the House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC),” the IDLC CEO said.
EBL signs deal with Pathao
M. Khorshed Anowar, Head of Business, Retail Banking of Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) and Hussain M. Elius, CEO, Pathao exchanging documents after signing an agreement on behalf of their respective organisations in the city recently, according to a statement. EBL cardholder are offered 40 per cent discount during the first use of the Pathao app and will get 25 per cent discount on 3 bike rides and 25 per cent discount on 3 car rides every week.
CSE seeks 1 year more for finding strategic partner
The Chittagong Stock Exchange has requested the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to extend time for selecting a strategic partner by one year more as the port city bourse has so far failed to reach any agreement with any institution in this regard.
Kuwait’s ban applies only to house helps: State Minister for Foreign Affairs
Kuwait’s ban on recruiting Bangladeshis is applicable only for domestic aides, says State Minister for Foreign Affairs. He said that There’s no impact on overall work visas. He added that the ban is applicable only to Khadem Visa 20 that allows Kuwaiti nationals to employ foreigners as domestic workers.
NEC approves Tk 1.58tn revised ADP
The National Economic Council (NEC) approved on Tuesday a Tk 1.58 trillion Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) for the current fiscal year (FY18) downsizing the original ADP of Tk 1.64 trillion, reports UNB. “The NEC today approved the revised original ADP making a Tk 49.50 billion cut from the part of foreign sources,” said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a briefing after the meeting held at the NEC conference room in the city with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Besides, the amount of the organisations’ own fund was cut by Tk 15.40 billion and it now stands at Tk 92.13 billion in the revised ADP, he said. So, the ADP size excluding the organisations’ own fund now stands at Tk 1.48 trillion of which Tk 963.31 billion coming from local sources while the rest Tk 520.50 billion from foreign sources.
July-Jan revenue shortfall Tk 148b
Government’s tax-revenue collection suffered about a Tk 148-billion shortfall until January of this fiscal year against its target mainly for slow-paced reform to expand the tax net, sources said. Officials said such large amount of shortfall in the first seven months of the FY 2017-18 would make it difficult for the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to achieve the “ambitious” target. Despite an impressive import growth, all of the three NBR wings — income tax, customs and value-added tax (VAT) — failed to meet their respective target in the July-January period. However, compared to the previous corresponding period, the NBR achieved 15.37 per cent growth in revenue collection, while the current target has been set expecting around 35 percent growth.
Move to integrate NRBs into national dev process
The government has initiated a process to integrate non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) into the national development process effectively, officials said. To this end, an 11-member high-powered taskforce has been formed to draw up a strategy and recommend necessary action plan. Additional Secretary (United Nations) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) has been made convener of the taskforce comprising representatives of different entities, including the Prime Minister’s Office and FBCCI. Principal secretary, principal coordinator of the PMO and ERD secretary will be made advisers to the taskforce.
Vietnamese president for quadrupling trade to $2.0b
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at a business meet expressed his intent to quadruple the volume of Bangladesh-Vietnam annual trade to US$ 2.0 billion in two years. He, to that end, stressed enhancing interaction between the two Asian countries so that the trade potential could properly be tapped. “I think the trade volume between the two countries has the potential to reach US$ 1.0 billion by this year and US$ 2.0 billion by 2020,” Mr. Quang said at the Vietnam-Bangladesh Business Forum in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The super-woes of supermarkets
Supermarket chains say they are facing difficulties and struggling to expand their business due to what they feel is a lack of coordination among monitoring authorities, and limited information on related laws. Owners of retail grocery chains are worried about non-stop harassment by mobile courts – in the name of food safety – conducted by the state-run Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Office (DC office) and others. Massive eviction drives in residential areas including Gulshan, Dhanmondi, and Mirpur by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), and a sales-based VAT set by the National Board of Revenue (NBR), have also been a huge strain on the supermarket business, adding to their costs and making it difficult to continue operations. According to the Bangladesh Supermarket Owners’ Association (BSOA) General Secretary Zakir Hossain, there are around 40 supermarket chains in Bangladesh, running more than 130 outlets around the country along with the e-commerce bandwagon. The BSOA claims that there is no coordination among the concerned authorities, making the whole crackdown very chaotic and confusing for supermarket owners.
Domino’s Pizza to set foot in Bangladesh soon
Domino’s, the world’s largest pizza chain, is set to serve its famed pies to Bangladeshi customers within the next three months, tapping into the growing demand for Western fares among the upwardly mobile population. The American pizza brand’s entry comes after Golden Harvest QSR, a subsidiary of Golden Harvest Agro Industries, entered into a joint venture agreement with Jubilant FoodWorks, the master franchise holder of Domino’s in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Jubilant FoodWorks, which also holds the franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts in the four countries, will be the major shareholder in the joint venture entity — Jubilant Golden Harvest Limited — with a 51 percent share. Golden Harvest will have a 49 percent stake. Domino’s would be the fourth American pizza chain to enter Bangladesh after Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn and Sbarro.
Bangladesh labour inspectorate goes digital with LIMA
Labour Inspectors of Bangladesh have gone digital with the introduction of a new Labour Inspection Management Application (LIMA). The application was officially launched by the State Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Md Mujibul Haque at an event held on Tuesday at the capital’s Amari Hotel.
Errant RMG units to face legal action in May
The government has decided to take legal action against the readymade garment factories inspected under the national initiative that will fail to complete remediation work by April. The labour ministry in a recent meeting to review the progress of Remediation Coronation Cell came to a firm decision that the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment would file case against factories, which will fail to complete remediation in time, in May.
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)||$ 62.12||↓0.48||↓0.77%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 65.26||↓0.53||↓0.81%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,334.93||↑0.37||↑0.03%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.22|
|GBP 1||BDT 115.61|
|EUR 1||BDT 103.31|
|INR 1||BDT 1.28|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.