BD, ADB sign $400m loan deal to develop Elenga-Rangpur highway
The government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Sunday signed a US$ 400 million loan agreement as part of $ 1.2 billion ADB loan commitment to develop a regional corridor in northwestern zone of the country. The assistance is the second tranche of the ADB’s commitment to construct 190-kilometre Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur highway under South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC)-II. According to the Roads and Highways Department, the executing agency of the Tk 118.99 billion project, the ADB released $ 300 million earlier in the first tranche while rest $ 500 million is expected to be released in next two instalments. This project is a continuation of the 70-kilometre Joydevpur-Elenga section road development project also funded by ADB since 2012. The feasibility study and detailed design work of Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur highway were done in 2015 and the progress has so far recorded at 15 per cent. ADB has been supporting Bangladesh in improving the Dhaka-Northwest road corridor since approval of the landmark Jamuna Bridge Project in 1994. Road travel accounts for 70 per cent of all passenger traffic and 60 per cent of freight in Bangladesh with a rate of 8 per cent annual traffic increase. Since 2001, SASEC members signed and implemented 55 ADB-financed projects with a regional dimension worth more than $12.5 billion, including 36 projects worth $10.23 billion in transport sector.
Joules Power to install 3.1MWp rooftop solar unit
Country’s largest solar power producer Joules Power Ltd on Sunday signed a deal to install facilities for generating 3.1-MWp (Mega Watt peak) rooftop solar electricity. The electricity will be generated on 32,886 square metres of rooftop area of several buildings of Robintex Group at Rupganj in Narayanganj district. The project will be implemented within nine months under the ‘Opex model’ – where the builder will invest some US$ 1.7 million. Joules Power managing director Nuher Latif Khan and Robintex director Robin Razon Sakhawat signed the deal on behalf of their respective companies in the capital, says a press release. Officials at Joules Power Ltd said they have a target to produce some 30 megawatt of rooftop solar power by 2021 and “be a market leader”. In September 2018, Joules Power’s 20-megawatt solar power plant started commercial operation in Teknaf.
Dhaka stocks crash to its lowest in five years
Dhaka stocks plunged to its five-year low yesterday amid coronavirus-induced sell-off as fears grew that the fast-spreading disease would hurt both global and local economies and the earnings of listed companies. DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), lost 160.64 points, or 3.88 per cent, to close the day at 3,969.31 — the lowest since May 4, 2015, when the market ended at 3,959.73. With the slide, the index slipped below the 4,000-mark for the first time in five years. On March 9, DSEX plunged 279.32 points. The value of the stocks shed 7.95 per cent to Tk 311,113 crore in a span of 11 trading days this month. Turnover, another important indicator of the market, dropped 8.7 per cent to Tk 396.9 crore yesterday. On February 10, the central bank announced a package for banks, allowing them to set up funds worth Tk 200 crore each on the back of the financial support. The lenders will take the fund from the central bank through repurchase agreements against treasury bills and bonds owned by them. The banks will have to pay 5 per cent interest for the fund and the credit tenure will be until February 2025.
BD Paints is seeking Tk 20cr to scale up production
BD Paints, a relatively new entrant to the Bangladesh’s paint landscape, plans to raise Tk 20 crore from the capital market in order to ramp up its production capacity — even though about 60 per cent of its existing capacity remains unutilised. The disclosure, which was pulled from the company’s initial public offering prospectus submitted to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission in March 20 last year, raises questions about the necessity of the funds — and the paint manufacturer’s debut on the bourse. In its IPO prospectus, which is available on the website of BD Paints, the decorative and industrial paint manufacturer said the industry is growing at 20 per cent, so the company will be able to make the most of the expanded production capacity. Berger Paints, the market leader, though is not as buoyant as BD Paints: the Indian paint manufacturer in its annual report for the 2018-19 financial year said the sector grew at only 2 per cent. After 7-8 per cent growth in the last few decades, in the 2018-19 financial year the paint industry had experienced abnormally low growth due to stagnation in the real estate market, said Berger Paints, the only listed paint company on Bangladesh’s bourse.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi launches DNCRP hotline
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday said any deprived consumers could get help dialing 16121 of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP). The minister as the chief guest was addressing a discussion organised marking the World Consumer Rights Day-2020 at the conference room of commerce ministry where he inaugurated the DNCRP’s hotline 16121.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||3,969.31219||↓ 160.65||↓ 3.89 %|
|↑ 1,985.00||↑ 9.36 %|
|FTSE100||5,366.11||↑ 128.63||↑ 2.46 %|
|Nikkei 225||17,449.59||↑ 18.54||↑ 0.11 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 31.19 ||↓ 0.54||↓ 1.70 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 32.86 ||↓ 0.99||↓ 2.92 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,547.60 ||↑ 17.77||↑ 1.16 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.2598|
|GBP 1||BDT 102.280|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.4909|
|INR 1||BDT 1.12449|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<