Digital and Mobile Financial services facilitate Financial Inclusion
Having access to financial services helps drive economic development. People can escape poverty through financial services that will help them to invest properly in their health, education, and businesses. Financial services are also important for people who need to work through emergencies, such as sudden illnesses, that can push them into financial ruins. The current situation of financial services in Bangladesh is that there are 57 banks with more than 10,000 branches with three more banks receiving license recently. However, this is still considered as not enough by many financial experts and economists to cover around 164.7 million people. So, regarding the reach of the banking services, the central bank of Bangladesh introduced a guideline with an aim to provide banking services for the entire population of the country. As per the guideline, 50 per cent of the new branches opened by banks in a calendar year should be established in rural areas. However, many banks might hesitate to invest in rural areas as it is not cost-efficient. It is also very difficult for rural, especially the illiterate population, to take advantage of traditional banking that requires a lot of paperwork. Moreover, most of the banks’ customers live in urban areas. This scenario has led to the financial gap for the country. To fill this gap, mobile financial services (MFS) was launched between the time range of 2010-2011 by Trust Bank, Dutch Bangla Bank (Rocket), and Brac Bank (bKash).
ADP spending from Govt fund on the rise
Development spending from the government’s own purse rose in the first eight months of the current fiscal year while the use of the funds from the foreign aid portion of the budget fell. According to data from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the planning ministry, between July and February, Tk 42,979 crore, or 32.41 percent of the allocation from the government owned fund, was spent. It was Tk 33,654 crore, or 35.23 percent, in the same period a year ago. On the other hand, Tk 24,225 crore was spent from the foreign aid, which is 40.37 percent of the allocation. It stood at Tk 25,341 crore, or 41.94 percent of the allocation, during the same eight-month period in the last fiscal year. Officials of the planning ministry said the implementation of the annual development programme (ADP) did not hit the target because of the delay in land acquisition. As a result, the budgetary allocation from foreign aid will be shaved off by Tk 9,000 crore to Tk 51,000 crore now in the revised budget. The allocation stands at Tk 60,000 crore in the original budget. Between July and February, the performance of state-owned enterprises improved as they managed to spend Tk 3,568 crore or 45.34 percent of the funds they were initially allocated. The expenditure rate was 41.42 percent in the period a year earlier.
Duty exemption doubles in 3yrs
The amount of import duty exemption extended to the industrial sector has doubled in three years, prompting calls for impact assessment of the tax break. According to data from the Finance Ministry, in the fiscal year of 2017-18, Tk 44,117 crore was extended as duty exemption on imports by various industrial sectors. The government could have spent this money for public purposes. As per an Official, one of the major reasons behind the slowing revenue growth is exemptions. Otherwise, it can continue to proliferate and then create problem for revenue. According to the Officials, the country would have got the amount as tax had there been no exemption extended on various occasions in the past to sectors such as apparel, textile, pharmaceuticals, poultry, mobile and computer-making, and shipbuilding.
Subscription of Coppertech to open March 31
The initial public offering (IPO) subscription of Coppertech Industries is set to begin on March 31, aiming to raise Tk 200 million from the capital market. The public subscription of Silco Pharmaceuticals, which started on March 07, will be ended tomorrow (Tuesday). The company will raise Tk 300 million from the public. Coppertech Industries: The subscription for shares of the Coppertech Industries by the eligible investors through electronic subscription system will be continued until April 09. The securities regulator-Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) approved the IPO proposal of Coppertech on December 26, 2018. As per the BSEC approval, the company will raise a capital worth Tk 200 million by offloading 20 million ordinary shares under the fixed price method. According to the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), a market lot consists of 500 shares and an investor needs Tk 5,000 to apply for each lot of the company’s IPO shares. For non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) and foreign applicants, the required amount (per lot) for subscription is US$ 59.92 or GBP 45.40 or EUR 53:00.
Shakti Pumps to expand business in Bangladesh
Shakti Pumps (Bangladesh) Limited will set up an assembly unit of the company to raise the number of solar pumps for irrigation. As per the Managing Director of Shakti Pumps (Bangladesh) Ltd, they have a plan to set up an assembly unit of Shakti solar pumps in Bangladesh as the country needs a huge number of solar pumps for irrigation. It will be easy for Bangladeshi people to get the pumps with low cost prices. The India-based company is supplying solar pumps in Bangladesh through Gazi Renewable Energy, Solargao Limited, Scube Technology and Sherpa Power.
BDT continues to deflate against USD
The local currency is continuously maintaining a depreciating mode against the US dollar (US$), although the central bank is directly selling the greenback to the banks to keep the market stable. According to the market operators, the Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated by 10 poisha in the country’s inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market last week that ended on Thursday. The US dollar was quoted at Tk 84.25 each in the forex market on Thursday against Tk 83.15 a week ago. The local currency faced such depreciation, although the Bangladesh Bank (BB) expedited its foreign currency support to the commercial banks last week to keep the forex market stable. The BB’s selling of US$ to the banks, particularly the public sector ones, rose to $88 million last week from $44 million a week before.
United Insurance recommends 13pc div
The board of directors of United Insurance has recommended 7.05 per cent cash and 5.95 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2018. The final approval of dividend will come during the annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on April 28 at 10:00am in Dhaka. The record date for entitlement of dividend is on April 08. The insurer’s net profit, however, fell 9.32 per cent to Tk 91.77 million for the year ended on December 31, 2018, from Tk 101.20 million in 2017. The company has also reported earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 2.18, net asset value (NAV) per share of Tk 32.95 and net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) of Tk 0.42 for the year ended on December 31, 2018 as against Tk 2.41, Tk 29.97 and Tk 1.07 respectively for the same period of the previous year.
BDCOM signs land lease deal with BEZA
BDCOM Online Limited, an IT company, will make investment at the Mirsarai Economic Zone in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar. The company has signed a Land Lease Agreement with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) against allotment for 10 acres of land in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar at Mirsarai Economic Zones for 50 years at a rental basis at US$ 0.60 (sixty cents) only per square meter per annum. As per the Company Officials, that they are planning to establish factory there for assembling electronic products. BDCOM Online was listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in 2002. Each share of the company closed at Tk 31.50 on Thursday at the primer bourse. Its share traded between Tk 23.50 and Tk 35.80 in the last one year.
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)||$ 58.28||↓0.24||↓0.41%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 66.99|| ↓0.17|| ↓0.25%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,299.02||↓3.38||↓0.26%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.9516|
|GBP 1||BDT 111.5549|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.1591|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2194|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<