Bangladesh to gain more trade benefits from China as an LDC
Bangladesh wants to secure more trade benefits from China as a least developed country (LDC) instead of signing a free trade agreement with the Asian economic giant. The commerce ministry has already accepted China’s offer for the duty-free import of 97 per cent of all Bangladeshi products under the LDC category, effectively rejecting the benefits the country would have received under the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). Incoming goods from China amount to more than $14 billion and earn Bangladesh Tk 23,000 crore as import duty each year. The import duty levied on the Chinese products accounts for 30 per cent of the total revenue collected from import duties annually. In fiscal 2018-19, Bangladesh’s total exports to China amounted to $831.20 million while it was $694.97 million just the previous year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau. In the February-July period of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh earned $470.20 million through exports to China. Of that total, garment exports accounted for 80 per cent. Bangladesh should enjoy the duty-free benefits for 97 per cent of its goods and reject the APTA for the greater interest of the country. That’s why Bangladesh needs to accept the 97 per cent package. It is believed that China would be Bangladesh’s third Asian export destination after Japan and India, where the country would be able to send more than $1 billion worth of goods.
School banking getting traction
School banking is increasingly getting popular among students as the deposits in their accounts crossed Tk 1,600 crore in 2019. As of December last year, students deposited Tk 1,626 crore in the accounts, up 8 per cent from a year ago, according to data from the central bank. The number of accounts under school banking rose 10 per cent to 19.92 lakh last year. The central bank introduced the school banking in 2010 as part of its efforts to widen financial inclusion and make students financially literate. The scheme aims to instill the habit of savings into students and make them more efficient in money management. So far, 55 banks have rolled out school banking operations, allowing students aged 11 to 17 to open accounts. The accounts come with a number of advantages, such as waiver on fees and charges, free internet banking, lower minimum balance requirement and debit card availability at lower costs. Accounts can be opened with a minimum deposit of Tk 100. Dhaka Bank mobilised deposits to the amount of Tk 89 crore from students in 2019. Islamic Bank Bangladesh Ltd also achieved success in popularising school banking products. The number of accounts and deposits at IBBL stood at 1.93 lakh and Tk 92 crore respectively at the end of last year. State-run Agrani Bank, which came second among all banks in terms of opening accounts, plans to mobilise deposits from students, said its Managing Director Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam. The bank has opened 2.30 lakh student accounts but is yet to mobilise deposits as expected due to a lack of digitalization.
Grameen Bank gets new Chairman
The government has appointed AKM Saiful Majid, a professor of the Institute of Business Administration of Dhaka University, chairman of Grameen Bank for two years. Prof Majid will be a director and the chairman of the board of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organisation, the financial institutions division under the finance ministry said in a circular on Sunday. Grameen Bank has a 12-member board, with the government appointing three directors, including the chairman, and the borrower-shareholders elect nine directors. The government owns 25 per cent stakes in the bank and the borrower-shareholders hold 75 per cent. Prof Majid served IBA as professor, associate professor and assistant professor along with several administrative positions in the last 25 years. He also served the institute as the director. He is a recipient of the Senior Fulbright Fellowship awarded by the US Department of State in 2010.
Nine cos to hold AGMs by Mar 31
Nine more listed companies, including four insurers, will hold annual general meetings (AGMs) by March 31, 2020, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange. Recommended dividends and audited financial statements of these companies for the year ended on June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are expected to be approved at the AGMs, among others. The board of directors of the company has recommended no dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2019. The board of directors of the DBH has recommended 20 per cent cash and 15 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. Three companies – Green Delta Insurance, IDLC Finance and Prime Insurance– will hold AGMs on March 30. The board of Green Delta Insurance has recommended 15 per cent cash and 5.0 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. The board of directors of IDLC Finance has recommended 35 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. The board of directors of Nitol Insurance has recommended 15 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. The board of RAK Ceramic has recommended 15 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. The board of directors of Reliance Insurance has recommended 25 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019.
BKB launches Tk 3.0b credit scheme
Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) on Tuesday launched a Tk 3.0 billion low cost credit scheme on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Around 50,000 marginal poor will get accesses to the loan at 7.0 per cent simple interest. Seventeen borrowers received Tk 1.5 million at a launching ceremony of the scheme at the state-run specialised bank’s headquarters in the capital on the day. The BKB officials expected that disbursement of the loan will be completed by the end of this calendar year. Interested marginal poor, who normally are not eligible for the farm loan, will be entitled to get the loan under the scheme.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||3,772.56||↓ 196.75||↓ 4.96 %|
|↑ 1,048.86||↑ 5.20 %|
|FTSE100||5,294.90||↑ 143.82||↑ 2.79 %|
|Nikkei 225||17,308.33||↑ 296.80||↑ 1.74 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 27.11 ||↑ 0.16||↑ 0.59 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 29.09 ||↑ 0.36||↑ 1.25 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,529.83 ||↑ 1.53||↑ 0.10 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.4068|
|GBP 1||BDT 101.303|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.2974|
|INR 1||BDT 1.12537|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<