GDP growth to reach 8.13pc this fiscal
As per the Government’s provisional data, the country’s economy is estimated to grow 8.13 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY), buoyed by the strong performance of the industrial and service sectors. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal disclosed the GDP growth rate as estimated by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) after a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) in the city on Tuesday. According to the Minister, the GDP growth target will be set at 8.5 per cent for FY 2019-20. As per the estimation of three quarters of the current fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, the provisional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is 0.33 percentage points higher than the target of 7.8 per cent projected in the seventh five-year plan (SFYP) and 0.27 percentage points higher than the last FY’s achievement. The country’s economic growth rate is higher than the rates of its neighbour India and the world’s second largest economy China, which are expected to post a 7.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent growth respectively in the current fiscal.
Per capita income hits $1,909
As per the provisional official figures, Bangladesh’s per capita gross national income (GNI) jumped more than 9 percent to $1,909 last fiscal year from $1,751 a year ago. The GNI means all income of a country’s residents and businesses including residents abroad while gross domestic product (GDP) takes into account domestic production only. According to the provisional data, the per capita GDP also rose at the same pace to $1,827 in 2018-19 from $1,675 the previous year. The per capita GNI was $120 in 1972 and it took a decade to double to $240 in 1982. It added only $80 to $320 in the next decade till 1992. The per capita GNI has been rising constantly alongside the country’s economic growth since the new millennium. The per capita GNI rose by 124 percent to $940 in the decade to 2012 and more than double to $1,909 in the next seven years.
BB invites applications for gold dealership licences
Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday invited applications from banks, individual-owned companies, joint ventures and limited companies for gold dealership licences. To this end the central bank on the day published a notice in national dailies seeking applications under the BB’s new guidelines on gold dealership licence. BB issued the guidelines on March 11 this year under section 3.1 of the Gold Policy-2018 enacted by the government with a view to making import and export of gold easy, preventing smuggling of the precious metal and bringing transparency in its trading. The central bank in its notice asked the entities to submit applications for dealership licences by September 30 this year upon fulfilment of specified criteria. The licensees would be able to import gold from authorised dealers and producers abroad. Besides, they would sell gold to jewellers who would use the metal to make ornaments. In the case of import of gold for export purposes, back-to-back import facility would be offered under section 12 of chapter 6 of the foreign exchange transactions, 2018 guidelines. According to the new BB guidelines, the gold dealership licences will remain valid for two years and will be renewed upon payment of Tk 2 lakh in fee along with complying with other conditions.
Govt likely to allow rescheduling with up to Tk 1cr down payment
The government is likely to give opportunity of restructuring any large defaulted loan by making down payment of up to only Tk 1 crore. As per the Officials, the new term was included in the draft bailout package proposed by the Financial Institutions Division after consulting with Bangladesh Bank and a high-powered committee appointed in June, 2018. According to the draft bailout package, the amount of down payment on a defaulted loan would be one per cent of the defaulted loan but it would not exceed Tk 1 crore. For example, if any borrower has a defaulted loan worth Tk 50 crore, he or she could restructure the loan with down payment of only Tk 50 lakh (one per cent of the loan) and if the borrower has a defaulted loan worth Tk 600 crore, he or she could regularise the loan with a down payment of Tk 1 crore. As per the draft, loan defaulters would be given 15 years to repay the loan with two years of moratorium period and they would be charged with seven per cent interest rate. As per the Experts, the proposed bailout package would benefit loan defaulters especially the wilful ones. According to the Bangladesh Bank’s current policy for restructuring bad loans issued in 2015, loan defaulters get maximum 12 years to repay long-term loans and six years for short-term loans by paying interest rate at discounted rate but not less than the cost of fund plus 1 per cent.
BSEC to bring changes to book-building rules
The securities regulator has decided to bring some changes to book-building method to make it more transparent and ensure ‘fair’ price of IPO (initial public offering) shares. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) took the decision at a commission meeting held on Tuesday presided over by its Chairman Prof. M Khairul Hossain. At the meeting, the securities regulator also decided to form a five member committee headed by BSEC executive director Ms. Rukshana Chowdhury. The committee will review the ‘Book Building Method’ of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (Public Issue) Rules, 2015. The committee will recommend necessary changes after reviewing the book-building method. Book building is a process through which an issuer attempts to determine the price to offer for its security based on demand from institutional investors. The price of an IPO share is determined through automated bidding joined by different financial institutions.
Top ten traded companies grab 35pc transactions
British American Tobacco Bangladesh Company (BATBC) dominated the prime bourse turnover chart Tuesday while top ten-traded companies captured 35 per cent transactions. As per the market Analysts, investors were active on BATBC shares in recent days after the company declared hefty dividend on March 12. The multinational company has recommended 500 per cent cash and 200 per cent dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2018. The board has also decided to increase authorised capital to Tk 5.40 billion, from Tk 600 million by amending relevant clauses. According to statistics from the Dhaka Stock Exchange, about 61,701 shares of BATBC were traded, generating a turnover of Tk 295 million, which was 6.73 per cent of the prime bourse’s total turnover. The company has also reported earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 166.87, net asset value (NAV) per share of Tk 492.15 and net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) of Tk 150.13 for the year ended on December 31, 2018 as against Tk 130.50, Tk 385.21 and Tk 162.22 respectively for the same period of the previous year.
Mobile assembly gathers pace
Three more local companies are in the process of rolling out their mobile assembling plants as astute players look to exploit the 14 percentage points of tax benefit being offered to log in higher sales. The tax on handset imports is 32 percent, while the rate is 18 percent for local assembling and 13 percent for manufacturing domestically. With the three new players — Ok Mobile, Grameen Distribution and Anira International — the total number of handset assembling plants in Bangladesh would hit eight, including one from South Korean giant Samsung. In fact, OK Mobile was the first company to consider handset assembly locally, tying up with the state-owned Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) in 2014. At that time, there were no guidelines for local assembly and no tax benefits, so the plan did not progress much. As per the deal, OK Mobile would use TSS’s factory in Tongi, Gazipur for a handsome amount of royalty and 3 percent of device sales receipts. As per the President of OK Mobile, the company will assemble OK Mobile-branded smartphones and features phones, which are due to hit the market in April. Initially, 2.5 lakh units would be assembled in a month; gradually, production would be scaled up to about 8 lakh units.
Process to set up two new LC stations on border with Meghalaya on
As per an Official, Process for setting up two new LC stations on the Sylhet-Meghalaya border has been going on. Of them one would at Dolura area on the Sunamganj-Balat border in the Meghalaya foothills. About 10 acres of land would soon be handed over to the Customs Department, an official informed although the initial proposal was for a 15 acre-plot. The location is about 12 km off Sunamganj district town. However, things are being delayed due to the lengthy process of land acquisition for the station, an official admitted. Now the Land Ministry has asked for reply to some query from the district about the proposed plot of land. Sources informed both Bangladesh and India agreed to set an LC station on the said area back in 1999, but things didn’t procede much due to absence of road on the 2.5 km area on the Indian side at Balat.
ICT sector would create 10 lakh new jobs by 2021
As per the State Minister for ICT division, Information and Communication Technology sector had created 10 lakh jobs in the last ten years and the total employment in the ICT sector would reach 20 lakh by the year 2021. The state Minister disclosed the figure while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the three-day BASIS SoftExpo 2019 held at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka. The 15th software exposition organised by Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, designed to promoting Bangladeshi products for global markets, sharing knowledge with global ICT experts to enrich local entrepreneurs, networking with global potential clients and ICT service recipients, will open from 10am to 8pm till Thursday.
MTB signs deal with Guardian Life Insurance
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) has recently signed an agreement with Guardian Life Insurance Limited at a simple ceremony held at MTB Centre, the bank’s Corporate Head Office, Gulshan 1 in the city. Under this agreement, the employees of MTB along with their dependent family members will be able to claim insurance coverage and facilities from Guardian Life Insurance Limited.
Passenger arrested with Yaba at Ctg airport
The Airport authorities arrested a passenger at Shah Amanat International Airport here on Tuesday morning on charge of carrying 540 Yaba pills and 200 gram hemp.
BGB arrested hundi trader with $10,000
Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) arrested an alleged hundi trader in possession of $10,000 from Benapole check post on Tuesday.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 58.83||↓0.20||↓0.34%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)|| $ 67.50|| ↓0.11|| ↓0.16%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,304.82||↓1.74||↓0.13%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.0623|
|GBP 1||BDT 111.5927|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.3351|
|INR 1||BDT 1.2266|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<