BB orders banks to implement alternate duty roster for staff
The central bank yesterday ordered banks to immediately introduce alternate duty roster for its workforce as it moved to prevent the financial system from becoming an agent of community transmission of the deadly coronavirus. Banks have been asked to divide the workforce at least into two groups on the basis of their responsibilities. The groups will run the operations of the banks on a rostering basis every week, said the Bangladesh Bank in a notice. The rostering would be designed in a way that the arrangement does not stop customers from availing banking services. As per instructions, banks will prepare a list of emergency banking services and will ensure that these services are not disrupted in case of any special situation. The central bank asked banks to accelerate online services so that customers need not visit branches in person to carry out banking. The government has recently given a number of instructions and locked down some areas to tackle community transmission. Lenders will have to supply required cash to lockdown areas in cooperation with local administration and law-enforcement agencies, said the central bank in another notice.
Central bank to buy T-bills, bonds from banks
The central bank will inject fresh fund through purchasing government securities directly from the banks to avert any unwanted liquidity satiation stemming from the cocronavirus pandemic.As per the latest decision of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), interested commercial banks as well as non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) may sell their excess securities after complying with the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). The banks may sell their surplus securities to the central bank from today (Monday) at the market rate. Currently, four treasury bills (T-bills) are being transacted through auctions to adjust the government’s borrowings from the banking system. The T-bills have 14-day, 91-day, 182-day and 364-day maturity periods. The T-bills are short-term investment tools issued through auctions, conducted by the central bank on behalf of the government. Furthermore, five government bonds with tenures of two-, five-, 10-, 15- and 20-year respectively are traded on the market. The banks have also been instructed to ensure cash reserve at their branches.
Stocks down despite circuit breaker
Dhaka stocks went down on Sunday, a day after the securities regulator imposed circuit breaker to boost the ailing capital market. DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, shed 14.79 points or 0.37 per cent to settle at 3,960, after jumping 371 points in the previous session. Trading on bourses took place from 10:30am to 1:30pm as the bourses curtailed trading time by one hour due to anxiety for coronavirus pandemic. The presence of investors on the trading floor was thin as the bourses discourage their clients for rushing in the brokerage houses and encourage more for trading through mobile apps and other internet-based devices. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission imposed circuit breaker on Thursday to curb the free-fall of stock prices. However, the CSE edged higher with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-advancing 53 points to close at 11,187.
Sabrang Park likely to be ready by this year
Sabrang Tourism Park, the country’s first tourism-based special economic zone (SEZ), is expected to start welcoming visitors within this year, as construction of its key facilities is going on in full swing Construction of protection embankment, boundary wall and administration building in the SEZ is now at the final stage,” Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury said. The authority has developed its land, whereas a number of local and foreign businesses have got approval from the BEZA for developing hotels, resorts and other required structures in the SEZ, he also said. Over 100 acres of land have already been allocated to some investors. Within next winter, some of the accommodation facilities, like – cottage, will be finalised to welcome guests initially. The other tourism SEZs are Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park and Naf Tourism Park. For Sabrang Tourism Park, four companies got approval to invest more than US$115 million for establishing different facilities, which will generate employment for over 7,000 people. Besides, many investors are about to finalise their deals to join them. Singapore-based Inter-Asia Group will invest over $90 million in the next few years to establish facilities like cultural centre, open air amphitheatre, amusement park, pool villas, swimming pool and beach club on 83 acres of land there. The investment deal finalised so far is expected to create more than 6,000 employments. A company called Moonlight Overseas will construct a hotel on one acre of land in the park at a cost of $7.8 million, creating job for 936 people. .
Economy braces for soft landing: BB
The disruption in global supply chain caused by the pandemic will dampen the country’s economic growth prospect by the end of this fiscal year, predicts the central bank. But slowing global economic growth, Covid-19-induced disruption in the global supply chain, is likely to dampen the growth prospect during fiscal year 2019-20. Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services and includes all of the process that transforms raw materials into finished products. The central bank’s views came against the backdrop of rising cases of Covid-19 across the world, including Bangladesh. However, the pace of economic activities continued its normal trend due to strong domestic demand in first half (H1) of FY ’20, according to the report covering October-December. A surge in government borrowings pushed broad money (M2) growth to 12.0 per cent during the period under review, above the target of 11.3 per cent for the H1 of this fiscal, while private credit growth continued moderating. The amount of soured loans shrank by nearly 19 per cent to Tk 943.31 billion as of December 31 of the year from Tk 1,162.88 billion three months before, the BB data showed.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↓ 913.21||↓ 4.55 %|
|Nikkei 225||16,879.36||↑ 326.53||↑1.97 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$22.74 ||↑ 0.11||↑ 0.49%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 26.19 ||↓ 0.79||↓ 2.93 %|
|Gold Spot||$1,494.76 ||↓ 3.89||↓ 0.26%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.9956|
|GBP 1||BDT 96.5904|
|EUR 1||BDT 88.7223|
|INR 1||BDT 1.10577|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<