Banks to open for 2hrs daily during lockdown
Bangladesh Bank yesterday instructed banks to run their operations on a limited scale next week, when a shutdown of all public and private offices will be in effect as part of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. Bank branches will have to stay open from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, when they will only provide cash deposit and withdrawal services to their customers, according to a central bank notice. Banks will have to ensure that the staff who are providing the service at the branches follow safety guidelines disseminated by the World Health Organisation. The branches must be shut by 1:30pm after completion of all paperwork. Authorised dealer branches of banks can be opened if there is any need for foreign exchange settlement on an emergency basis.
BPMCA seeks 15pc income tax waiver
Bangladesh Private Medical Collage Association (BPMCA) has sought waiver of 15 per cent income tax in the upcoming budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21. In a pre-budget meeting on Tuesday, the association leaders argued that the private medical collages are non-profit organisations as per the existing policy titled ‘Establishing and Operating Private Medical Colleges-2011’. The association leaders said these in the pre-budget meeting with The National Board of Revenue (NBR) organised the meeting at its premises in the capital. Placing the pre-budget proposal, Mr. Mubin Khan also demanded waiver of taxes on imported life-saving drugs and medical equipment used by their organisations.
Oil jumps 3.0pc towards $28 on Fed steps to support economy
Oil jumped 3.0 per cent on Tuesday towards $28 a barrel, supported by steps by the US Federal Reserve to bolster the economy and hopes the United States will soon reach a deal on a $2.0 trillion coronavirus aid package. Brent crude LCOc1 was up 93 cents a barrel, or 3.4 per cent, at $27.96 by 1323 GMT. The global benchmark fell to $24.52 on Wednesday, its lowest since 2003. US West Texas Intermediate CLc1 gained 97 cents, or 4.2 per cent, to $24.33. The expected stimulus pushed the U.S. dollar lower against other currencies .DXY. A weaker dollar tends to support the price of oil and other dollar-denominated commodities. The price of oil has halved in 2020, hit by the demand shock caused by the coronavirus outbreak and government restrictions to contain it, and the sudden removal of measures by OPEC and other nations to limit supply. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to release its supply report at 2030 GMT.
‘Nagad’ set to complete its first yr of existence
Bangladesh Post Office’s easy, safe, timely and cost-effective digital financial service “Nagad” is set to complete a year of its journey. The state-run service platform brought a massive change to the country’s overall financial inclusion. Marking the last year’s Independence Day, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had formally launched the financial service “Nagad” aiming at meeting the growing demand of mobile banking among the people. Daily transactions of Nagad crossed Tk1.0 billion (100 crore) on January 10, just 10 months past its launch. Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar on January 12 announced the achievement and on March 13, he disclosed that daily transaction through “Nagad” exceeded Tk 1.6 billion in continuation of the pace of growth. Nagad’s ‘cash-out’ charge for Tk 1,000 is Tk 14.50. Customers receive Tk5 cash back for every Tk 1,000 ‘cash-in’ transaction. It implies that every ‘cash-out’ charge for Tk 1,000 stands at Tk 9.50 after the “cash back” feature. Nagad also facilitates bigger transactions and aims to bring small businessmen under its coverage, which is not possible for transactions of Tk 10,000 or Tk 15,000. .
Mr. Md Mahbub first local CEO for HSBC BD
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited on Tuesday announced that Md Mahbub ur Rahman has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bangladesh, with effect from 5 April 2020. Mahbub joined HSBC in 2002 and was previously Deputy Chief Executive Officer as well as Head of Wholesale Banking in Bangladesh. Prior to this he led HSBC’s Commercial Banking business in Malaysia. Mahbub started his career with Standard Chartered Bank in Bangladesh. An MBA from The Kellogg-HKUST- a joint programme of The Kellogg School of Management and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, he also has Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Finance from University of Dhaka.
Square Pharma inks deal with Renata, Apex Pharma
Square Pharmaceuticals has signed agreements with two pharmaceuticals companies for manufacturing some products on behalf of the company to meet the growing demand. The board of Square Pharma has approved agreements with Renata Oncology Ltd. and Apex Pharma Ltd. for contract manufacturing of some products on behalf of the company to meet increased demand of existing products and also to introduce new products. Each share of the Square Pharma, which was listed on the Dhaka bourse in 1995, closed at Tk 172.50 on Tuesday, remaining unchanged over the previous day. The company’s consolidated earnings per share (EPS) in six months for July-December 2019 was Tk 8.16 as against Tk 7.46 for July-December 2018. The company disbursed 42 per cent cash and 7.0 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2019.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||3,976.56856||↓ 8.18||↓ 0.21 %|
|↑ 2112.98||↑ 11.36 %|
|FTSE100||5446.01||↑ 452.12||↑ 9.05 %|
|Nikkei 225||19129.21||↑ 1036.86||↑ 5.73 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$24.86||↑ 0.85||↑ 3.54 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 27.96||↑ 0.81||↑ 2.98 %|
|Gold Spot||$1,617.35||↓ 14.97||↓ 0.92 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.9676|
|GBP 1||BDT 97.0895|
|EUR 1||BDT 89.6266|
|INR 1||BDT 1.08796|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<