Al-Arafah bank sells 10.0% stakes
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector or ICD, the private sector financing arm of the Islamic Development Bank, yesterday announced investment of about BDT 1.55 billion to acquire 10.0% stakes in Bangladesh’s Al-Arafah Islami Bank. Al-Arafah Islami Bank will issue around 110.0 million fresh shares of BDT 10.0 each with BDT 4.0 as premium to the ICD. Khaled Al Aboodi, chief executive officer of the ICD, and Badiur Rahman, chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank, inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations at a program at the capital’s Sonargaon Hotel. The investment is, however, subject to shareholder consent and regulatory approvals from the central bank, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission and other relevant authorities. Al Aboodi said the strategic initiative reflects ICD’s efforts to play the role of catalyst in the promotion of Islamic finance and private sector development in Bangladesh.
Non-performing IPOs: Brokers suggest for buy-back policy
Leading brokers Tuesday made a number of proposals including the promotional activities of DSE-Mobile, an application to conduct share trading, to boost the turnover of the capital market, officials said. The proposals came at a meeting held with the board of directors of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). At Tuesday’s meeting, the participants made proposals such as extension of deadline for adjusting bank’s exposure to capital market, introduction of buy-back policy for non-performing IPOs (initial public offering), removal of double taxation, formation of bailout fund, listing of companies having good fundamentals and accountability of issue managers for managing IPO.
Refined petroleum product import: ‘Open’ bidding proves boon to BPC
The government is set to start importing refined petroleum products at lower costs under the re-introduced open tendering that would replace the purchase under term deals. Under the new procurement system, the BPC has picked up best offers from ENOC and Unipec for oil supply. The state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has already recommended awarding tender to Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Unipec Singapore Pte Ltd to get supply of 1.50 million tons of refined petroleum products altogether in 2016, BPC’s director for operations and planning Mosleh Uddin told the FE Tuesday. They quoted lower premium rates which are around 25% less compared to the premium rates under the existing term deals. In its bid, ENOC offered a premium rate of USD 2.37 per barrel to Mean of Platts Arab Gulf (MoPAG) gasoil assessments for 0.05% sulphur gasoil and USD 3.54 per barrel to MoPAG assessment for A-1 jet fuel. Unipec in its bid offered a premium rate of USD2.57 per barrel to Mean of MoPAG gasoil assessments for 0.05% sulphur gasoil and USD 3.06 per barrel to MoPAG assessment for A-1 jet fuel.
China consortium gets USD 1.56 billion contract for Payra power plant
Bangladesh-China Power Company Ltd or BCPCL yesterday signed a USD1.56 billion contract with a Chinese consortium for engineering, procurement and construction of a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Payra, Patuakhali. BCPCL is a 50:50 partnership between North-West Power Generation Company of Bangladesh and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. The EPC contractor, which won the contract as the lone bidder, is a consortium of First Northeast Electric Power Engineering Company (NEPC) of China and China National Energy Engineering and Construction Company Ltd (CECC). The first unit of the power plant, which will have 660MW capacity, is expected to supply electricity by April 2019. The second unit, which will have the same capacity, will start generation six months later, said AM Khurshedul Alam, managing director of BCPCL. The contractor will arrange the USD1.56 billion fund from the Chinese banking system as credit. BCPCL is expecting to sell each unit of electricity from the plant at BDT 6.65 to state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board, officials said. The company estimated the possible price of electricity considering the supply cost of coal up to the project site to be USD 100 per ton.
Santos luring Bapex to risky JV for Magnama
Australian oil company Santos is luring state-run Bapex to joint extraction of gas from a complicated structure in an offshore block with realisation of USD 23.1 million the company already invested in the exploration since 2008. In 2008, Santos’s predecessor Cairn Energy failed to explore gas following a failure in its first attempt to drill a well in Magnama structure in offshore block-16, officials said. State minister for power, energy and mineral resources told New Age that he had received the proposal and the government was considering it ‘positively.’ Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company, Bapex, will have to invest another USD 17.5 million in drilling a second gas well at Magnama. Bapex will have to invest a total of USD 40.3 million to own a 49% share in the proposed joint-venture with Santos Sangu Fields Limited, according to a proposal Santos submitted to the government on March 22. In that case, Santos might not have to invest as the cost for drilling of the second well was estimated at USD 35.0 million, said a Petrobangla official.
Service sector businesses call to reduce VAT rate to single digit
Service sector businesses Tuesday demanded the government slash the existing 15% VAT rate to single digit in the next budget for 2016-17 to reduce tax burden on service recipients. VAT should be imposed only on value additions instead of the total amount that the businesses charge the consumers for providing services, they said. They also called for stepping up efforts to prevent abuse of the bonded warehouse facility. The service sector businesses made the proposals at a pre-budget meeting with the National Board of Revenue (NBR). Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Abdul Matlub Ahmad urged the NBR to lower VAT rates ranging from 4.5% to 7.0%.
Alliance cuts ties with 17 more RMG units
The North American retailers’ group has omitted 17 more readymade garment factories of Bangladesh from its supplier list either on charge of failure to make adequate remediation progress or closure or relocation of some unites. Number of readymade garment factories with which the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, the platform of the North American brands, cut business relations due to noncompliance reached to 59. The total number of RMG factories in which global buyers cut business relations reached to 72 with 13 factories terminated by the European retailers’ group — Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association are likely to sit with the Alliance on April 4 to discuss inspection-relates issues including escalation process.
Leather goods makers seek government incentives to double exports
Leaders of the Leather goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) said the country’s leather goods export could be doubled if the government provided necessary support and the political situation remained stable. Bangladesh fetched USD176.86 million by exporting leather goods in July-December period of the current fiscal, up by 60.68% from the last fiscal’s USD 110.07 million during the same period, according to available data. The sector-leaders said though leather is a promising sector, it could not exploit its full potential due to lack of necessary patronization.
World Stock and Commodities
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$38.64||+0.36||+0.94%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$39.39||+0.25||+0.64%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||17,633.11||+97.72||+0.56%|
|USD 1||BDT 78.38*|
|GBP 1||BDT 112.65*|
|EUR 1||BDT 88.51*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.18*|
*Currencies and Commodities are taken from Bloomberg.