BB eases sale process for foreigners to attract FDI
The central bank has simplified and rationalised the sale process of foreigners’ equity investment in both public and private entities to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh. Under the rationalisation and simplification of sale process, buyers and sellers will have to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) prior to seeking approval from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) for transferring fund. “In case of transfer of shares from non-resident to resident in non-listed public limited companies and private limited companies, the MoU for share sale-purchase agreement between buyers and sellers needs to be concluded on receipt of approval from Bangladesh Bank regarding determination of the fair value of shares,” the central bank said in a notification, issued on Sunday. Talking to the FE, a senior BB official said the central bank has simplified and rationalised the sale process to attract foreign nationals to invest more in Bangladesh. Earlier foreign nationals sought fund transfer approval from the central bank after completing execution of their sale-purchase deal that had created difficulties in some cases for transferring the fund, the central banker explained. Under the new procedures, the central bank will accept the fair value of the shares as repatriable abroad /or for re-investment in Bangladesh determined on the date of MoU for share sale-purchase agreement based on the latest audited financial statements of the target company.
Govt moves to formulate gold import policy
The government has taken an initiative to formulate a gold import policy, aiming to check its smuggling and help boost duty collection from the sector, reports UNB. As per the proposed policy, the VAT registered entities will only be allowed to import gold through opening Letters of Credit (LCs). “If everything goes well, the Finance Minister will make an announcement about the policy in the upcoming national budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year,” a senior official at the Finance Ministry told UNB. The government has formed a nine-member committee for formulation of the policy, and the committee has already held several meetings. “The gold import policy will be finalised after reviewing the recommendations of the committee,” the Finance Ministry official said.
Midland Bank signs MoU with Amari Dhaka
Midland Bank Limited (MDB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Amari Dhaka, a five star chain hotel, in the capital recently, says a statement. Md Ridwanul Hoque, EVP and Head of Retail Distributions of Midland Bank Ltd, and Kelly Lewis, General Manager of Amari Dhaka hotel, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations at a simple ceremony held on the hotel premises at Gulshan. Under this agreement, MDB Visa credit cardholders will enjoy buy-one-get-one free buffet meal from Amari Dhaka. Mostafizur Rahman, Head of Cards of Midland Bank Limited was also present on the occasion along with other officials of both organisations.
SBAC Bank gets Golden Globe Tigers Award
South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce (SBAC) Bank Ltd has got “The Golden Globe Tigers Award 2018” for excellence and leadership in branding and marketing in the individual and organisation category of service excellence, according to a statement. Md. Golam Faruque, Managing Director and CEO of South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce (SBAC) Bank Ltd, has received the trophy at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel in Malaysia recently. CMO Asia and Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management (MIHRM), a strategic partner of the programme which is a Malaysia’s human resource professional body and recognised by the international community presented the trophy.
Deputy Managing Director of Prime Bank Limited receives ‘Financial Branding Award’
Deputy Managing Director of Prime Bank Limited Syed Faridul Islam received ‘Financial Branding Award’ for its excellent services for the year 2017 from Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc at a function organised by Centre for NRB in the city recently.
NBL gets new DMD
Syed Rois Uddin has been pro-moted to the post of deputy managing director of National Bank Ltd, the bank said in a press statement yesterday. Prior to that, he worked as SEVP and manager of Mohakhali Branch of the bank.
Janata Bank gets new DMDs
Md Tajul Islam and Md Zikrul Hoque have recently been promoted as deputy managing directors of Janata Bank. Islam was a general manager of the bank prior to the promotion, the state-run bank said in a statement yesterday. Hoque, who also served Janata Bank as a general manager before the promotion, joined the bank as a senior officer in 1986, according to the statement.
Government’s earning from Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) doubles in April
The government bagged tax worth about BDT 220 million in April as against BDT 104 million in March 2018, registering an increase of nearly 112%, according to statistics from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). Market operators said the government earnings from the Dhaka bourse rose substantially during the month compared to March on the back of increased trading volume coupled with significant share transactions by sponsor-directors and placement holders. Of the total earnings in April, BDT 115 million came from TREC holders’ commission and BDT 104 million came from share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders, the DSE data shows. The DSE, on behalf of the government, collects tax as TREC holders’ commission and sponsor-directors and placement holders’ shares sales at the rate of 0.05% and 5.0% respectively and deposits the amount to the national exchequer.
Insurance policy for migrant workers under review
A government move for mandatory insurance coverage to protect the migrant workers from any unexpected risks is now under detailed review by the sector regulator, officials said. When contacted, member of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Gokul Chand Das said, “There is no mandatory insurance coverage facility for outbound jobseekers in the country. We are reviewing the issue sincerely to introduce it soon.” Officials said many manpower exporting countries have already made insurance coverage mandatory for their outbound workers, but Bangladesh still lags behind other nations in such case. IDRA prepared draft guidelines in April 2017.
NBR investment promotion team embraces reps from private sector
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has formed an investment promotion team (IPT) comprising public and private sector representatives to frame investment-friendly tax policies. The 21-member IPT would make recommendations after reviewing fiscal policies relating to income tax, customs and Value Added Tax (VAT). The NBR recently issued a gazette notification on formation of the ‘Investment Promotion Team’. Sources said IPT’s recommendations would be considered while framing the upcoming budget proposal for the fiscal year 2018-19.
Focus on SEZs-II: Country-focused SEZs make little headway
The government’s initiative to develop country-specific special economic zones (SEZs) has so far made little headway, thus impeding efforts to help attract sizeable foreign investments. Though the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has already allotted substantial land under G2G (government-to-government) arrangement, factors like non-availability of soft loans and lengthy process to select the developers have slowed down the progress, people familiar with the situation said. Notwithstanding the setbacks, foreign investors’ interest has been rising gradually, demonstrating the emerging importance of the country’s strategic and geographical location.
BD-China JV to build coal-fired power plant
State-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and China Huadian Hongkong Company Ltd (CHDHK) Sunday inked a deal to form a joint venture (JV) company to build a 1,320 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant at Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar. Both the companies would have similar stakes in the power plant to be built on 200 acres of land. State minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid was the chief guest at the deal signing ceremony held at Biddyt Bhaban in the city. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Hamid stressed for further improvement of the transmission and distribution system of electricity to reap the benefit of increased electricity generation. National dispatch centre is also being modernised, he said.
BR wants to run train thru Padma Bridge since its inauguration
Bangladesh Railway (BR) is still hopeful of running train through Padma Bridge since the day of its inauguration despite delay for years in signing a loan agreement with China to implement the Padma rail link project. Though the construction work under the project may linger further due to more time to be needed for effectiveness of US$ 2.67 billion Chinese loan, BR reiterated its hope at a press conference held at Rail Bhaban on Sunday. The Ministry of Railway and Bangladesh Railway organised the press conference to update the development of Padma rail link project after the Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Chinese EXIM Bank signed US$ 2.67 billion loan agreement on April 27. Railway Minister Mujibul Haque briefed the journalists in presence of high officials concerned.
Govt inks LNG deal with Oman
Bangladesh yesterday struck a 10-year deal with Oman to import 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) every year to meet its growing energy demand. Syed Ashfaquzzaman, secretary of state-run Petrobangla, and Mahir Al Zadjali, attorney for Oman Trading International, signed the agreement at the Petrobangla headquarters in Dhaka, according to a statement. Excelerate Energy and Summit Corporation will regasify the LNG in equal shares using their respective terminals in Moheshkhali and pump it into the national network. The Excelerate terminal is almost ready for operations while Summit’s one is expected to be complete in October. Last month, the cabinet committee on purchase approved the draft contract with Oman. According to the draft contract, LNG from Oman would be supplied at 11.9 percent of the three-month average price of Brent oil plus $0.4 constant per million British thermal unit, a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources.
IMEI database in 3 months
Finding out whether a mobile handset is original or not is a challenge for a buyer in Bangladesh, as there is no valid database of mobile devices in the country. But the wait could soon be over, as Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association has got go-ahead to establish an IMEI database, which would help cut the use of illegal handsets, combat crimes and boost government revenues. The association will set up the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) database of all imported handsets in three months. The IMEI is a 15-digit unique identification or serial number that all mobile phones have. It is used to identify valid devices and stop a stolen phone from accessing the network it uses. People have to dial *#06# to instantly see the IMEI on the screen of a handset. Once the database is ready, the trade body will begin the registration of the handsets being imported.
Dhaka to see six new luxury hotels
Dhaka is set to welcome half a dozen international hotel chains over the next couple of years, brought about by the growing influx of business travellers to Bangladesh. “The economy is expanding and so is the number of guests,” said Md Jashim Uddin, vice-chairman of Bengal Group of Industries, which is constructing a 370-room hotel in the capital’s Niketan area for about Tk 600 crore. The property will be managed by Swiss hotel chain Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts. “We want to make the ultimate business hotel, which we do not have in the city yet,” he added. Bengal is not the only local business group pouring in funds to expand the capital’s luxury hotel landscape; Jamuna, Marium and Premier are entering the fray too. New business opportunities have come up for construction of large infrastructure projects such as the Padma bridge, Rooppur nuclear power plant, metro rail and LNG terminals.
Romania Food starts exporting to Singapore, Malaysia
Romania Food & Beverage Ltd., an enterprise of Bengal Group of Industries, recently started exporting to Singapore and Malaysia as a part of market expansion strategy in 2018, according to a statement. Romania Food made their footprint globally and currently exporting to Mauritius, King Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bhutan, Kuwait and many more countries in Asia, Africa, and Middle East regions, the release added. “Romania is now focusing on the market development of Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern regions, through increasing product intake and receiving demand from other APAC and African countries. Such positive impact on profitability induces Romania to tap in more markets,” said Fazlay Elahi, AGM, International Marketing & Sales.
ACI upsets investors
ACI, a blue-chip stock, has been disappointing investors with its sliding earnings in the first three quarters of the financial year. The company, however, reported revenue of BDT 16.27 billion for the three quarters, up nearly 19% year-on-year. In fact, the third quarter revenue also rose nearly 17%. Earnings per share of ACI slumped about 72% year-on-year to BDT 0.96 only in the third quarter (January to March). A top executive of ACI said their sales turnover remains healthy, but high borrowing and import costs due to a rise in lending and exchange rates and massive duty reduction of rice have impacted the EPS of the company. Executive Director (finance and planning) of ACI said that Sales growth of ACI is quite healthy but the EPS has declined due to high borrowing and import costs. China decided to shut down thousands of its polluting factories and ACI sourced products from many of them. So, those products’ prices have soared almost 22%. Another shock on the EPS came from the food products. Quarterly report of ACI shows loss in the food subsidiaries increased 165% year-on-year to BDT 17.99. This year, EPS was hurt by the new subsidiaries also. Quarterly report of ACI shows its supermarket chain Shwapno’s losses are shrinking: it declined 7.14% year-on-year to BDT 880.3 million. ACI announced 115% cash and 10% stock dividends in 2017, which is the same as in the previous year. Its net profit after tax for the financial year that ended on June 2017 was BDT 1.24 billion.
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)||$ 70.30||↑0.58||↑0.83%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 75.35||↑0.48||↑0.64%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,318.70||↑4.00||↑0.30%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.85|
|GBP 1||BDT 113.72|
|EUR 1||BDT 100.41|
|INR 1||BDT 1.25|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.