Parent Companies of GP, Robi in merger talks
Norwegian Telenor Group, parent Company of Bangladesh’s leading mobile operator Grameenphone, and Malaysia-based Axiata, parent Company of another mobile operator Robi, are in negotiation to merge their Asia operations, keeping GP in and Robi out of the merged company. Officials of both Companies talks on a potential non-cash merger of their telecom and infrastructure assets in Bangladesh and eight other Asian countries to serve nearly 300 million customers using approximately 60,000 towers. Telenor and Axiata after a successful negotiation would form a ‘MergerCo’ to have operational headquarters in Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Robi, however, in a statement clarified that it would not be part of the proposed merger and would remain a direct subsidiary of Axiata’s post completion of the proposed transaction with Telenor. In Bangladesh MergeCo will own majority shares (55.8 per cent) of Grameenphone, a listed company, with minority shares (34.2 per cent) to be held by local Grameen Telecom and general investors (10 per cent).
Look beyond WTO for post-LDC benefits: official
According to the WTO official, Bangladesh needs to work with some alternative organisations of World Trade Organization (WTO) to continue enjoying trade privileges once its status graduates to a developing country from a least developed one. Bangladesh’s status is scheduled to finally graduate in 2027 when it would lose trade privileges and face duties on export. Monique Van Daalen, chairperson of the WTO sub-committee on least developed countries (LDCs), suggested that Bangladesh can look forward to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for SDGs to find new opportunities beyond WTO.
Bangladesh a lucrative destination for Investors
According to the top official of JTI, the entry of Japan Tobacco International (JTI) into Bangladesh through its $1.47 billion acquisition of Akij Group’s tobacco business would attract more international investors to the country. As per Jorge Da Motta, regional President of JTI for the Asia-Pacific, the acquisition should give a strong signal to international investors that Bangladesh is a place to do business and make investment. In November last year, Japan Tobacco, the third largest publicly traded tobacco company in the world, completed the acquisition, which is the biggest-ever single foreign direct investment in Bangladesh.
Pharma ingredient makers get VAT exemption
National Board of Revenue has exempted local producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from VAT payment on imported raw materials. API industries will enjoy the benefits for more than six years up to December 2025. NBR VAT wing on April 30 issued a statutory regulatory order offering the exemption on fulfilment of some conditions, including producing at least five new molecules at every calendar year. NBR offered the benefits following application of Bangladesh API and Intermediaries Manufacturers Association seeking tax benefits under the National Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and Laboratory Reagents Production and Export Policy 2018.
SME sector can ease unemployment problem
Amid the growing unemployment problem in Bangladesh, the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector can be an effective tool to solve the problem provided it gets necessary support to flourish. There is no alternative now to creating skilled manpower through technology-based education and putting emphasis on the SME sector. A large number of educated youths are now unemployed in the country. As per the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), country’s unemployment rate has increased from 4.35 per cent in 2016 to 4.37 per cent in December 2017. About 2.0 million young people join every year the country’s workforce.
Women’s freelancing platform launched
Valerejobs.com, a freelancing platform dedicated to women, has recently been launched. According to IT and engineering firm Valere Enterprise said the platform uses a smart resume to help analyse core competencies and soft skills to evaluate strengths and areas of excellence. The site also promotes a merit based system to form an efficient global society that can face challenges of the fourth industrial revolution
ATC Unit Fund declares 12.0pc cash dividend
ATC Shariah Unit Fund, an open-end Islamic Mutual Fund, managed by Asian Tiger Capital Partners Asset Management Limited (ATCP AML), declared a 12.0 per cent cash dividend for 2018-19. On 02 May 2019, The Trustee Committee of the fund approved the audited financial statements for the year ended on 31 March 2019 and approved 12.0 per cent cash dividend. The declaration represents a payout ratio of 70 per cent and a dividend yield of 11.8 per cent based on investor’s purchase price of BDT 10.17 per unit which is also the market-based NAV on 05 May 2019.
Five killed in ‘gunfights’ with law enforcers
Five people, including two suspected Rohingya drug traders, were killed in separate “gunfights” with law enforcers in Cox’s Bazar and the Sundarbans. In Cox’s Bazar, a “gunfight” between the alleged drug traders and police left two Rohingya men dead in Leda camp area of Teknaf around 2:00am.
MIDAS Financing gets new MD
Mustafizur Rahman has recently joined MIDAS Financing as Managing Director. The board of directors appointed him at a 302nd meeting in February and he took charge from Md Atiar Rahman Ansary on May 2.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Nikkei 225|| 22,060.00||↓198.73||↓0.89%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)|| $ 62.31||↑0.06||↑0.10%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 71.16||↓0.08||↓0.11%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,282.784|| ↑1.68||↑0.13%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.6127|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.2890|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.4733|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1894|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<