Dhaka Bank honours ‘Pay Masters’
Dhaka Bank Limited honoured its regular payee SME customers as ‘Pay Masters’ for their outstanding performance for over a decade at a ceremony at its corporate office in the city on Thursday. Nine CMSME customers, from various branches, have been awarded for their strong business footprint. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director and CEO of Dhaka Bank, was present as the chief guest and Shaikh Md Salim, General Manager, Department of SME & Special Programmes, Bangladesh Bank, and Emranul Hoque, Additional Managing Director, Dhaka Bank, attended the event as special guests. All deputy managing directors and MANCOM members of Dhaka Bank were also present. Shakir Amin Chowdhury, Deputy Managing Director, Operations, presided over the ceremony.
Liquidity crisis hits credit flow
The recent liquidity crisis in private banks has created uncertainty in the credit flow in favour of the micro entrepreneurs, specially in agriculture and micro loans, a microfinance expert told a programme Saturday. The liquidity crisis has not only hampered the expansion programme of the micro finance institutions but it has also become impossible to meet the demand of the micro finance borrowers. However, eminent woman entrepreneur Rokia Afzal Rahman said that it is a lesson for the big banks that the MFIs are disbursing loans in rural areas with easy conditions, recovering hundred per cent loans from the poor borrowers and making profit. But non-performing loan (NPL) volume and defaulters are on the rise in big banks, she added.
Govt to review savings tools’ rates: Finance Minister
The government is going to review the existing yield rates on savings certificates after the next national budget, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Saturday. “Ideally, the yield rates on savings certificate should be just a bit higher than the market rates. But now, those have become too high”, he said. “So we are going to review the yield rates after this budget”, Muhith said. His announcement came at a pre-budget discussion organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in the city. However, the latest stance of the Finance Minister is opposite to that he had taken during his meeting with members of Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) on May 09 last. The minister’s comments came after a top academic as well as a top corporate executive said that the increased popularity of saving certificates is working against the development of bond market in the country.
Govt disburses Tk 44.81b subsidy to entitled export sectors
The government has disbursed subsidy of Tk 44.81 billion, out of the allocated Tk 45 billion, to the entitled export sectors for current fiscal (FY18), said sources. Currently 27 export sectors are receiving cash incentive including apparel manufacturing industries, frozen food products, leather products, agro-based products and agro-processing industry. The sectors are enjoying up to 20 per cent cash incentive from the government to increase their export volume. Except jute, all entitled sectors availed the full amount of allocated cash subsidy for FY18. Raw jute and jute goods exporters did not receive cash subsidy as they did not fulfil their export target. The government last week released the 4th (last) instalment of cash incentives of Tk 11.06 billion for disbursing it among major exporters for the period of April to June in the current calendar year. Of the total amount of the last instalment, the jute and jute goods exporters will get Tk 1.06 billion, according to a circular, issued by finance division.
July-April exports see moderate growth
The country’s export earnings maintained a moderate growth of 6.41 per cent in the first ten months of the current fiscal year (FY). The export earnings stood at US$ 30.40 billion during the July-April period of the FY 2017-18 which was $ 28.57 billion in the corresponding period of the FY 2016-17, according to official data released on Thursday. The single-month earnings in April 2018 grew by 7.11 per cent to $ 2.95 billion which was $ 2.75 billion in April last calendar year. Earnings from readymade garments (RMG) export during the period stood at $ 25.30 billion, marking a 9.37 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the FY 2016-17.
Inter-bank fund transfer thru’ ATMs starts from June
Inter-bank fund transfers through automated teller machines will be made available to customers from June, in another boost to help build a cashless economy. To this effect, the central bank in mid-February asked all banks to connect their ATMs to the National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB) in June. Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd and Pubali Bank have recently successfully completed transferring funds to other banks through their ATMs. The ATMs will become a digital cash counter, helping clients withdraw and transfer funds without placing any cheque or paper-based documents, a BB official said.
Visa perks up card service
Visa, the global payment solutions provider, will introduce contactless cards and QR code payment in Bangladesh by October this year, providing further means for becoming a cashless society. About 20 banks have applied to the Bangladesh Bank for approval to add the two new features to their existing Visa cards, said TR Ramachandran, Visa’s group country manager for India and South Asia. Ramachandran’s announcement came at an event to celebrate Visa’s 30 years in Bangladesh. “All the debit cards of Visa will be converted into contactless cards by October this year,” he said, adding that the feature has already been introduced in neighbouring India. Contactless cards allow customers to make payments simply by waving the card, or one’s smartphone, near the point of sales machine without the need to swipe or insert the card into the machine. The cards provide customers with improved convenience as the speed of transactions is significantly faster and offer increased protection from card fraud than traditional cards.
Current account deficit hits record high
Bangladesh’s current account deficit recorded an all-time high of $7.08 billion in the first nine months of the fiscal year as the country’s capacity to export is failing to keep up with the appetite for imports. At this point last fiscal year, the deficit was $1.37 billion. The previous highest deficit was registered in 2015-16 when it stood at $4.26 billion. Higher import payments and a moderate growth of remittance inflow and export earnings are mainly responsible for the widening deficit. In July-March, imports surged 24.50 percent year-on-year whereas exports grew 6.98 percent. The record current account deficit has already weakened the local currency against the US dollar. On Wednesday, the interbank exchange rate was Tk 83.10 per USD, up from Tk 80.50 a year earlier, according to central bank data. The dollar will appreciate further if the deficit is not halted in the months to come, said a central banker.
BB to form body to implement RMG factory safety project
The central bank is set to constitute a high-powered committee soon to oversee and implement the readymade garment factory remediation project financed by France, officials said. The committee will be given necessary assistance and suggestions for the implementation of the project activities. If any problem arises during the project implementation, the committee would take decisions to resolve the problem, according to a Bangladesh Bank letter. The proposed 11-member committee will meet at least once every three months. The central bank is implementing the project styled ‘Programme to Support Safety Retrofits and Environmental Upgrades in the Bangladesh Readymade Garment (RMG) sector project’. The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) financed the project.
Exim Bank to issue BDT 6.0 billion bond
The board of directors of Exim Bank Limited has adopted a resolution for issuance of Mudaraba Subordinated Bond worth BDT 6.0 billion as a process of inclusion in Tier-II capital. The 7-year bond will be issued through private placement subject to approval of the regulatory authorities – Bangladesh Bank and Bangladesh Securities & Exchange Commission (BSEC) — and compliance of all formalities in this respect. The Exim Bank has reported consolidated EPS of BDT 2.34, consolidated net operating cash flow per share (NAV) per share of BDT 19.58 and consolidated net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) of BDT 4.02 for the year ended on December 31, 2017 as against BDT 2.15, BDT 18.74 and minus BDT 3.42 respectively for the same period of the previous year.
China links removal of hurdles to drawing more investment: EBL to open Guangzhou office this year
Despite receiving growing interest, Bangladesh cannot attract Chinese outbound investment in a large volume due to multi-pronged hurdles, a key official of the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka told a panel discussion on Thursday night. According to him, various problems such as infrastructure deficiency, high cost of logistics services, administrative bottlenecks, complexities in getting work permit on time, and inefficient functioning of one-stop service etc. are discouraging a large number of Chinese companies from investing in Bangladesh. While speaking at the discussion, Li Guangjun, economic and commercial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, also said at present, Chinese investment in Bangladesh is quite meagre in terms of overall volume of its outbound investment. Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) organised the panel discussion ‘EBL Enclave 2018: A new era in China-Bangladesh Strategic Partnership’ where the bank disclosed expanding its operations to southern Chinese city of Guangzhou by this year to facilitate trade and investment.
Guidelines for investment abroad ready
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs may be allowed to make equity investment aboard up to 25 per cent of their net annual income from exports, officials said. However, they will have to take prior permission from the government for the purpose, according to the draft ‘Capital Account Transactions (Overseas Equity Investment) Guidelines 2018’, prepared by the Bangladesh Bank. The central bank crafted the guidelines in line with a decision taken by the cabinet committee on economic affairs amid plea from a good number of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs for allowing them to make overseas investments. The sub-section 6 of the section 4 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 empowered Bangladesh Bank to specify, in consultation with the government, the classes of permissible capital account transaction.
Citi Foundation honours best microentrepreneurs
14 microentreprenuers were honoured at the 13th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) for their contribution to the economy and creating employment. Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citigroup, in association with Sajida Foundation organised the award ceremony at the capital’s Westin hotel.
NCCB, FSIBL sign deal on remittance drawing
NCC Bank (NCCB) has signed a remittance drawing agreement with First Security Islami Exchange Italy S.R.L at the bank’s head office recently. NCC Bank Managing Director & CEO Mosleh Uddin Ahmed and First Security Islami Bank (FSIBL) Managing Director Sayed Waseque Md. Ali signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. With this agreement a new window has opened for the Bangladeshi expatriates in Italy to remit their hard-earned money to their relatives and family members in Bangladesh safely, quickly and conveniently through all branches of NCC Bank, its associate NGOs and sub-agents.
Pubali Bank reelects chairman
Habibur Rahman has recently been reelected as chairman of Pubali Bank. The bank elected him at a board meeting after its 35th annual general meeting (AGM) on May 10. He is the sponsor director of Green Delta Insurance, Delta Hospital & Delta Medical Center.
BB scraps licences of 402 money changers
More than 400 money changers have got the axe from the central bank since 1997 for breaching the relevant rules and regulations. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) cancelled the operating licences of 402 money changers (MCs) so far, officials said. The BB had issued licences for 636 money changers during the period between 1997 and 1999, according to the officials. Now 234 licensed money changers are operating in the country. Yet the number is much higher than what the market permits, a high official of the BB has said. The BB scrapped licences of the MCs from 1997 until now, mainly because of breaching the relevant rules and regulations of the BB, according to the central bank sources.
Govt nod for next ADP with 1,300-plus projects
The government endorsed Thursday a BDT 1.73 trillion Annual Development Programme (ADP), including a record 1,347 projects for the next fiscal. The outlay for the next fiscal is 16.59% or BDT 246.19 billion higher than that of the revised allocation of FY2018. Planning minister said that out of the total spend, BDT 1.13 trillion will come from the government’s internal resources and the remaining BDT 600 billion from the external sources in the form of the project aid. In the current fiscal, the government has revised the ADP in the third quarter, trimming the allocation to BDT 1.48 trillion from the original outlay of BDT 1.56 trillion due to poor performance of the government’s executing agencies in project implementation. Until April of the current fiscal, the government implemented some 48% of the BDT 1.48 trillion revised ADP. In the new ADP for the next fiscal, the transport sector has received the highest BDT 454.49 billion, 24.29% of the total outlay. The second highest allocation has been made for the power sector. This sector has received BDT 229.30 billion, which is 13.25% of the total ADP. According to the Planning Commission, a total of 1,347 development projects have been included in the ADP for the next fiscal. The fresh ADP has included 78 development projects, which will be implemented under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative.
LDC graduation triggers double whammy for BD
LDC graduation might throw Bangladesh into ‘double trouble’ as the country’s preparation for coping with the post-graduation challengers is not satisfactory, economists and businessmen warned Saturday. They said the double whammy would come in the form increasing the cost of doing business or cost of borrowing while taking away of various market preferences that the country enjoys as an LDC (least developing country). To avert the unexpected economic shock, they called upon the government to move ahead cautiously as Bangladesh would not be able to get back on the LDC status again like others because of a recent decision that skipped the scope of return for a country having population above 75 million. They suggested paying attention to the major requirements like enhancing institutional capacity, creating investment-friendly climate, human resources development and attaining the eligibility to get special preferences like GSP-plus and other non-LDC funding options.
$5b flies out as remittance annually: Finance Minister
As much as $5 billion is sent out of Bangladesh every year by foreign nationals working mostly in the export-oriented garment industry, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith. “This $5 billion is taken mostly by Indians, Sri Lankans and nationals from our neighbourhood,” he said at a discussion on Friday on the budget for fiscal 2018-19. Private television channel Maasranga and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly organised the event at the capital’s International Convention City Bashundhara. Businesses, economists, politicians and analysts from various sectors spoke at the programme, which was broadcasted live.
NBR to drop ‘country of origin’ rules
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to fix the minimum customs value of products on the basis of their nature and quality instead of the existing ‘country of origin’, officials said. The board took the decision to make the valuation rules consistent with those of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), they said. Currently, customs officials impose taxes and duties on the basis of prescribed country-wise minimum value or any price higher than it. The customs wing has set the minimum value for some 600 import products. According to the customs rules, importers will not be able to declare lower prices than the NBR-fixed minimum value.
FDI from China up slightly in 2017
Net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China increased moderately in the past calendar year. Bangladesh Bank data showed that FDI from China in net term stood at $68.58 million in the past year which was $61.4 million in 2016. The gross inflow of Chinese FDI, however, reached at $106.28 million in the past year. Textile and weaving top the sector-list of FDI from China in 2017 when some $13.75 million injected to this sector. Central bank statistics also showed that stock of Chinese FDI stood at $258.55 million by the end of December last.
Odisha eyes long-term power trade with BD
In what could be its first trading of power with a foreign nation, Odisha, via its bulk purchaser cum trading entity Gridco, is aiming at long-term supply of power to Bangladesh from 2020 onwards. The state is looking to start supplies of uninterrupted power of 250 Mw from 2020 which will continue till 2033, reports business-standard.com. Odisha is expected to have a thermal power glut of over 1,600 Mw from 2020, as two super critical units of 660 Mw each owned by its PSU Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) are set to be commercialized by then. The state government will also be entitled to 800 Mw of power as its share from NTPC’s ensuing 1600 Mw super thermal power station at Darlipalli near Sundargarh.
Imported fine varieties making inroads into local rice market
Indian fine-quality rice is fast grabbing a share of the Bangladesh staple market after the long dominance of Swarna, one of its coarse varieties. The domestic fine rice market has been expanding significantly in recent times, with analysts attributing the trend to the rise in middle-class. People familiar with the development say such type of rice is entering the local market on two grounds: zero-duty import of the staple allowed following the shortfall in production due to two spells of floods last year and mismatch between demand for, and supply of, fine varieties in the country. Besides, the imported varieties do enjoy price advantage over the same grown locally.
90pc of furniture demand met locally
Local furniture makers are meeting 90 percent of the domestic demand, market players said yesterday. “Presently Bangladesh’s market size is around Tk 18,000 crore, of which only 10 percent is being imported,” KM Akhtaruzzaman, chairman of Akhtar Group, told reporters at a briefing at the office of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The EPB organised the briefing to announce the inauguration of a three-day 5th Bangladesh Furniture and Interior Decor Expo today at International Convention City Bashundhara.
e-Business Summit promotes paperless trade
A three-day ‘e-Business Summit and AFACT 2018’ concluded in the city on Friday, aiming to promote trade facilitation and paperless trade in the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) in association with Bangladesh Computer Samity, ICT Business Promotional Council and the Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services organised the summit at a city hotel for the first time. Delegates from different countries joined the event and shared their experiences regarding the trade facilitation measures. As part of the summit, a seminar on ‘e-Business Readiness’ was held on Thursday, with Shafiqul Islam, additional secretary of the commerce ministry, as the chief guest.
Aamra Tech to get NIX license
The board of directors of Aamra Technologies has decided to receive National Internet Exchange (NIX) licence from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The NIX licensees allow its holders to route domestic internet traffic. The purpose of NIX is to facilitate local content development, encourage local web hosting and reduce latency in domestic traffic and thus saving international internet bandwidth and foreign currency. The licence would allow Aamra Technologies to build its own NIX infrastructure and facilitate internet service with higher efficiency and lower latency, giving the company a vital competitive edge over its competitors. Considering the rapidly growing internet user-base of Bangladesh, many international content providers such as Netflix, Vimeo, What’s App, Viber are expected to be connected with Aamra Technologies’ NIX to reduce latency of their content inside Bangladesh, resulting in mutual commercial benefit of the company and international content providers. Aamra Technologies expects to finish building its NIX infrastructure within a year and initial investment will be approximately BDT 10 million. The company has also reported earnings per share (EPS) of BDT 0.34 for January-March 2018 as against BDT 0.61 for January-March 2017. In nine months for July 2017-March 2018, EPS was BDT 1.23 as against BDT 1.09 for July 2016-March 2017. The company’s paid-up capital is BDT 553.69 million and authorized capital is BDT 1.0 billion, while total number of securities is 55.36 million.
United Power emerges largest market cap company in power sector
United Power Generation & Distribution Company Limited emerged as the largest market capitalization entity among the listed power-sector companies on the Dhaka bourse. The power generation company’s total market cap crossed USD 1.0 billion milestone for the first time on Tuesday last and stood at BDT 88.67 billion on Thursday. Now, United Power is the sixth highest listed company in terms of market capitalization on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) after Grameenphone, Square Pharmaceuticals, BATBC, BRAC Bank and ICB as of Thursday.
Zaheen Spinning registers growth in last four years
Zaheen Spinning Limited registered moderate growth in turnover and earnings in last four years following the company’s smooth operation. Meanwhile, they said the company opened its new unit, enhancing its production capacity, which would be strengthened further with another unit to be opened soon. The company’s turnover rose gradually and consequently the net profit increased in last four years. The company secretary, said that the production of Zaheen Spinning would increase proportionately after opening the proposed unit. The company’s net profit rose 56% or BDT 42.58 million for the year ended on June 30, 2017 compared to previous year. The company’s net profit stood at above BDT 119.24 million for the year ended on June 30, 2017 against above BDT 76.66 million calculated for same period of the previous year. The company reported turnover worth above BDT 869.04 million for the year ended on June 30, 2017 against the turnover worth above BDT 794.95 million calculated for the year ended on June 30, 2016. The company’s earnings per share (EPS) was BDT 1.39 for the year ended on June 30, 2017 and BDT 2.03 for 18 months ended on June 30, 2016. The EPS was BDT 0.56 for the year ended on December 31, 2013 and BDT 1.36 for the year ended on December 31, 2014. In November last, the company started the job of opening new unit and recently their new unit came into operation with 30 ring machines having 15,480 spindles. The company is expected to increase production by 4,240 kg per day following the operation of new unit.
Western Marine emerges one of turnover leaders last week
Western Marine Shipyard has witnessed increased earnings per share (EPS) for January-March quarter (Q3) of 2018 compared to same period of the previous year. Following the increased EPS, the company was positioned in the weekly top turnover chart along with witnessing price hike in share price last week. The company has reported its EPS of BDT. 0.82 for the Q3 as against BDT. 0.43 for the same quarter of 2017, according to un-audited financial statement. The EPS was BDT. 2.14 for July 2017-March 2018 as against BDT. 1.46 for July 2016-March 2017. The company emerged as one of the top turnover leaders with an average daily turnover of above BDT 209 million in five sessions of last week. The company’s net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) was BDT. 3.02 for July 2017-March 2018 as against BDT. 3.67 for July 2016-March 2017. The net asset value (NAV) per share (with assets revaluation) was BDT. 32.45 as on March 31, 2018 and BDT. 34.24 as on June 30, 2017, NAV per share (without assets revaluation) was BDT. 28.35 as on March 31, 2018 and BDT. 29.61 as on June 30, 2017.
Real estate stocks yield highest return last week
The shares of Services & Real Estate sector witnessed the highest return in last week as all companies went green. The companies of Services & Real Estate sector are Eastern Housing, SAIF Powertec, Samorita Hospital and Summit Alliance Port. The companies’ featured a total turnover of above BDT 47.90 million on Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in last week. The companies captured 0.9% of the market turnover featured by the premier bourse DSE. On Thursday, the share trading of Eastern Housing closed at BDT 48.90 with a marginal rise of 0.41% or BDT 0.2 per share. After five sessions, the company’s share price rose 2.30%. After five trading sessions of last week, the share trading SAIF Powertec closed at BDT 27 on Thursday with a rise of 3.44%. The share trading of Samorita Hospital closed at BDT 72.90 with a rise of 1.66% or BDT 1.2 per share on Thursday. The company’s share price rose 1.0% in five sessions. The share price of Summit Alliance Port rose 0.65% or BDT 0.2 to close at BDT 31 on Thursday. The company’s share price rose 8.0% in five sessions of last week.
Govt rushes to amend labour law
The government is rushing to amend the labour law to ease the conditions for formation of trade unions and allow inspection of factories housed inside the export processing zones before the International Labour Conference kicks off on May 28. Bangladesh will have to submit the progress report on labour law amendment at the annual 10-day convention in Geneva after missing the previous deadline in November last year. Although the workers’ right to associate has been enhanced in the amendment, the government will stick to its previous position to not allow trade unions in EPZ but allow formation of ‘workers’ welfare associations’. The association will be empowered by law to negotiate with the employers on various issues, including working conditions, remuneration or payment for productivity enhancement and workers’ educational programmes in the EPZs. The percentage of workers whose consent is required for forming trade unions in industries or factories will be brought down from existing 30 percent to 20 percent. The government’s decision to bring changes to the labour law was officially conveyed at an interactive session yesterday with the diplomatic community and the development partners at the foreign ministry.
Accord to stay on for 6 more months
The Accord, the EU-based factory inspection and remediation agency, got the extension to stay on in Bangladesh for six more months after its original five-year tenure ends on May 31. Initially, the platform of 220 European retailers sought an extension for three years mainly to monitor the trade union activities of garment workers — a prospect that was met with much animosity by the government and factory owners. Furthermore, the High Court last month had restrained the government from extending the inspection agency’s tenure following a writ petition filed by Smart Jeans, which felt wronged by the platform. The decision of the extension was formally announced yesterday at a joint press conference at the office of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in Dhaka. Quizzed about the High Court decision at the press conference, Edward David Southall, a member of the Accord steering committee, declined to answer the question. The Accord will now work with the Transition Monitoring Committee, which is comprised of Accord brands, global trade unions, the BGMEA, the International Labour Organization and the Bangladesh government.
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)||$ 70.70||↓0.66||↓0.92%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 77.12||↓0.35||↓0.45%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,319.30||↓2.30||↓0.17%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.16|
|GBP 1||BDT 113.96|
|EUR 1||BDT 100.51|
|INR 1||BDT 1.25|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.