New banking hours for Ramadan
Bangladesh Bank has fixed the office hours for all banks from 9:30am to 4:00pm for the holy month of Ramadan. Bank officials will get a prayer break between 1:15 pm and 1:30pm, according to a BB circular. During the prayer break, transactions will be made through internal coordination as was done before Ramadan.
Commercial courts will be set up to attract FDI: Law Commission, BB hold meet
The Law Commission-Bangladesh has taken a move to establish commercial courts aiming to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) for resolving disputes on trade, commerce and banking promptly. This was disclosed at a meeting between high-ups of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and Law Commission-Bangladesh, held at the central bank headquarters in the city Monday with BB Governor Fazle Kabir in the chair. The Commission has also prepared a draft amendment on the existing Arbitration Act, 2001 with fixing timeframe for dispute resolution within one year and fixation of fee. The Commission has taken the moves in line with a proposal of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to facilitate FDI flow in Bangladesh, according to officials. Former Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, chairman of the Law Commission -Bangladesh, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir, commissioner and Fowzul Azim, chief research officer of the Commission attended the meeting.
Huge growth awaits DSE: Finance Minister
The Dhaka Stock Exchange can look forward to astronomical growth in the coming days after Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) and Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) officially became its strategic partner yesterday, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith. “Both the stock exchanges are much younger than the ones in Dhaka and Mumbai but they are growing way faster,” he said at the share purchase agreement signing ceremony held at the capital’s Le Méridien hotel. The two Chinese stock exchanges, which together bought 25 percent stakes of the DSE, were established in 1990. As of October 31, 2017, SSE is the fourth largest stock exchange in the world and SZSE the eighth largest. Both the stock exchanges have market capitalisation of almost $9 trillion. The Chinese consortium has experience of very fast growth in capital market development so the DSE will definitely benefit from the experience.
SME Financing Fair begins in Rajshahi
A two-day SME Financing Fair began in Rajshahi city on Monday, aiming to help increase funding for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the district. Jointly organised by the SME Foundation (SMEF) and Bangladesh Bank (BB) at Rajshahi College auditorium, the fair gives an opportunity of greater interaction among representatives of various financial institutions and entrepreneurs, said a statement. A total of 43 banking and other financial institutions are taking part in the fair, whose representatives will promote respective loan products among the entrepreneurs.
New GM of BKB
Md. Abdul Halim has recently joined Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) as General Manager. Prior to his promotion, he was the Divisional Audit Officer (DAO) of BKB in Kushtia, said a statement.
Woori Bank and bKash signs MoU
General Manager and Country Manager of Woori Bank Jeong Ho Choi and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of bKash Limited Mizanur Rashid posing with others at a ceremony signed of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at bKash Head Office in the capital on Monday.
Urmi Group and IDLC Finance exchanged documents of agreement
CEO & Managing Director of IDLC Finance Limited Arif Khan and Managing Director of Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited, a concern of Urmi Group, Asif Ashraf exchanged documents of an agreement as IDLC Investments inks IPO deal with Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited while IDLC Investments Ltd MD Md Moniruzzaman was present.
Safety net outlay to rise by Tk 11,000cr
The government is set to raise the allocation for social safety net schemes by about Tk 11,000 crore in 2018-19 to increase the number of recipients and allowances per person. “Both the coverage and the allowance will be increased in the next budget,” said Shamsul Alam, a member of the planning commission, yesterday.
‘We can protect our farmers from adverse weather issues’
Bangladeshi farmers are vulnerable to climate change induced adverse weather events, such as unseasonal and heavy rainfall, droughts, and floods. These can all destroy crops, endangering their livelihoods. To help farmers secure themselves financially against such risks, Green Delta Insurance Company Limited (GDIC) is piloting a new project called “Weather Index Based Agriculture Insurance”.
Economists seek fiscal measures to combat illicit money outflow
The national budget for the next fiscal year (FY) should have adequate measures to protect external account and reduce income inequality for the country’s overall socioeconomic stability, economists, businesses and professionals said on Monday. Fearing the possibility of capital flight in the fiscal year when the upcoming national election will take place, they sought necessary fiscal measures to combat illicit money outflow. Calling for enhancing institutional capacity and skill development of human resources, they also demanded comprehensive reforms to the country’s financial system to ensure proper distribution of resources and governance as a whole. To attract more FDI (foreign direct investment), they suggested rationalising the existing corporate tax structure and prevent the option of multiple taxation for businesses. Besides enhancing the tax-GDP ratio, they also highlighted the importance to further intensify efforts to settle disputes pending with the court where a considerable volume of money stuck up. The suggestions came at a pre-budget discussion meeting jointly organised by Bangla daily Prothom Alo and ICAB (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh) at ICAB Council Hall in the city.
FDI to get top priority in next budget, says M Kamal
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal expressed the hope Monday that foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$7.0-$8.0 billion would flow into the country within next couple of years. “Power and gas supply crunch has hit hard the inflow of investment into Bangladesh over the years. Now their supply has stabilised. So, FDI will reach $7.0-$8.0 billion within next two years from the current inflow of nearly $1.0 billion,” he said. Attracting FDI will get the top-most priority in the next budget, he added. “Just wait for next two years, you will see a jump in investment as power and energy supply has become normal at this moment,” Mr Kamal told a press briefing at his office in the Planning Commission (PC) in Dhaka.
Unipec, ENOC may supply up to 1.52 mt of petro products
Unipec Singapore and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) may supply up to 1.52 million tonne (mt) of diesel, jet fuel, furnace oil and octane combined during July to December of this calendar year under open tendering as the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) approved their bids recently. The volume of petroleum product the BPC sought to import is around 43.39 per cent higher compared to July to December 2017, a senior BPC official said. The BPC will import significantly higher quantity of petroleum products during the next several months to use in oil-fired power plants due to the recent fall in natural gas production, said a senior BPC official. Some dual-fuel power plants that were running on natural gas would be running on diesel as the consequence, he said. The Unipec has offered to supply diesel at the premium rate of US$3.05 per barrel to Mean of Platts Arab Gulf (MOPS) 0.05 per cent diesel assessments, jet fuel at a premium rate of $4.10 per barrel to MOPAG jet fuel assessments, while the ENOC would supply furnace oil at a premium rate of $17.80/mt to MOPAG furnace oil assessments.
LafargeHolcim replaces 17-km conveyor belt
Lafargeholcim Bangladesh Ltd has replaced the old belt of its 17-kilometre-long conveyor with a new one to ensure the noise-free movement of limestone from its mine in India to its cement plant in Bangladesh and keep up production. The replacement work was completed in two phases, with the second and the last stage ending on April 18, said Harpal Singh, project head of operations of the Surma plant. “We have finished the replacement work one day ahead of the schedule,” he said. LafargeHolcim set up the conveyor belt, one of the longest trans-boundary conveyors in the world, in 2004 from Meghalaya to its cement plant in Sunamganj. It traverses 10 kilometres (km) in Bangladesh and 7 km in India. The old belt all throughout used to create noise, according to officials.
Three-fourths of BD workers employed in vulnerable jobs
About 75.2 per cent workers of Bangladesh’s total labour force are employed in vulnerable jobs and the majority of them have own-account status, according to the latest International Labour Organization (ILO) report. The new ILO report titled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with Jobs’ launched Monday defines workers in vulnerable employment as the sum of ‘own-account’ workers. Vulnerable employment is often characterised by inadequate earnings, low productivity and difficult conditions of work that undermine workers’ fundamental rights. They are less likely to have formal work arrangements, and are, therefore, more likely to lack decent working conditions, adequate social security and ‘voice’ through effective representation by trade unions and similar organisations. Some 14 million new jobs would be created in Asia and the Pacific by 2030 if the right policies to promote a greener economy are put in place with gains in fields of renewable energies, construction, manufacturing and sustainable agriculture, it said. The report’s Employment and Environmental Sustainability Fact Sheets 2017: Bangladesh part revealed that as of 2017, the labour force participation rate is 62.3 per cent and the employment-to-population ratio is 59: 8.
Mobile subscribers’ number tops 15cr
The number of active mobile phone subscribers in the country surpassed 15 crore at the end of March this year despite losing of customers by the country’s lone state-owned company, Teletalk. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission data released on Monday, the number of mobile phone users increased by 15.14 lakh to 15.02 crore at the end of March this year from 14.87 crore in the previous month. Although the number of active users has been on the rise, the growth rate has slowed down in last three months as the mobile phone operators have been reducing their 4G launch-centric campaigns gradually. The mobile phone operators excluding Teletalk launched 4G-service in February 18 this year immediately after getting regulatory approval. The number of mobile phone subscribers rose by 18.87 lakh, 20.08 lakh and 17 lakh in December last year, January and February this year respectively.
Mobile app rolled out for Bangabandhu-1
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services yesterday rolled out a mobile application to provide detailed information of the country’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1. Called the BASIS BB-Sat-1, the app contains all the basic information like its position, capacity, benefits and some other issues, said Syed Almas Kabir, president of BASIS, the apex trade body for digital services. “We have found that people, especially the youth, have enormous interest in our own satellite. That’s why we have developed the app to keep them updated,” he added.
e-Commerce portal for leather products
An e-Commerce portal for leather products has been launched in the city, aiming to attract both local and foreign buyers, reports UNB. Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury inaugurated the e-Commerce portal – www.gooseyours.com – at a ceremony in the city’s Krishibid Institute Bangladesh on Monday. Goose Limited, a manufacturer of leather products, launched the portal with display of various types of leather goods of international standard, aiming to make ‘Goose’ a global brand. Addressing the function, Dr Shirin Sharmin said e-Commerce is a new avenue for any business venture as any person can be connected with e-Commerce.
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)||$ 70.94||↓0.02||↓0.03%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 78.23||↑0.00||↑0.00%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,313.99||↑0.49||↑0.04%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.16|
|GBP 1||BDT 114.14|
|EUR 1||BDT 100.42|
|INR 1||BDT 1.25|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.