Interest rates rattle people
Kaniz Fatima Binte Alam, a doctor, took Tk 48.50 lakh home loan at 8.5 percent interest in October last year from a lender with expertise in financing homes. Within six months, Fatima was astonished to get the lender’s notification that the interest rate has been revised to 12.5 percent, nearly 50 percent hike, effective from March this year.
Source : https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/interest-rates-rattle-people-1578772
Most listed banks’ profits fall in Jan-Mar
Most of the banks, listed with the stock exchanges, registered profit fall in January-March compared with the same period in the previous year. Bankers have blamed huge amount of classified loans for the overall downtrend in the banking sectors. They point out that banks must keep 100 per cent provision against their classified loans which has led to decline in its profit margin. Earlier, Bangladesh Bank was flexible in ruling the directives but the BB now has strictly directed the banks to obey the rules amid a growing trend of classified loans, which threaten the depositors’ interest. On top of that, the colossal amount of classified loans eventually ruined banks’ profitability as they lose hope of gaining the amounts back. The banks have been facing liquidity shortage from the very beginning of the year. The critics observe that lack of governance, monitoring, political influence, and proper regulatory policy are the main reasons behind the sudden liquidity crunch. This led to the fall in comprehensive profit of 18 out of listed 29 banks in the January-March quarter of 2018 as shown in their reports, compared with the same period of 2017, while 10 banks reported higher earnings reports.
Govt decides to issue floating rate bonds
The government, for the first time, has decided to issue new investment bonds having a floating rate. The objective behind introducing the bonds is to meet the government’s own rising financial need and develop debt profile, officials said. Primary dealers (PDs) think that shorter floating rate securities will help ensure government’s borrowing plan. But experts are not convinced about the issuance of the proposed floating rate bonds. They think that financial management of the government will face difficulties if such bonds are introduced. When asked, former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said it will not be practical to issue any floating bond in the country as debt management capacity of the government is not good right at this moment. The government should emphasise the need for improving the existing secondary market, adding that with floating rate bond, the fiscal management on its part will be difficult. He, however, said investors will be more interested in the floating rate, he said. When contacted, additional secretary of the finance division Md Ekhlasur Rahman said the government has already issued a notification in this regard. The officials said maturity period of the bond styled “Floating Rate Treasury Bonds” (FRTB) will be more than one year.
Trade deficit doubles in a year
Bangladesh’s trade deficit has almost doubled within 12 months, rising to $13.20 billion at the end of March this year, according to the latest data from the central bank’s Balance of Payment (BoP). The data from Bangladesh Bank showed that the trade deficit was $7.03 billion for the July to March period of 2016-17 fiscal year, which means the year-on-year trade gap for the corresponding period was $6.16 billion, while the deficit was $1.47 billion in the month of March only. The central bank said the trade deficit was result of the slower growth of exports as compared to the growth of imports during the period under review. According to the data, imports increased by 24.5% to $40.3 billion this year, as compared to $32.37 billion in the July-March period of FY2016-17.
ICB to waive Tk182cr in interest on 5,162 stock investors’ loans
The state-owned investment company Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) has initiated a move to waive Tk182 crore interest on margin loans that the entity provided to 5,162 investors affected by the 2010-11 market crash. ICB took the initiative so that investors can become active in trading. Of the investors, 5,162 will get 100% interest waiver as their portfolio turned negative due to the market fall since 2010-11 due to tough conditions. ICB decided to waive the perpetual interest of seven years and three months (from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2018) for the rehabilitation of margin loan holders, in its 534th board meeting. The facility will be applicable to clients of ICB as well as its two subsidiaries ICB Securities Trading Company Limited and ICB Capital Management Limited. The affected investors will get a chance to turn around again. If the beneficiaries of this move are market-oriented, the overall impact of this on the stock market will be positive, said stakeholders.
FMO’s largest syndication deal with BD bank
ONE Bank Limited (OBL) has recently inked a 5-year Term Loan deal for USD 80 million with a consortium of European DFIs (Development Financial Institutions) through a consortium led by FMO, the Dutch Development Bank. It is participated by Proparco, OeEB and Norfund- French, Austrian and Norwegian DFIs, said a statement. This has been FMO’s largest syndication deal with a Bangladeshi bank. RSA Advisory Limited was the Advisor and Co-Arranger to the transaction. The Fund will be utilized through ONE Bank’s Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) for Green, SME and Corporate finances.
Five entities sign share purchase agreement with Farmers Bank
Four state-owned banks and a financial institution have signed share purchase agreements with the Farmers Bank to inject new capital amounting to Tk 765 crore into the beleaguered bank. Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali will inject Tk 165 crore each and the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) will give Tk 55 crore as fresh equity in line with the government instruction. The signing ceremony took place at the ICB’s board room in the capital on Wednesday when managing directors of the six institutions were present along with the chairman of Farmers Bank.
High rates of return on savings tools hobbles bond market: Experts
The yield rates on government savings instruments should be rationalised to help develop long-term securities markets in Bangladesh, experts said Thursday. They also recommended developing pension funds for all government employees along with issuing the housing mortgage bond. The suggesions came at a session on ‘In Search for Long-Term Financing Instruments: The cases for Corporate Bonds, Infrastructure Bonds and Housing Finance’ held at a city hotel. The session was organised on the sidelines of Bangladesh Long Term Finance Conference 2018. Dr. Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI) of Bangladesh, presided over the session.
Southeast Bank, Rupali Life Ins sign deal
Southeast Bank Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rupali Life Insurance Company Ltd. on “Premium Collection” in the capital recently. Syed Faisal Omar, Head of International Division, Southeast Bank Limited, and Md. Golam Kibria, MBA, Managing Director & CEO of Rupali Life Insurance Company Ltd, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.
IDLC Investments to act as issue manager for Super Star IPO
Super Star Electrical Accessories Limited, a concern of Super Star Group, has recently signed an issue management agreement with IDLC Investments Limited to raise capital through initial public offering (IPO), according to a statement. The company manufactures and markets electrical accessories like switches, sockets, energy meters, and circuit breakers. Along with electrical equipment and accessories business, the group has a foothold in other industries like renewable energy, real estate, engineering, paper, agro, and telecom. Mohammed Ibrahim, Managing Director and CEO of Super Star, and Md. Moniruzzaman, Managing Director of IDLC Investments, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective companies.
New country head of State Bank of India
Dr. Prakash Chand Saboo has taken over as the Country Head of State Bank of India’s Bangladesh Operations, says a press statement on Sunday. Prior to his new assignment, Dr. Prakash was Zonal Manager at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Govt set to earn over Tk 1.0b in capital gains tax
The government would get around Tk 1.1 billion in taxes at source from the revenue earned by the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) through the sale of its shares to the Chinese consortium, now a strategic partner of the country’s premier bourse. As per the section 53 (N) of the income tax ordinance, the tax will be imposed on capital gains of the TREC (Trading Right Entitlement Certificate) holders of the DSE at a rate of 15 per cent. The premier bourse signed a share purchase agreement with Chinese consortium comprising Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange on May 14 last. As per the agreement, the Chinese consortium will be the strategic partner of the DSE by purchasing its 25 per cent or above 450.94 million shares at a price of Tk 21 each. On completion of relevant formalities, 250 shareholders of the DSE are expected to receive over Tk 9.46 billion from the consortium. Each of DSE shareholders will be required to transfer 25 per cent of their share to the Chinese consortium. The tax at source will be deducted from capital gains of the DSE’s shareholders, also the TREC (Trading Right Entitlement Certificate) holders, at a rate of 15 per cent.
Budget to see tax cut, higher exemption limit
Taxpayers are going to get some good news in the coming budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The tax free income ceiling for the individual taxpayers will be extended while there will be tax cuts for the corporate sector.The reduction of the corporate tax rate has been a long standing demand from businesses. The finance minister in his budget speech last year said a limited number of sectors, including non-listed banks, non-listed mobile phone operators and cigarette manufacturing companies, were paying taxes at rates more than 40%.”We plan to gradually bring the rate down to 40% for these sectors in future,” he said.
Government to phase out tariff value system from FY ‘19
The government is set to start phasing out the tariff value system from the upcoming fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, as it is found that consumers are not getting benefit of it. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is likely to withdraw tariff value for some consumer products in the budget for FY ‘19. The board has submitted a list of those for consideration of Finance Minister A M A Muhith, officials said. Following a recent instruction of the minister, the NBR conducted an analysis on a number of products under tariff value and compared their consumer prices. In the analysis, the board found a wide gap between the selling prices and the NBR-fixed tariff value of those items, they said.
Export, import, forex to rise in May-June
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) has projected rise in the country’s export earnings, import value and inward remittance flow at the end of this month (May) and next month (June). Besides, the country’s foreign currency reserve is also expected to increase to around US$33,200 million and US$33,290 million at the end of May and June respectively. “It is assumed that the peaceful political situation that currently prevails will continue in the coming days. Therefore, export, import, remittance, and foreign exchange reserve (forex) can be expected to increase,” according to MCCI’s Review of Economic Situation in Bangladesh for January-March period of FY 18. MCCI has predicted that the country’s export receipts might go up to $ 3,190 million and $ 3,260 million at the end of May and June respectively, as against $ 3,160 million in last May.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) fears BDT 80.0 billion loss in next FY
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) fears incurring a loss of about BDT 80 billion in the upcoming fiscal year because of selling fuel oil at lower rate than import price, officials said. To cope with its financial loss, the BPC has recently requested the government to set aside a budgetary allocation as subsidy for the corporation, they added. However, the BPC has suggested the government not to raise the petroleum prices in the domestic market immediately. But it opined that if the petroleum prices can be re-fixed on monthly or daily basis like neighbouring countries, such a big loss can be avoided. The BPC in a letter to the energy division, which later was forwarded to the ministry of finance, said the petroleum prices were last reduced in the domestic market in April 2016.
Chinese co willing to build 2nd nuke power plant in BD
China’s state-owned company — Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) — wants to build the proposed second nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. A top official of the corporation said recently that the Chinese company had shown interest to build the second nuclear power plant which the government of Bangladesh is planning to set up. “Bangladesh is our traditional market. We have constant communication with our Bangladeshi counterpart. But there is no promising result until now about the nuclear power plant,” Vice President of Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) Hu Weidong told the FE while responding to a question at its head office in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan. In November 2017, Bangladesh started the construction work of its first nuclear power plant at Rooppur of Pabna district.
Korean company to supply 10 MG locomotives to BR
The Bangladesh Railway (BR) signed a contract with a Korean company on Thursday to procure 10 metre-gauge (MG) locomotives for its fleet at a cost of US$37 million (Tk 2.97 billion). As per the deal, Hyundai Rotem Company will supply 10 MG diesel electric engines in the next two years. Additional Director General of Bangladesh Railway Mohammad Shamsuzzaman and Director, Global Rail Group 2 (Asia) of Hyundai Rotem, Kwang-Kyun Yoon signed the agreement at a ceremony at Rail Bhaban.
Korean entrepreneurs keen to invest in BD
Korean entrepreneurs have shown keen interest to invest in Bangladesh, saying they will send a trade delegation to Dhaka soon, reports UNB. They expressed their interest at the ‘Bangladesh Investment Seminar’ jointly organised by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the Embassy of Bangladesh in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday. BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam and Bangladesh Ambassador to South Korea Abida Islam highlighted the remarkable socio-economic achievements of Bangladesh, including the investment opportunities and the incentives offered by the government. They pointed out that there are ample untapped areas in Bangladesh yet to be explored by the Korean investors and sought an increased volume of investment from South Korea, according to a message issued by the Bangladesh Embassy in South Korea.
Govt cuts AIT (Advance Income Tax) on imported LNG
The revenue board cut advance income tax on the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in order to keep its prices low on the local market. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) slashed the advance tax to 2.0 per cent from the existing 5.0 per cent in case of LNG import. The board has issued a notification, signed by income tax policy member Kanon Kumar Roy, to make it effective. A senior official of the income tax wing said such tax on import of LNG has been reduced to facilitate the supply of energy at lower prices after re-gasification.
Renata to set up UK subsidiary
Renata Limited, a pharmaceutical and animal health products manufacturer, will establish a subsidiary company in the UK after fulfilling necessary regulatory requirements to export products to the countries of European Union. The name of the subsidiary will be Renata (UK) Limited as the company’s board of directors approved a proposal in this regard, according to an official disclosure on Thursday. Earlier in January 18, the company informed that two factories-the Potent Product Facility at Mirpur and the General Facility at Rajendrapur-had approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) of the UK.
Bangladesh NBR relaxes import limit on RMG raw goods already shipped
National Board of Revenue has relaxed restriction on the import of raw materials, which have already been shipped, under free of cost scheme for readymade garment industry. Export-oriented RMG manufacturers have been allowed to release the excess raw materials, mainly fabrics, imported beyond the permissible limit under the FOC scheme. Customs wing of the revenue board on May 3 issued a special order permitting release of excess amount of raw materials on some conditions. According to the current Import Policy Order and NBR rules, a hundred per cent export-oriented garment manufacturer can import raw materials worth one-third of its total export earnings in previous year under the scheme without paying any duty and other taxes.
Bonded Warehouse Privilege: Licences getting hard to come by
About 200 applicants, who have set up factories to make wares for export, are kicking their heels in frustration because of the Customs Bond Commissio-nerate’s (CBC) apathy in giving out bonded warehouse licence, a duty-free privilege extended to exporters. In some cases, some applicants are waiting for up to a year or longer. “Not only me, many investors like me have been waiting for several months for licences,” said an entrepreneur who applied for the permit in February. The businessman has invested about Tk 150 crore for setting up a fully export-oriented denim factory, but in the absence of any production he now has to foot the costly bank instalments. Previously, licences were issued within a month of applying. “On one hand, the government encourages us to invest to boost exports. On the other, we face delays in getting licences. This is contradictory,” he said seeking to remain unnamed.
Cotton price rises to 4yr high
Cotton price rose to 85.5 cents per pound, the highest in four years, mainly because of a looming trade war between the US and China, much to the chagrin of Bangladesh’s apparel makers. Even a month ago, cotton was traded between 83 cents and 84 cents a pound in the international markets. Cotton was traded between 70 cents and 71 cents a pound in November. “Yes, this is the highest price in the last three to four years,” said Mehdi Ali, president of Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA).
Ctg port buys new container handling equipment
The Chittagong port yesterday added 10 pieces of container handling equipment to its fleet, as part of efforts to give pace to loading and unloading activities. The equipment comprises a rail mounted gantry crane, six rubber tyred gantry cranes, a log handler and two mobile cranes having 20-tonne capacity. These were purchased from China, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Italy for Tk 118.50 crore.
Getco new strategic partner of edotco
edotco Bangladesh, an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Bangladesh has welcomed Getco, a prominent Bangladesh-based conglomerate as a 30 per cent shareholder and strategic partner to further enhance its efforts towards the development of telecommunications infrastructure in the country. “Through its subsidiary Greencon Tower Company Limited, Getco will partner with edotco to provide next-generation infrastructure to meet the country’s growing connectivity needs, which also includes applying for the recently announced tower sharing license,” said a statement.
Telecom tower business garners huge response
The telecom regulator has so far found 15 parties interested in running Bangladesh’s telecom tower business, which is more than triple the number of licences up for grabs. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will award four licenses to run the business with the aim of separating the network business from telecom services — a move that is expected to rationalise the number of towers in the country and the use of land for erecting towers. Some big local players as well as global tower companies have collected applications from the BTRC. The deadline for handing in the application was originally May 13 but it has now been pushed back to June 11 following requests from some companies, said Md Jahurul Haque, acting chairman of the BTRC. The process though has elicited whispers that some players have collected multiple applications under different brand names to ensure they get a licence, said a top official of the telecom regulator.
Indian firm to buy equipment for BTRC
The BTRC has finally awarded a tender to an Indian company to purchase tools to conduct a risk assessment on the radiation emitted by the telecom operators’ base transceiver stations or popularly known as mobile towers. Fastech Telecommunication (India) Pvt Ltd will supply the equipment—including two monitoring vehicles—worth around Tk 2.90 crore. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will sign a deal with the Indian company at a programme tomorrow to purchase the equipment.
TV sales to jump amid World Cup excitement
Led television makers and sellers are expecting a good month of sales ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which is scheduled to begin on June 14. As part of the move, companies such as Samsung, Walton, Rangs, Transcom and Singer have come up with different offers, especially discounts, to attract customers. Transcom Digital is putting up mega offers for football fans, one being discounts of Tk Tk 2,000 to Tk 50,000, said Yeamin Sharif Chowdhury, director operations. Customers will get a code and use it to send an SMS for the discount amount. “We are making another special offer: customers can exchange their old Samsung TV for a new one for a discount of Tk 5,000,” said Chowdhury. Chowdhury said there would also be two lotteries offering three-day package tours: one to Bangkok and another to Bali.
Onion pricier on Ramadan demand
Imported onion is being sold at higher prices in the retail market because of increased demand on the occasion of Ramadan and a lack of steps aimed at reining in the price of the popular cooking ingredient. Yesterday, imported onion sold for Tk 35 to Tk 40 a kg in the Dhaka market, up from Tk 25 to Tk 30 a month ago, although importers are allowed to bring it from India duty-free, according to data from state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. In the week to May 19, some 10,075 tonnes of onion were imported from the neighbouring country through the Benapole land port. As per the export price of India, onion is being imported at $205 or Tk 17,015 a tonne. If all costs are added up, the import price through the port stands at Tk 19 per kg. The import of onion is less than the demand and the transport cost has also increased, said Feroz Ahmed, an importer.
BD loses Tk 370b a year to the city traffic congestion: Study
Bangladesh loses Tk 370 billion a year, which is equal to 11 per cent of the national budget, to traffic congestion in Dhaka, according to a recent study. The people in Dhaka face a waste of 3.8 million work hours daily due to traffic jam, the World Bank said last year, but now researchers at BUET say the amount is five million work hours, reports bdnews24.com on Saturday. The Accident Research Institute at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology or BUET presented the report at a roundtable organised by the institute and Road Safety Foundation on Saturday. The institute’s Director Prof Dr Moazzem Hossain said Bangladesh could have saved Tk 220 billion if it had reduced 60 per cent of congestion in Dhaka. The average speed of public transports in Dhaka has dropped to as low as of walking speed — five kilometres an hour, according to Hossain. “This is leading to the waste of five million work hours. Traffic congestion is causing a loss of Tk 370 billion a year,” he said. The report he presented at the roundtable says 35 per cent of the commuters travel by public transport in 3.6 million trips daily. Hossain said people were suffering nine types of damage due to traffic jam. These include the effect on their mind and social communication.
Bangladeshi denim embraces green route
Made in Bangladesh jeans had never been more hip. Denim garment manufacturers in the country are steadily rooting out practises that harm the environment, taking the help of modern technology. Every single piece of denim garment needs water when it’s made. “Five years back, we were using 60 litres of water to make a single piece of denim garment,” says Mostafiz Uddin, founder and CEO of Bangladesh Denim Expo, and managing director of Bangladesh Denim Expert Ltd. With the installation of modern equipment, the need has now dropped to 14-25 litres apiece. One could find many such examples scattered across the eighth Bangladesh Denim Expo, which concluded recently at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka. Jeanologia, a Spanish company, was one of the participants at the expo. When asked about the latest technology offered by the company, Fabien Liautard, Jeanologia’s project manager, said the company was showcasing its most advanced laser and eco-technologies for fabric and garment finishing—addressing the most pressing needs of the hour. ‘Jeanologia’, which develops sustainable technologies for garment finishing, presented its new ‘Laser and Eco Dynamic’ technology at the expo. Liautard claimed the process was absolutely eco-friendly.
BTRC decides to allow Citycell tech neutrality
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has issued a directive allowing embattled and out-of-operation Citycell to convert its existing bandwidth. The BTRC directive issued by its director Md Aminul Hoque mentioned that the spectrum conversion fees for Citycell’s CDMA bandwidth in 800 megahertz spectrum would be same as it was in the case of 900MHz and 1800MHz of the other operators. The operation of Citycell has remained suspended since October 21, 2016 as the country’s lone CDMA operator is at loggerheads with the telecom regulator over dues. The telecom regulator issued the directive following appeal from Citycell to allow the operator to convert its existing bandwidth in 800HMz. The BTRC guidelines on spectrum conversion do not contain anything about the spectrum conversion in 800MHz spectrum band, prompting Citycell to seek guidelines on technology neutrality of its spectrum. Technology neutrality allows a mobile phone operator to provide any of the 2G, 3G and 4G services in the same bandwidth. Apart from Citycell, all the three other private mobile phone operators — Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink— have already received technology neutrality from the BTRC and launched 4G service.
Citycell has 8.82Megahertz CDMA spectrum in 800MHz band for Dhaka central zone and 6.3MHz in the same band for rest of the country. Citycell refrained from participating in the fresh spectrum auction held in February this year amid liquidity crisis.
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)||$ 71.28||↓0.21||↓0.29%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 78.51||↓0.79||↓1.00%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,293.05||↑2.26||↑0.18%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 84.20|
|GBP 1||BDT 114.17|
|EUR 1||BDT 99.58|
|INR 1||BDT 1.24|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.