Net foreign investment in the capital market jumped more than nine times year-on-year in the first ten months of the year as overseas investors were anticipating a positive market scenario. Foreign investors bought shares worth BDT 40.0 billion and sold shares worth BDT 31.7 billion to take their net investment for the January-October period to BDT 8.0 billion. A year earlier, the net investment by foreigners stood at BDT 830.0 million, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange data. Positive macroeconomic indicators and a stable political scenario boosted the foreign investors’ confidence to increase their positions in the Bangladesh stockmarket, said an analyst.
IPO proposals coming from 19 public limited companies (PLCs) are now awaiting approval of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).The PLCs seek to raise an aggregate amount of BDT 10.3 billion under both the book building and fixed price method. These companies will float initial public offerings (IPOs) under the revised Public Issue Rules. Among the PLCs, 10 companies have submitted IPO proposals by completing road shows to raise an aggregate amount of BDT 7.1 billion under the book building method. On the other hand, nine companies have submitted proposals to raise capital worth BDT 3.2 billion under the fixed price method. Aamra Network, STS Holdings, Dhaka Regency Hotel and Resort, Bashundhara Paper Mill, Aman Cotton Fibrous, Runner Automobiles, Popular Pharmaceuticals, Delta Hospital, Bengal Poly and Paper Sack and Index Agro Industries will raise money through book building method. On the other hand IfCO Garments & Textiles, Shepherd Industries, Nurani Dyeing & Sweater, Intraco Refueling Station, Oimex Electrodes, Amulet Pharmaceuticals, BBS Cables, Nahee Aluminum Composite Panel and Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals will raise money through fixed price method.
The demand for processed and packaged food from Bangladesh is fast growing in Africa and the Middle East, home to millions of migrant workers, industry operators said. At least nine companies are exporting their food products — confectionaries and beverages — to different Middle Eastern and African nations, and some European countries such as France, Italy, Germany and the UK. The companies are: Pran, Sajeeb, ACI, Alin Foods, Partex, Globe Soft Drinks, Bombay Sweets, Star Line Food Products and Akij Foods. Altogether, the companies earned nearly BDT 20.0 billion from exports in fiscal 2015-16. Pran alone accounted for three-fourths of the sum: BDT 14.0 billion. Sajeeb Group’s export growth was 40.0 to 50.0% per year over the last 10 years, according to its Chairman and Managing Director MA Hashem. Currently, Sajeeb ships to around 50 countries and one-fourth of its total income comes from exports. Pran exports to 130 countries, including 40 African countries, all Middle-Eastern countries, India, Malaysia, Australia, the UK, France, Italy, Canada and the US. Export of ACI Consumer Brands, a concern of ACI, is also growing fast.
Two public-sector power entities, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) and Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), have sought ‘post-facto’ approval for a couple of major power-transmission and-distribution projects from the Planning Commission (PC). The agencies have already signed contracts with two Chinese firms for implementation of the projects. Sources said project-implementing agencies are yet to know about the terms and conditions of the Beijing-offered loans for their projects. An official concerned said as per government rules, such development projects have to pass through PC or ECNEC before going for any purchase or contract. Under government-to-government (G2G) format, the project-implementing agencies, namely Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) and Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), have signed two deals with Chinese contractors without tender.
China has at last agreed to allow limited bidding for the selection of contractors for projects under its soft loan after a year’s persuasion by Bangladesh, a finance ministry official said. At present, for projects financed with Chinese soft loans, Beijing puts forward a contractor and Dhaka has to implement the project by that company. In such cases, the purchase value is not competitive. Often, the price was lowered through negotiation only for it to be revised upwards later. At present, Bangladesh applies the limited bidding method for India, which allows only Indian companies to participate in the tender for projects supported with New Delhi’s soft loans of USD 3.0 billion. But from now onwards, Beijing will forward a short-list of Chinese companies and Dhaka will run the limited tendering among the candidates as per the rules of Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh government has taken initiatives to establish 100 SEZs to draw foreign and local investments. It also offers SEZs to every individual country to boost foreign direct investment (FDI). Last year Bangladesh witnessed a total of USD 2.2 billion FDI inflow in different sectors. The DFID director talked about the offer at a meeting with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed at his office in Dhaka yesterday. British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake was present at the meeting along with other visiting delegates. The United Kingdom is strengthening trade relationship with its key partners in the world, and Bangladesh is a key business partner, he added.
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