AIIB likely to finance four more projects
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has so far invested US$ 274 million in three projects in Bangladesh and is now considering funding four more projects. We have invested in three projects in Bangladesh of which $49 million is for Bhola independent power producer, $60 million for natural gas infrastructure and efficiency improvement project and $165 million for distribution system upgrade project. Talking to this correspondent at the AIIB headquarters in Beijing, she said since its inception three years ago, AIIB has invested $6.4 billion in 14 countries. India tops the list of the borrowers of this bank established by China. It took $1.8 billion loan from AIIB. Turkey with $800 million and Indonesia with $700 million have ranked the second and third among the 14 borrowing countries while Bangladesh’s position is 8th. Assistance for the power sector is vital as approximately 76 per cent of Bangladeshis have access to power. AIIB is helping Bangladesh in addressing power shortage by increasing power generation by around 1,300 gigawatt-hours annually. AIIB is considering providing loan for four more projects such as Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge project, Sylhet-Tamabil Road Upgradation project, Power System Upgrade and Expansion project and Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation project.
Three cos recommend dividend up to 130pc
The board of directors of three more state-run companies have recommended dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2018, according to official disclosures on Sunday. The companies are: Padma Oil Company, Eastern Lubricants and National Tubes. Padma Oil: Padma Oil Company has recommended 130 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2018. The final approval of dividend will come during the annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled to be held on February 16, 2019 in Chattogram. The company has also reported earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 34.18, net asset value (NAV) per share of Tk 126.78 and net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) of Tk 36.37 in the negative for the year ended on June 30, 2018 as against Tk 20.68, Tk 103.60 and Tk 116.42 respectively for the same period of the previous year. In 2017, the company disbursed 110 per cent cash dividend. Each share of the company, which was listed on the DSE in 1976, closed at Tk 241.30 on Sunday, losing 3.67 per cent over the previous day. Eastern Lubricants: Eastern Lubricants has recommended 100 per cent cash dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2018. The AGM will be held on January 19, 2019 in Chattogram. The record date is on December 03.
Engage private sector to execute govt projects
Speakers at a seminar on Sunday called for involving the private sector especially in providing services related to implementation of the government projects. They also stressed the need for timely financing, capacity building of local experts and giving priority to local consulting firms for efficient implementation of the development projects. The suggestions came at the fourth session of a day- long seminar titled ‘Business Opportunities Seminar’ organised by Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city. Explaining the experience of implementing the ADB-funded projects, the BR chief sought ADB support in implementing the master plan of the railway, saying the railway is a potential area. Terming management of solid waste as one of the big challenges, Mr. Azad said the ADB and private sector could invest in transport and capital dredging systems, among other areas. Most of the consulting professionals are foreigners, Mr Bosunia said, adding that the ADB could take projects in developing the capacity of the local technical experts and also the people involved at the policy level.
ACU payment cuts forex reserve to $31b
Bangladesh has made a routine payment of US$1.13 billion to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) against imports during the September-October period of this calendar year. After the payment, the foreign exchange (forex) reserve fell to $31.06 billion on Sunday from $32.17 billion on the previous working day, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. The amount of ACU payment came to $1.13 billion during the period under review from $1.15 billion earlier mainly due to lower imports from the ACU member countries particularly from India. “Lower rice imports from India have pushed down the overall import payment under the ACU arrangement during the period under review. The central bank has already remitted the fund to the ACU headquarters in Tehran in line with the existing provisions of the union. Under the existing provisions, outstanding import bills and interests thereof are to be paid at the end of every two months among the member countries.
Increased banking activities help improve SME output
Increased activities of bank branches coupled with easy access to credit facility could significantly help improve output of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Only one per cent growth of bank branches in a Thana area would increase firms’ output as well as labour productivity by 2-3 per cent. The study paper titled ‘Local Finance Development, Access to Credit and SME’s Performance: Evidence from Bangladesh. Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) hosted the conference titled ‘BIDS Research Almanac 2018’ at a city hotel. According to a study, the loan default risk is likely to be reduced in tune with the branch network expansion and, therefore, better small and medium businesses get access to credit at a reasonably lower rate. The paper also said that easy access to loans improves the firm’s revenue and productivity and makes them more competitive.
Japan’s Honda opens motorcycle plant
Japan automobile giant Honda yesterday inaugurated its motorcycles manufacturing plant in Bangladesh, in what can be viewed as a watershed moment for the country’s industrial capabilities. The plant, which was set up for Tk 230 crore on 25 acres of land in the Abdul Monem Economic Zone (AMEZ) in Munshiganj, will help save foreign currency and make motor bikes more affordable. The plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 100,000 units a year. By 2021, the production capacity will expand to 200,000 units a year, according to BHL, which has been marketing Honda brand bikes in Bangladesh for the last several decades. It plant will make seven models of Honda motor cycles: Dream Neo 110, LIVO 110, CB Shine125, CB Trigger 150, CB Hornet 160R, and CBR150R. So far, Tk 1,500 crore has been invested for the development of motorcycle industry in Bangladesh. The National Board of Revenue slashed the SD by 25 percentage points to 20 percent in fiscal 2016-17 to encourage local assembly and subsequent manufacturing. The government also framed the National Motorcycle Industry Development Policy 2018 with a view to diversifying the country’s manufacturing and export and creating jobs.
Energy, transport sectors to get bulk of ADB funds
Energy and infrastructure are set to get the bulk of Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing in Bangladesh for the next three years. Top officials of the Manila-based multilateral development partner disclosed this on Sunday. The ADB has formulated a ‘Country Operations Business Plan’ (COBP) for Bangladesh for the years 2019 to 2021 to provide the highest allocation for energy and transport sectors. The highest allocation of 23.5 per cent would be provided for energy sector and 21.9 per cent be channelled to transport sector. 21.4 per cent would be allocated for water and other urban infrastructure, and 13 per cent to agriculture, natural resources and rural development. On the other hand, education would get 12.8 per cent and finance and public sector management 7.4 per cent. The ADB, which is traditionally the country’s second-largest development partner, earlier committed $8 billion as part of its five-year ‘Country Partnership Strategy’ spanning from 2016 to 2020. Out of this amount, we have already delivered $5.5 billion while around $2.5 billion is in the pipeline for the next two years.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 60.82||↑0.63||↑1.05%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 71.10||↑0.92||↑1.31%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,210.33||↑0.68||↑0.06%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8450|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.4116|
|EUR 1||BDT 94.9293|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1506|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.