Foreign Debt Payment shoots up in Q1
The country’s external debt payment reached a new high of nearly $500 million in the first quarter (Q1) of this fiscal year. The quarterly debt-servicing data released by the finance division showed the repayment rose by over 24 per cent to US$ 495.2 million over the year-earlier period. The volume of interest payment also jumped by 35 per cent to $143.6 million during the period under review. The finance division has prepared the document for the maiden coordination meeting of this fiscal year to be held this week. It has noted debt-servicing has shot up by the payment against mega projects such as Rooppur nuclear power plant, metro rail and Matarbari power plant at Moheskhali. The servicing is set to rise further since Bangladesh has become eligible for graduating from a least developed country status by 2024. They said that Bangladesh should prepare projects cautiously otherwise it will push up debt liabilities. The Geneva-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in its latest report, said that Bangladesh has been listed among the LDCs, which are facing an “alarming increase” both in domestic and external public debt for the last five years. It, however, suggests that Bangladesh should revitalise the aid effectiveness agenda established by the Paris Declaration of 2005 on the quality of aid and its impact on development. However, the government expects to receive $8.5 billion in foreign loans to fund its many projects this fiscal year.
Golden Harvest Rights Issue Subscription begins Dec 8
The subscription period for rights shares of Golden Harvest Agro Industries Ltd. is set to begin on December 08, as the company aims to raise a capital of Tk 899.32 million. The subscription period will end on December 30. On October 01, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) approved the company’s application to raise the fund through issuance of 89.93 million rights shares. The Golden Harvest, a company in the ‘Food & Allied’ sector, will issue three rights shares against four existing shares (3R:4) at an offer price of Tk 10 each. As per the rights offer document for the period ended on September 30, 2018, the company’s net asset value (NAV) per share and earnings per share (EPS) are Tk 22.96 and Tk 0.64 respectively. The purposes of issuing rights shares are to increase paid-up capital for the expansion of existing production and distribution channels of the company and pay off bank loans. Each share of Golden Harvest, listed on Dhaka Stock Exchange in 2013, closed at Tk 21.50. The company has recommended 7.0 per cent cash and 5.0 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on June 30, 2019. The AGM will be held on December 28. The company’s paid-up capital is Tk 1.19 billion and authorised capital is Tk 2.50 billion while the total number of securities is 119.90 million. The sponsor-directors own 33.03 per cent stake in the company, institutional investors own 46.54 per cent, and the general public 20.43 per cent as on October 31, 2019
BB gives Tk 5.3m to Marginal Farmers in Cox’s Bazar
A total of Tk 5.3 million was distributed among the Tk 10 bank account holders of different Commercial Banks in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday as part of the Bangladesh Bank (BB)’s Financial Inclusion efforts. Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank A K M Fazlur Rahman distributed the cheques of loan money as the chief guest among 100 account holders of 28 commercial banks at a ceremony at the BIAM Foundation Auditorium. The loan was given from the re-financing fund of the Central Bank. Regional BRAC Bank Head of Chattogram Salah Uddin Hajari presided over the function. The BB arranged the loan distribution function under the supervision by BRAC Bank at the district town, the prime tourism hub of the country. Head of BRAC Bank SME Banking Department Sayed Abdul Momen, Manager of its Cox’s Bazar branch Ahmed Samshed Sultan Shaibal and Cox’s Bazar Press Club President Mahbubur Rahman also attended the programme and spoke. Branch Managers of 28 commercial banks in Cox’s Bazar were also present. Another aim of this loan distribution is to inspire them to open bank account and promote and expand the Tk 10 account opening programme.
Foreign Buyers keen to source Processed Foods from BD
Local food processors received good response from the foreign buyers at the 7th Bapa FoodPro International Expo 2019 that concluded yesterday. Md Masudur Rahman, manager for sales and marketing at Eurasia Food Processing Ltd (Euro Foods), said some international buyers contacted them and discussed to ink deals to buy frozen foods.Euro Foods exports seafood, meat, poultry, vegetables, and desserts to the US and European markets. It introduced at least 12 chicken items at the fair. The Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association (Bapa) organised the fair. The association consists of 569 members who are selling products in 144 countries with a combined export value of over $800 million. This is expected to rise above $1 billion by 2021. Participants displayed food products, food processing and packaging products and machinery. It attracted all stakeholders from the retail and wholesale food and beverage sectors, and generated new connections. A total of 234 agro-processors, technology providers, financial institutions, and many other related companies from 15 countries exhibited their products and services at the fair.
Bangladesh has potential to Export Goods of $3b to Turkey
Bangladesh could export goods worth $3 billion to Turkey, if there was no duty barrier. Now Bangladesh’s exports to Turkey stand at $1 billion, up from $400 million in 2010. Oktay said Bangladesh can export the products that Turkey does not manufacture. Bangladesh can boost exports of ago-processed products to the Turkish market, according to the statement. He added Turkey is eager to invest in the leather sector of Bangladesh as the country is creating investment friendly environment.
Higher Exports call for improved Competitiveness
Improved competitiveness of Bangladesh will support footwear, plastic goods, ceramic, furniture, jute processing, electronics, and ICT sectors to emerge as major foreign currency earners. Bangladesh should improve its position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum. Bangladesh stands at the 105th position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 out of 141 countries, whereas the country’s ranking rose to 168th in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2020, up from 176th in the previous year. In recent years, we also saw a falling trend in the export-to-GDP, remittance-to-GDP, and FDI-to-GDP ratios. Although the foreign direct investment (FDI) to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was lower, the country is doing better in attracting FDI. Anir Chowdhury, policy adviser of the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the ICT Division, said the country has to modernise and update its existing education system to create a skilled workforce which will take up the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Public-Private Co-op to help Banks provide better Digital Services
Public-private cooperation will enable banks to provide quality digital services to customers at a faster rate, top bankers said yesterday. They made the observations at a summit on fintech organised by Bangladesh Brand Forum in association with Guardian Life Insurance at a hotel in the capital. The summit themed at “Shaping Future of Finance for People” was organised to provide present and aspiring fintech companies spaces to share their knowledge, successes and failures so that entrepreneurs can initiate dialogues for the right policy framework. Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director of Eastern Bank, said Bangladesh’s digital solutions for banking services remain limited to mobile banking only. Fintech has changed how financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed. Fintech has laid the foundation for future disruption and set the pace with which incumbent financial institutions need to respond to customer expectations. The summit comprised four keynote sessions, two insight sessions and five panel discussions with international and local industry leaders.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↑ 109.33||↑ 0.39%|
|FTSE100||7,326.81||↑ 88.26||↑ 1.22%|
|Nikkei 225||23,112.88||↑74.30||↑ 0.32%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 57.77 ||↓ 0.81||↓ 1.38%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 63.39||↓ 0.58||↓ 0.91%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,461.93||↓ 2.48||↓ 0.17%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.1812|
|GBP 1||BDT 106.692|
|EUR 1||BDT 91.6324|
|INR 1||BDT 1.15934|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<