Cards with magnetic strips to be phased out by Dec
The central bank yesterday instructed banks not to issue any credit or debit card with magnetic strips from next year, with a view to safeguarding customers against fraud. Several lenders did not replace their branded magnetic strip cards with ones with the chip-and-pin technology within the deadline of June 30, saying this would fuel their cost. Banks will have to start using the chip-and-pin technology for their branded cards by February next year, according to a central bank notice sent out to all lenders. Major local banks are operating their card business by using the technology of five global brands — Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and China UnionPay.
A single person can float a limited company
The formation of a company will no longer require a minimum of two persons as per a new provision, a major breakthrough expediting entrepreneur development and the ease of doing business in the country. The cabinet yesterday approved in principle a draft Company (Amendment) Act 2018 where a provision has been included enabling a single person to establish a company on one’s own. There are such provisions in laws of different countries but Bangladesh lacked any such law, he said, adding that New Zealand’s population is only 50 lakh, but it has 10 lakh small companies. Bangladesh ranked 176th out of 190 countries-the lowest for a South Asian nation-in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index this year, according to the report published on October 30. The Washington-based multilateral lender’s Doing Business report, which is published every year, sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-sized business when complying with relevant regulations. The cabinet also gave the final nod to a draft of the Bangladesh Film and Television Institution (Amendment) Act 2018. Moreover, it confirmed a proposal for changing the name of “National Information and Communication Technology Day” observed on December 12 to “Digital Bangladesh Day”.
150MW fast-track power plant goes into operation
Midland East Power Ltd (MEPL), a 150-megawatt (MW) furnace oil-fired power project located at Chor Chartola of Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria, kicked off commercial operation on Monday. The plant used state-of-the-art engines manufactured by the engine manufacturing company Rolls Royce, Norway. This power plant will generate and supply electricity to state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for 15 years from the date of commercial operation, as per the contract. This power plant is one of the fast-track power projects awarded by the government last year.
IFAD Auto opens largest commercial vehicles service center in BD
IFAD Auto inaugurated the largest commercial vehicles service center in the country on Monday at its own industrial area at Madanpur in Bandar thana of Narayanganj. IFAD launched the commercial service center for vehicles having the technical support from Ashok Leyland, one of the largest commercial vehicles, trucks and bus manufacturers in India. The newly station at Madanpur can provide services to 22 commercial vehicles simultaneously with its modern technologies there. Besides, sales, services and spares facilities will also be available at the station. In order to meet the growing demand, IFAD in cooperation with Ashok Leyland has opened 22 service centers for commercial vehicles across the country including Madanpur of Narayanganj. They are taking initiative to take the number of the services centre to 36, soon. They are looking forward to investing more in Bangladesh in coming days.
Shakil Rizvi new DBA president
Md. Shakil Rizvi, managing director of Shakil Rizvi Stock Limited, has been elected president of the DSE Brokers Association (DBA) for the next two-year term. Mr. Rizvi, who had been working with the country’s capital-market since 1987, will replace Mostaque Ahmed Sadeque. Mr. Rizvi also served as DSE president in 2010-2011. He was elected unopposed at the DBA’s fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Dhaka Club on Sunday. Outgoing president Mostaque Ahmed Sadeque presided over the AGM.
ACI Agribusiness inks deal with WorldFish
An agreement was signed recently between ACI Agribusiness, the leading aggregator of Agro inputs and WorldFish, a nonprofit research organisation working for improvement of fisheries and aquaculture in order to reduce poverty and hunger. The signing took place at the ACI Centre, in Tejgaon, Dhaka to provide digital advisory services to smallholder fish farmers and their local service providers in the country, said a statement. ACI and WorldFish will jointly develop a digital platform ‘Rupali’, which will be helpful to retailers and dealers of feed, aqua chemicals and pond mechanization equipment, hatchery owners, fish wholesalers, officials and researchers of government and non-government extension services. From the second half of 2019, users will be able to access Rupali platform via mobile app, website, SMS, outbound and inbound call center. It will assist a fish farmer in all aspects of aquaculture from stock planning to take the end product to the market.
78 digital campaigns win awards
The second edition of Digital Marketing Award honoured 78 digital campaigns through a grand award gala on Saturday, said a statement. Digital Marketing Award 2018 was preceded by 5th Digital Marketing Summit. Initiated in 2014 by Bangladesh Brand Forum, the Digital Marketing Summit is the apex platform for country’s digital marketers. This year’s summit which was attended by around 400 professionals. Theme for the summit was ‘Delving Deep into Digital’. Digital Marketing Award is the only accolade for digital works in Bangladesh. This year, a total of 456 nominations were submitted for the award. Four jury panels’ shortlisted 202 works and another four jury panels selected the ultimate 78 winners. There were 16 Grand Prix awards, 39 Gold awards, and 23 Silver awards. Grand Prix for the Best Integrated Digital Campaign was won by Analyzen & Mindshare for their campaign Lux Super Star 2018. This campaign also won two more golds in separate categories.
SEPA project helps lift young people out of poverty
Soma, a 20-year-old woman who lost all her hopes after her husband left her several months back, has again started dreaming of a new life, thanks to the Self-Employment and Poverty Alleviation (SEPA) project. She is now learning plastic processing skills in a three-month training course conducted by the Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Centre (BITAC) under the SEPA project. The centre is located at Tejgaon in Dhaka. The project was launched in 2009, designed to create self-employment opportunities and eradicate poverty through imparting training to the poor and ultra-poor youths in the country. Some 22,780 youths have so far received training from the Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Centre (BITAC) under the SEPA project across the country. Of the total, 9,581 females and 13,199 males took part in the trainings from July 2009 to September 2018. The target of the project was to train 25,000 people by June 2019 and till date the achievement rate is almost 91 per cent.
Chinese investors eye pharmaceutical, agro-processing, IT sectors in BD
A visiting Chinese business delegation expressed on Monday their interest in investing in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical, agro-processing and information technology (IT) sectors. They also invited their Bangladeshi counterparts to explore business opportunities in a special economic zone (EZ) in China’s Shandong province. They expressed their interest to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the two countries at the ‘China (Dezhou)-Bangladesh Investment and Industry Cooperation Seminar’, held at a city hotel. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the visiting Chinese delegation jointly organised the seminar and a business match-making session. Bangladesh has been making a remarkable growth of around 7.0 per cent, thanks to the political stability and government initiatives to help boost the economy.
No gender pay gap at entry-level jobs
Bangladesh is one of four countries where the gender pay gap does not exist at the entry-level jobs, in what can be viewed as an endorsement of the country’s improving female rights. “What is striking is that in all but four of the countries the gender pay gap is positive at the point of entry into the labour market,” said the International Labour Organisation in its report ‘Global Wage Report 2018-19: What lies behind gender pay gap’. Australia, China and Russian Federation were the other three countries. n the case of the US, the steepest rise occurs after the first age cohort (up to age 20), where the gender pay gap increases from about 7 percent among those aged 16–20 to about 12 percent among those aged 21–30. In advanced G20 countries the real wage growth declined from 0.9 percent in 2016 to 0.4 percent in 2017. By contrast, in emerging and developing G20 countries, real wage growth fluctuated between 4.9 percent in 2016 and 4.3 percent in 2017. In the last 20 years, average real wages have almost tripled in emerging and developing G20 countries, while in advanced G20 countries they have increased by just 9 percent, the report shows. Such stagnating wages are an obstacle to economic growth and rising living standards.
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)||$ 51.51||↓0.12||↓0.23%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 60.50||↑0.02||↑0.03%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,221.97||↓0.43||↓0.04%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.8473|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.4335|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.0325|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1818|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.