$150m ADB Funding to build two City Regions
The Asian Development Bank [ADB] will provide US$150 million in loan to finance infrastructure like roads and drains and build capacity in two densely-populated and fast-growing city regions-Dhaka and Khulna. An agreement to this effect was signed between the ADB and the government on Tuesday at the Economic Relations Division [ERD] in the city. ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed and ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides. The project will bolster growth, enhance living standards, and improve mobility, flood resilience and solid waste management in Dhaka and Khulna city regions, according to the ADB Country Director. The financing would support preparation and implementation of comprehensive frameworks for integration of urban development with the South-West Economic Corridor [SWEC] development, and thereby contribute to establishing the SWEC as a major economic corridor under South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. The project aims to support rehabilitation of 300 kilometers [km] of urban roads in the Dhaka city region and 30 km of drains around Dhaka and 120 km around Khulna. The project will also conduct community awareness campaigns covering at least 200,000 people, including at least 100,000 women on reducing, reusing, and recycling solid waste, according to the ADB release. ADB’s finance comes in the form of a regular loan of $75 million and a concessional loan for the same amount.
EBL begins Operation in Guangzhou of China
Eastern Bank Limited has opened its representative office in China’s Guangzhou province recently, said a statement. EBL is the first Bangladeshi financial institution to begin its operations in China. AHM Jahangir expressed the hope that the EBL representative office in Guangzhou will be instrumental to tap more business opportunities in China and contribute further to the growing China-Bangladesh bilateral trade. With the beginning of operations in China EBL is expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia. China, as is an important market and the biggest development partner of Bangladesh with many development initiatives like Belt and Road and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [AIIB]. Ali Reza Iftekhar in his speech informed that EBL has partnered with China Union Pay and have opened China Desk in Dhaka to cater to China-bound business. EBL has opened a RMB account [Chinese Currency Nostro account with Bank of China] for LC business in RMB. The Bank has been running two other overseas offices in Hong Kong and Myanmar.
World Bank to provide $500m for creating Technical Manpower
The World Bank [WB] will help Bangladesh develop its technical manpower through providing half a billion dollar of credit. Since Bangladesh is setting up 100 Special Economic Zones [SEZs] and its investment in the manufacturing sector is going up, the WB came forward with the support to facilitate the country’s efforts in this regard, according to the Officials. The Ministry of Education [MoE] is going to take up a US$ 700-$ 800 million worth of project titled “Accelerating and Strengthening Skills for Economic Transformation [ASSET]. The Washington-based global lender has assured them of providing some $500 million worth of credit for implementing the project, which will help Bangladesh to build its manpower technically sound. Initially the project cost is likely to be $ 700 million to $ 800 million. The WB is expected to provide $500 million and the rest will be provided by the government from its internal resources. Following a better result from the WB-supported Skill and Training Enhancement Project [STEP] in Bangladesh, the global lender has assured Bangladesh of Bankrolling a fresh project for developing technically sound human capital. Bangladesh government is setting up 100 SEZs across the country expecting billions of dollars of foreign and local investments in the manufacturing sector, the demands for technical manpower will be increased.
Brac Bank to get $30m from British Financier
CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution, yesterday announced to invest $30 million [over Tk 25 crore] in Bangladesh’s Brac Bank. Bangladesh presents significant opportunities for entities like CDC Group, in financial services, infrastructure and manufacturing, according to its Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe. The country has received just $150 million or less than one percent of the CDC’s investment portfolio of $6 billion and the CDC expects it to significantly grow as the institution aims to double its investments over the next three to four years. O’Donohoe’s comments came at a discussion organized at The Westin Dhaka to make public its debt commitment to Brac Bank. The CDC’s capital would help Brac Bank increase its lending programme to export-led and other businesses to accelerate their growth, advance employment and positively contribute to Bangladesh’s economy. Bangladesh offers huge opportunities for its growth and skills, especially considering the need for further capital with foreign direct investment being below 1 percent of the GDP. The country has a more developed debt market than it has of equity and the CDC thinks that in the next five to 10 years a lot of the Bangladeshi companies will want to raise equity through the capital market although they are not used to the process.
Remittance soars 16.54pc in Q1
Remittance increased 16.54 percent year-on-year to $4.51 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year thanks to a government move that provides 2 percent cash subsidy to remitters for sending money through official channels. As per a Central Bank notice, for amounts of up to $1,500 expatriates will receive 2 percent cash incentive directly to their accounts without any verification from this fiscal year. For amounts of upwards of $1,500, sources of income and other documents will have to be presented. The cash subsidy gave a boost to the inflows, according to Kazi Sayedur Rahman, an Executive Director of the Central Bank. For instance, the inflows in August were $1.44 billion, which climbed up to $1.47 billion the following month – up 28.95 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. The upward trend in remittance will give some breathing space to the government in defending the exchange rate. The price of petroleum products in the global market is now on the rise, which has given room to Middle Eastern countries to go for economic expansion. Local Banks’ import payments are on the rise, so they too are putting in effort to bring remittance. The exchange rate of the taka against the US dollar is also favorable for remitters, which has encouraged them to send their hard-earned money through the Banking channel. On September 30, the interbank exchange rate was Tk 84.50 per USD, up from Tk 83.75 a year earlier
Made in Bangladesh Refrigerators dominate Market
Just a decade ago Bangladesh was almost fully dependent on import to meet its demand for refrigerators. But the situation has reversed, with about 80 percent of the demand now met by locally-manufactured ones. Walton has shown the path by setting up a manufacturing plant in 2008, and in 2016 has even started manufacturing compressors, the vital component of refrigerators. Transcom, Minister, Vision, Jamuna, Singer Bangladesh, and Samsung have joined Walton: they are either manufacturing or assembling refrigerators locally. Higher electricity generation has also helped the sector to grow fast. In 2018, refrigerator sales were about 22 lakh units, up 10 percent year-on-year, according to Industry Players. The sector has been growing at double-digit for the last five years. To cash in on the rising demand, Butterfly Marketing, the local distributor of Korean LG, has announced plans to manufacture LG’s refrigerators in Bangladesh with a view to providing quality products at a reasonable price. Butterfly has invested $55 million, which is equivalent to Tk 460 crore, to set up the facilities. Initially, 700 units of six models will be manufactured per day against the capacity of 1,400 units. Walton’s manufacturing capacity has reached to 10,000 units per day.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4949.39923||↑ 1.75||↑ 0.03|
| ↓ 343.79 || ↓1.28% |
|FTSE100||7,360.32 || ↓ 47.89 ||↓0.65% |
|Nikkei 225|| 21,742.70 || ↓142.54 ||↓0.65%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)|| $ 54.16 ||↑ 0.54||↑ 1.01%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 59.30 ||↑ 0.41 ||↑ 0.70%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,477.73 ||↓ 1.41||↓ 0.10% |
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.8824|
|GBP 1||BDT 101.777|
|EUR 1||BDT 90.4099|
|INR 1||BDT 1.16919|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<