Land Phone connection Free from Next Week
Getting a new landline connection would be free of cost from next week as the government looks to bring users back to wire-connected telephony and give a shot in the arm to struggling Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd. The decision came at a meeting at the post and telecommunications division attended by Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy. Joy also inaugurated a series of telecom services and ICT-related products to mark the celebration of the Mujib year in 2020. The adviser opened a payment service mobile application of Teletalk and another app of BTCL that will enhance the two state-run telecom companies’ services. A laptop and a smartphone assembled by another state-owned company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha [TSS]. He launched one-minute digital savings account service opening of Nagad, the mobile financial service of the postal department, with another new mobile app ‘Porichoy’. Previously, it took a minimum of five days to open an account. According to Telecom Minister Mostafa Jabbar, they are working to expand public services in the telecom sector and hence the decision to make land phone connection and re-connection free was taken. Currently, the connection and re-connection fees are Tk 1,000 in Dhaka, Tk 500 in Chattogram, and Tk 300 in other parts of the country. Earlier, BTCL withdrew the monthly line rent for using land phone. Using land phone is cheaper than mobile phone and with it users also can get broadband internet connection.
Govt in Final Stage to issue first SME Policy
The government is in the final stage to issue the country’s first SME policy with some key provisions including establishment of an incubation centre to develop entrepreneurs, officials said. It also includes arranging collateral free loans at single-digit interest rates for the entrepreneurs. The policy emphasizes expansion of skill development education and training programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises [SMEs] as many could not sustain for lack of such trainings and education programmes. Considering the tax hurdles, the policy also recommends simplification and rationalization of SME tax policy, investment and revenue incentives for export-oriented SME sector. The first and new SME policy mainly concentrates on six factors that are access to finance, access to technology and innovation, access to market, access to training, access to business support services and access to information. The new policy also has a target to increase the contribution of the SME sector to the gross domestic product to 32 per cent from 25 per cent.
No red-tape but red carpet for Investors: BEZA Chief
There is no red-tape in Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority [BEZA] but red carpet for the investors, according to Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of the economic zones authority, at the inaugural; ceremony of BEZA’s one-stop service [OSS] centre. Now, the BEZA is providing 11 government services online and 107 services from its office through its OSS centre. The number of such services, that include licensing, permit, approvals and registration from different government agencies, will continue to rise in coming days. According to Paban Chowdhury, there is a global standard legal framework, investment-friendly policy support, very competitive incentive package for the investors in Bangladesh. The OSS will help Bangladesh draw good amount of foreign investment. Currently many Japanese investors are showing interest to invest in Bangladesh, according to Japanese Ambassador. BEZA also signed three Memoranda of Understanding [MoU] with the National Board of Revenue [NBR], the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms [RJSC] and Department of Environment [DoE] for the OSS operations.
ICB moots Unit Fund to support Stock Market
The Investment Corporation of Bangladesh [ICB] has made a move to float another open-ended mutual fund to support the country’s stressed capital market. The initiative is part of its continuous market supportive measures. The state entity has recently submitted a proposal, among others, to float Unit Fund-2 to finance minister. As suggested, the initial size of the fund will be Tk 30 billion and ICB will be the fund manager. Of the amount, Tk 10 billion will be collected from sponsors such as Banks and financial institutions. The face value of the units will be Tk 100 each. Capital market will get good support if the proposal for Unit Fund-2 is approved. The entire fund will be invested there, according to ICB managing director Md Abul Hossain. After the 2010-11 stock market debacle, ICB had floated the Bangladesh Fund with a proposed size of Tk 50 billion. But the fund failed to fulfil the target within an expected timeframe as some institutions did not provide support as per their commitment. The unit holders have so far received dividends worth around Tk 8 billion from the fund. So, the fund’s contribution is not insignificant. ICB has been managing the country’s largest-ever ICB Unit Fund whose approximate size is Tk 50 billion. ICB Unit Fund’s existing unit holders can sell their units to ICB, but nobody is allowed to buy units of the fund.
BB updates BEFTN System
The Bangladesh Bank [BB] has updated its electronic funds transfer system that will come into effect from tomorrow [October 24] to facilitate business activities across the country. Payments will be settled within a day instead of the existing next day by using the updated Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network [BEFTN], according to officials. Currently, the corporate entities are able to pay their employees’ salaries, utility bills, IPO refund warrant, company dividend and other payments by using electronic funds transfer network without cheques. The Central Bank issued a circular in this connection on Tuesday, and asked the managing directors and chief executive officers of all Scheduled Banks for taking necessary preparations for implementation of the latest applications.
Govt to certify technically Skilled Workers
The government will soon provide technically skilled workforce in the country with certification, according to an official. The government will certify the technically skilled workers from the National Skills Development Authority [NSDA], according to NSDA Executive Chairman Md. Faruque Hossain. With the certification, skilled workers will get opportunity to work abroad, the government will sign Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with other countries to this effect. An inaugural ceremony of a two-day technical job fair organised by Bdjobs, an online job portal, at a city convention centre on Tuesday, according to a statement. According to Fahim Mashroor, around 50 organizations were taking part in the fair and said the employers would finalize around 1,500 new recruitments from the fair today.
Ten Cos account for 27pc Turnover on DSE
Ten most traded companies accounted for more than 27 per cent of transactions on the prime bourse on Tuesday. National Tubes generated the highest turnover. According to Market analysts, a section of investors sold National Tubes shares throughout the session as its share price soared more than 22 per cent within a month. Accordingly, the state-run company’s share price plunged 9.78 per cent to close at Tk 160.50 on Tuesday. Its share price was Tk 196.60 a month ago. According to the Dhaka Stock Exchange [DSE] data, some 860,432 shares of National Tubes were traded, generating a turnover of nearly 144 million, which was 4.99 per cent of the day’s total turnover of Tk 2.88 billion. United Power came second on the turnover chart, with shares worth Tk 93 million changing hands. The company’s share price advanced 0.77 per cent to close at Tk 286.40 each.
Turnover remains poor on DSE
Stocks slipped into the red on Monday, after a single-day break, as risk-averse investors went on selling binge on sector specific shares. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange [DSE], went down by 20.67 points or 0.43 per cent to settle at 4,761, after adding 11 points in the previous day. According to the Market analysts, ongoing depressed market outlook coupled with growing concern about the telecom regulator moves to appoint administrator to GP over unpaid dues dragged the market down. The shaky investors sold their holdings from BATBC, GP, Square Pharma, IFAD Autos and Bangladesh Submarine Cable, contributing 23 points fall of DSEX jointly. Earnings per share [EPS] of GP plunged 13.92 per cent to Tk 5.38 for July-September 2019 against Tk 6.25 in the same quarter a year ago. The institutional investors are suffering from liquidity crunch while the retail investors are not confident enough to inject fresh funds into stocks.
Exports to Turkey see sharp fall in five years
A sustained fall in exports of Bangladeshi products to Turkey has prompted the government to dig out the causes of the sharp decline, according to officials. To this end, the Bangladesh embassy in Ankara has approached a research firm named ‘SIGMA’ to conduct a market research. This is for the first time, the government has undertaken a move to conduct a market research in Turkey. Five years ago, it was nearly US$ 1.0 billion market in Turkey for Bangladesh-made goods, but it fell to US$400 million in Financial Year [FY] 2019. Major exports include articles of apparel and clothing accessories, textile yarn and related products, jute and jute goods, non-metallic mineral products, rubber and articles thereof, tobacco and tobacco products, and leather and leather goods. Many businesses attributed the downtrend in exports to high depreciation of Turkish lira against US dollars and weak Turkish economy.
BPDB seeks rise in bulk Power Tariff or Subsidy
The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board [BPDB] has recently sought permission from energy sector regulator to hike bulk electricity tariff to help reduce its loss. The BPDB in a proposal submitted to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission [BERC] requested for regulator’s initiative to arrange subsidy if the latter was unwilling to allow any tariff hike, a senior official told the FE on Tuesday. The BPDB for the first time placed before the BERC two options — tariff hike or subsidy — to lessen its loss. On previous occasions, the BPDB had only sought hike in electricity tariff, and the BERC either hiked tariff or instructed the government to provide subsidy. The BPDB will have a revenue shortfall worth Tk 86.08 billion in the current fiscal year, 2019-20, if the tariff is not hiked, the entity stated in its proposal to the BERC.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↓ 39.54 ||↓ 0.15% |
|FTSE100||7,212.49 ||↑ 48.85 ||↑ 0.68% |
|Nikkei 225||22,540.56 ||↓8.34 ||↓ 0.04%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)|| $ 53.99 ||↑ 0.49 ||↑ 0.90%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 59.35 || ↓ 0.35 ||↓ 0.59%|
|Gold Spot||$1,489.22 ||↑ 1.54 ||↑ 0.10% |
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.0871|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.488|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.5556|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17389|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<