Financial reporting act to bring transparency
Chairman of the newly-formed Financial Reporting Council yesterday assured businesses not to be concerned about the new act as it will help the country bring in transparency in firms’ auditing and accounting standards. “There is nothing to be worried about the FRC. It will coordinate more rather than regulate,” said CQK Mustaq Ahmed, chairman of FRC, at a seminar styled “Financial Reporting Act 2015 and its economic implication”, organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its office in the capital yesterday. Bangladesh has enacted the financial reporting act in 2015 in a bid to establish transparency in accounting and auditing of firms, especially those listed on the stock exchanges. Roughly, there are 1.5 lakh companies in Bangladesh, of which about 300 companies are listed. There were questions about the accounting standards as many companies got listed on the bourses showing high earnings per share, which declined in the preceding months and years making investors disheartened. Investors blamed auditors and accountants for setting artificial EPS for those firms to lure investors into buying their shares. Ahmed said there are many regulations in the country but their proper implementation is crucial.
SIBL wants to invest USD 2.0 mllion in overseas private equity fund
The Social Islami Bank Limited (SIBL) has requested the Financial Institutions Division (FID) to allow it to invest USD 2.0 million in a real estate-based private equity fund managed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The bank plans to buy 200 shares of Awqaf Properties Investment Fund (APIF) for USD 10,000 each. A 2.0% stake in the fund will be enough to give SIBL a seat on the APIF board, according to the Bangladesh Bank letter sent to FID Secretary Md Eunusur Rahman. SIBL will get 90.0% of net income per certificate apart from yearly dividend, according to SIBL MD letter.
Abrar raises benchmark for Bangladeshi bankers
Banks will have to put in place the right strategies, IT infrastructure and skilled employees to protect themselves from cyber and money laundering risks, said the outgoing head of Standard Chartered Bangladesh. “Cyber, money laundering and terrorist financing risks pose greater challenges for banks,” said Abrar A Anwar, the chief executive officer for the Bangladesh operations of the London-based bank. The risks take a toll on credibility and dent the customers’ confidence in banks. “If a bank can’t get US dollar clearing in New York or loses the correspondence banking relationship, it will be quite devastating. Then the bank will lose its ability to participate in international trade.” Banks need to ensure that there is proper governance, anti-money laundering policies, procedures and training, and right resources in place. Anwar’s comments came in an interview with The Daily Star last week — a fortnight before he sets off for his new posting in Kuala Lumpur as the head of Standard Chartered’s Malaysian operations. He will join his new office on November 1.
Boro harvest drops 5pc to 1.8cr tonnes
Boro production fell 5 percent year-on-year to 1.8 crore tonnes during the last harvest, the lowest since 2009-10, after floods wiped out crops in a huge number of paddy fields in the northeast. As a result, total rice output declined by 2 percent year-on-year to 3.38 crore tonnes in the last fiscal year, according to a preliminary estimate of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). Crops on an area of about 3 lakh hectares were damaged because of the floods, said a senior BBS official seeking anonymity. The floods, along with low stocks of foodgrains in public storages, fuelled a price hike of the staple food causing it to reach a record high in mid September. This led the government not only going for imports by itself but also to slash import duty to augment supply and stabilise the market. Though prices gradually declined in the last one month, it is still higher than that of the same period last year, according to figures from the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. The BBS, which awaits for approval from the higher authority for releasing the data, estimates that Boro paddy was harvested from about 44.5 lakh hectares, down from the usual acreage of 47-48 lakh hectares as recorded in the last couple of years.
NBR regrets power ministry’s plea for duty waiver
Government’s revenue authority turned down the relevant ministry’s proposal for duty waiver to woo large investment into the country’s power sector, officials said. The proposal came after the ministry sought opinion of the NBR while reviewing whether the existing laws, including the Bank Company Act 1991, stand in the way of making large-scale investment in the fund-guzzling power sector. The ministry also wanted to know whether the NBR could consider any exemption for Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on payment of 2.5% customs duty from rental payments throughout the contract period. The ministry has proposed allowing import of high-speed diesel (HSD) for public and private power plants without paying customs duty, Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes. Customs officials said the government had already offered a fat package of incentives for encouraging investment in power plants.
Services sector exports go up 23.67pc
Services sector exports hit $619.97 million in the first two months of the fiscal year, overshooting its target for the period by 6.28 percent. The amount is an increase of 23.67 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau, which was released yesterday. The EPB began counting the export earnings from services sector separately from last fiscal year as contributions of some important services sectors like transportation, manufacturing, air and sea transports went unnoticed. For example, if a manufactured product like refrigerator is exported and a mechanic is also sent with the appliance, the mechanic’s earning would be calculated under the services sector. The sales proceeds for the refrigerator would be calculated as earnings from goods export. The government has taken the decision as per the rules of the World Trade Organisation as services are also considered a product. During the period, earnings from the export of transportation services stood at $86.72 million, sea transport $41.50 million and financial services $54.77 million. The telecom and information services sector fetched $89.62 million, construction services $26.03, and computer services $29.12 million.
BD imports from India record 13pc growth
Bangladesh’s import from India recorded a 13 per cent growth in the 2016-17 fiscal year (FY).The increase in import has been reported after a subdued show for two consecutive years. The growth is attributed to a significant rise in import of equipment and high-value machineries for project implementation in the country. According to India’s Commerce Ministry, Bangladesh imported $6.8 billion worth of goods in FY17. Total bilateral trade had hit an all-time high of $7.5 billion, up 11 per cent. Bangladesh is the ninth largest importer of Indian goods, says a report on The Hindu. According to the India’s Commerce Ministry, Indian exports increased by 4.6 per cent ($6.4 billion) in FY2014-15 and dropped by 6.4 per cent ($6.03 billion) in FY2015-16.
Net FDI from India up by 8.42pc in FY17
Net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from India registered 8.42 per cent growth in the past fiscal year (FY17) compared to the previous fiscal (FY16). Latest statistics of the Bangladesh Bank, released last week, showed that Bangladesh received some $95.41 million from India as net FDI in the past fiscal year. The amount was $88 million in FY16. The gross inflow of FDI from India in FY17 was $119.32 million, according to the central bank estimation. Net inflow of FDI is determined by deducting disinvestment, repayments of loans & loss from the gross inflow of FDI. The central bank data also showed that India became the seventh largest source of FDI for Bangladesh in the past fiscal year.
IFC to help boost BD exports from newer sectors
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will assist Bangladesh in boosting exports from many newer priority sectors other than apparel to enhance the country’s manufacturing competitiveness worldwide. Stimulating export-led growth is at the core of the objective of a technical-assistance deal signed Sunday in Dhaka for formulating export roadmaps covering a number of potential sectors which will also come under investment priority. Among the sectors on the list of priority are leather, leather goods and footwear, electronics and plastics, /officials said. The support will be provided under a scheme called ‘Sector Competitiveness Advisory for Bangladesh’ which is a part of the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF) designed for enhancing competitiveness and connectivity to catalyse private-sector development in Bangladesh. The Washington-based financial institution, which is a member of the World Bank Group, signed an advisory agreement with the Ministry of Commerce to this effect.
15 SIMs per NID
The telecom regulator has reduced the number of SIMs that can be registered against one National Identity Card (NID) from 20 to 15. The decision came from a meeting of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission with Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy and the law enforcing and intelligence agencies on Sunday. Earlier, it was also mandated that an individual can take a maximum of five prepaid SIMs with an NID, which was criticised by the mobile operators.
Cotton waste smuggling to India causes raw materials crisis
Country’s specialised textile industries have been facing problem in meeting export orders due to an acute shortage of raw materials as cotton and garment wastes are being smuggled out and exported to India, industry people said. They said the specialised textile industries produce yarn from cotton waste of spinning mills and garment waste better known as jhut through recycling and the yarn is used to produce terry towel, home textile, denim fabric, and khadi fabrics. Sector people said that due to the shortage of raw materials the prices of yarn increased by 20-25 per cent in last 2-3 months. They alleged that the cotton waste and garment jhut, the main raw materials for the specialised textile industries, were being smuggled out and exported with false declaration to India through Benapole, Dawki, Akhaura and Tamabil land ports. Recently, the Bangladesh Terry Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters Association has sent separate letters to finance and commerce ministries seeking government intervention to keep the supply of raw materials available for the sake of the industry.
Govt servants to get Tk 50,000 allowance to buy mobile phones
The Ministry of Public Administration has proposed that high-level government officials receive Tk50,000 as a one-time allowance to purchase mobile handsets. The proposal is part of the draft for the Government Telephone and Internet Guideline 2017, Senior Secretary Dr Md Mozammel Hoque Khan confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune. The Posts and Telecommunications Division additionally proposed that using Teletalk be mandatory on the state-sponsored mobile phones. The guideline stipulates ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers, cabinet secretaries, senior secretaries, secretaries and acting secretaries will be eligible for the handset allowance, the first of its kind. They can use any internet service on their phone, but BTCL has to be preferred. The phone and internet bills of ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers will be borne by their respective ministry. In addition, the new guideline sees the mobile phone allowance increase for public servants. From the highest officials in the administration to the thana executive officers, everyone’s phone and internet bills will be paid for by the government.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$52.00||↑0.10||↑0.19%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$57.49||↑0.12||0.21%|
|Gold Spot*||$1,282.55||↑0.28||↑ 0.02%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 81.97*|
|GBP 1||BDT 108.36*|
|EUR 1||BDT 96.43*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.26*|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.