ICB, DSE shareholders to invest fresh funds soon
The state-run Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) and the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) shareholders are set to invest their much-talked-about fresh funds in the capital market very soon. They expressed optimism regarding the fresh investment at a meeting in the capital on Tuesday. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) arranged the urgent meeting to prop up the stock market that experienced sharp fall in the last few sessions. As per the BSEC approval, ICB is set to complete the process of raising funds amounting to Tk 20 billion through issuing subordinate bonds. ICB will have to invest Tk 15 billion in listed securities of the capital market in accordance with the BSEC directive. In September, DSE received Tk 9.62 billion from its Chinese strategic partner by selling the exchange’s 25 per cent stake. The government has reduced the capital gain tax to 5.0 per cent from 15 per cent on the funds, received from the Chinese consortium, with a condition of investing it in the stock market. Tk 20 billion funds will be credited to ICB next week.
ECNEC endorses 21 projects
The government has again adopted an aggressive stance to approve projects, as it endorsed a record number of development schemes on Tuesday. At a meeting, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved 21 development projects involving Tk 197.79 billion, including the land acquisition project for the expansion of Dhaka-Sylhet highway. Under the land acquisition project involving Tk 38.85 billion, the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) will acquire some 400 acres of land by June 2020. Of the total cost for the 21 projects, Tk 173.17 billion will come from internal sources, Tk 2.34 billion from the implementing agencies’ own fund and the remaining Tk 22.27 billion from external sources as project assistance. Nineteen of the approved 21 projects are new ones while other two projects are revised ones. The ECNEC approved a large project to procure 35 dredgers at a cost of Tk 44.89 billion to maintain navigability in 100 major rivers across the country.
Local compressor makers to get tax benefit until 2021
Local industries would enjoy tax benefit until 2021 on import of raw materials and spare parts for manufacturing compressors. The VAT wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued two separate Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) in this regard on October 21, 2018. Through those SROs, the NBR has offered exemption from payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Supplementary Duty (SD) to facilitate local manufacturers of air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers. The NBR also exempted local manufacturers from paying 15 per cent VAT on production of compressors. There were 15 per cent VAT and up to 45 per cent SD on import of spare parts and raw materials by compressor manufacturers. Tax incidence was around 67 per cent on the items including 25 per cent Customs Duty (CD). However, 25 per cent CD on the items would remain unchanged. The manufacturers will have to be VAT-registered company and have registration with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA). Currently, Walton Hi-Tech Company has started manufacturing compressors for AC, refrigerator and freezer. Also, local manufacturers Marcel, Minister and Jamuna are assembling AC, refrigerator and freezer. A manufacturer will have to add 30 per cent value-addition to the production process of the items.
Oil Price falls
Oil prices dropped on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if needed, reassuring investors ahead of US sanctions on Iran’s crude exports that start next month. Benchmark Brent crude oil fell $1.51 a barrel to a low of $78.32, down 1.9 percent and below its 50-day moving average for the first time in two months, before recovering a little to around $78.40 by 0935 GMT. US light crude dropped $1.27 a barrel to a low of $68.09. US sanctions on Iranian oil begin on Nov. 4 and Washington has said it wants to stop all of Tehran’s fuel exports.
Denim expo in Dhaka Nov 7-8
The ninth edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo will begin at International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka from November 7-8, this time focusing on the theme “simplicity”. In the world market of denim, simplicity is now the ultimate sophistication…this edition will try to give a much simpler message about sustainability and ecology in denim. A total of 62 local and international exhibitors will interact with fashion designers and denim makers, sellers, retailers and brands. There will be four seminars and two panel discussions to make the show livelier.
Saudi signs $50b deals in oil, gas infrastructure
Saudi Arabia signed deals worth more than $50 billion in oil, gas, infrastructure and other sectors at an investment conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. Companies involved in the deals included commodities trader Trafigura, Total, Hyundai, Norinco, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes, state television said. Swiss-based Trafigura said it had signed a deal for a joint venture partnership with Riyadh-based Modern Mining Holding Co. The multi-billion dollar venture would develop a copper, zinc and lead integrated smelting and refining complex in Ras Al-Khair Mineral City, Trafigura said. This was part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to develop its mining sector and plug the “midstream”.
ADB to use UNDP strength for CHT community dev
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday signed an administrative arrangement to promote sustainable management of community development for Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). Under the arrangement, the ADB will provide US$ 471,000 to UNDP for implementing activities of the ADB-assisted technical assistance project entitled ‘Sustainable Management of Community Development for Chittagong Hill Tracts (TRTA 9472)’, according to the release. The technical assistance project will enhance capacity of 300 Parha Development Committees (PDCs) on managing and sustaining community assets and infrastructure; train 900 PDC leaders on leadership, organisational and financial management and 500 PDC members on participatory planning. It also aims to enhance monitoring towards strengthened governance and rural development; create a pool of skilled technicians from the unemployed youths to repair and maintain irrigation equipment and tube-wells; and strengthen linkages of PDCs with union councils.
Petrobangla plans to import LNG from Oman by May
State-run Petrobangla has planned to start importing lean LNG from Oman Trading International (OTI) by May 2019, one year after inking a sales and purchase agreement (SPA). Petrobangla and OTI agreed last week to initiate LNG import and re-gasify it in the FSRU at Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal. The LNG (liquefied natural gas) would be imported from the middle-eastern firm OTI under the country’s second long-term LNG import contract. Bangladesh started regular imports of LNG from RasGas around one year after inking the SPA from September 9. Under the deal, the base quantity of 500,000 tonnes per year is subject to the completion of the first LNG terminal and another 500,000 tonnes per year is subject to the completion of the second terminal owned by Summit Group. The second FSRU is expected to come online by April, 2019. The purchase price of LNG from Oman Trading has been set at around 11.9 per cent of the three-month average of Brent crude prices plus 40 cents per million British thermal unit (MMBtu). Users in Chattogram are currently consuming around 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of re-gasified gas.
US$ price in kerb market goes up
Exchange rate of cash US dollar against the local currency in the banking channel and also in the open market, known as kerb market, has increased by around Tk 1.0 in a week. The US currency rate reached Tk 86.70 on Tuesday, as the demand for the greenback has gone up lately. It was Tk 85.70-85.80 last week. Cash US dollar was quoted at rates ranging between Tk 84.50 and Tk 86.80 each by some banks on the day. The banks offered an average rate of Tk 82. 87 to the remitters for TT on Tuesday, according to the daily report of Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (BAFEDA). The greenback was traded in the open market in the capital at prices between Tk 86.50 and Tk 86.70 on the day.
Dragon fruit cultivation gains popularity in Rajshahi region
Experimental dragon fruit farming has brought smile on the faces of grassroots farmers in Raninagar upazila of the district this season. Thefruit cultivation is expanding fast across the district as it is more profitable. Now the peasants of the area have shown more interest to grow the fruit on a large scale. Farmers said each plant bears around 10 to 15 kg of fresh fruits and some 4, 00 plants can be grown in a bigha of land. Dragon can be harvested within 18 to 20 months after plantation the sapling if the weather condition remains favourable. Farmer can earn around Tk 0.2 million to Tk 0.3 million from a bigha of land investing around Tk 50,000. In Rajshahi markets, the high valued fruit is being sold at Tk 550 to Tk 600 per kg while in posh markets of Dhaka it is being sold at Tk 700 to Tk 800. But, the price is beyond purchasing capacity of the commoners. More than 125 demonstration plots of the cash crop were established in Rajshahi, Natore, Pabna and Bogra districts and the national figure is more than 1,050.
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)||$ 66.62||↑0.19||↑0.29%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 76.79||↑0.35||↑0.46%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,231.52||↑1.22||↑0.10%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 85.1954|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.6177|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.6106|
|INR 1||BDT 1.1638|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.