Business

Coronavirus pandemic hits hard flow of foreign funds to BD

funds

MNA Business Desk: The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard the flow of aid from foreign donors who cleared 14 per cent less money in the eight months to February than the same period last fiscal year. The amount they pledged in the July-February period has almost halved year-on-year. The government had to repay 10 per cent more to the lenders than it had done during the same period last fiscal year. The pandemic started to hit Bangladesh’s development work in January, especially those involving experts from China and some other countries, Economic Relations Division secretary Fatima Yasmin told the news ...

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Coronavirus crisis could destroy far more than 25m jobs: ILO

ILO

MNA Business Desk: The number of jobs lost around the world due to the coronavirus crisis could be “far higher” than the 25 million the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated just a week ago, a senior ILO official said on Thursday, reports Reuters. The United Nations agency said on March 18 that, based on different scenarios for the impact of the pandemic on global economic growth, estimated the global ranks of jobless would rise by between 5.3 million and 24.7 million. However, Sangheon Lee, director of the ILO’s employment policy department, told Reuters in Geneva on Thursday that the scale ...

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UNCTAD backs call to keep ships moving, ports open globally

UNCTAD

MNA Business Desk: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has extended its support to a call to keep maritime trade moving by allowing commercial ships’ continued access to ports worldwide. Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, extended the support on Wednesday in an opinion piece. The piece, titled “Coronavirus: Let’s keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing” has appeared at the web-portal of the UN agency. “As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, the global maritime transport industry is playing a critical role in the response,” he said. “A call by the industry to all governments ...

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Factory owners against production halt amid virus threat

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: Industry leaders do not want to shut down factories as a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, so they are waiting for government directives on workers and factories. On Monday, the government declared the shutdown of all government and private offices and courts from March 26 to April 04 amid mounting fears of the coronavirus that infected 33 people and killed three in Bangladesh. The workers are flooding out of cities towards their homes after the announcement. Whether this will fuel the spread of the virus has been brought into question. Some owners said ...

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COVID-19 threatens Bangladesh economy: ICCB

COVID-19

MNA Business Desk: The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on March 11 this year, which has now spread to 170 countries and territories and infected over 330,000 people. This number does not adequately show the scale and magnitude of this global crisis, which is not only related to public health but also to the health of the global economy, said a press statement issued by the International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh (ICCB) on Monday afternoon. “Economists are grappling and trying to predict the aftermath of this massive disaster,” said the statement. “No ...

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India curfew halts cargo flow through Petrapole

Petrapole

MNA Business Desk: Cargo handling at the Petrapole port on the India-Bangladesh border came to a halt on Sunday after India launched a 14-hour curfew to limit the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic in the country, where 315 people have so far been found to have contracted the disease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation last week urged citizens to stay indoors, a move that he said would be a crucial test for a country to assess its abilities to fight the pandemic. “There’s a ‘people’s curfew’ going on across India from 7 am to 9 pm on ...

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Bourses cut one-hour trading due to virus scare

Stock

MNA Business Desk: Following the free-fall of stocks prices, Dhaka Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Stock Exchange have decided to cut by one hour trading time effective from Thursday. The decision was taken on Wednesday at meeting on the board o0f directors of the DSE. The CSE also will also follow the DSE decision, officials said. Trading at the bourses will begin at 10:30am and continue until 1:30pm instead of 2:30pm. The new schedule will be continued until further notice, DSE said in a statement on Wednesday. Normally, the capital market sees a four-hour trading from 10:30am to 2:30pm. “The ...

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Global central banks take sweeping action to fight coronavirus

central banks

MNA Business Desk: The US Federal Reserve and its global counterparts moved aggressively with sweeping emergency rate cuts and offers of cheap dollars in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has roiled markets and paralysed large parts of the world economy. The coordinated response from the Fed to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) were reminiscent of the steps taken just over a decade ago in the wake of the financial crisis. The moves came amid a rout in stocks and bond markets as investor anxiety deepened over the difficulty of tackling a ...

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Indian stock market crashes on travel ban, visa suspensions

Indian

MNA Business Desk: The Indian stock market crashed on Thursday morning following incessant selling by investors on the United States imposing travel bans as well as India suspending visas amid rising number of COVID-19 cases. At 12:30 pm local time, India’s benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty were down 7.2 per cent each or 2,196 points and 660 points respectively after touching a 23-month and 17-month low, respectively earlier in the day as 148 billion US dollars worth of investor wealth was wiped out. Sensex hit an intra-day low of 32,990.01, a level last seen on April 4, 2018 while Nifty ...

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DSEX sinks below 4,000-mark after five years

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: With fears of coronavirus dominating market sentiment, stocks tumbled further on Sunday amid incessant selling by investors to escape further losses. Within 15 minutes, DSEX slumped more than 200 points with dipping below 4,000-mark on the news of imposing travel bans on different countries and Bangladesh suspending on-arrival visas on European nations for two weeks. At the end of the session, DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), settle at 3,969, shedding 160.64 points or 3.88 per cent over the previous day. DSEX sank the below 4,000-mark for the first time in five years ...

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How the longest bull run in history ended in pandemic panic

financial

MNA Business Desk: As a collapse in the oil price unleashed chaos in financial markets, Madrid money manager Diego Parrilla phoned a colleague who agreed: they had better head to work early in the morning. By daybreak in Europe, the price of crude oil had fallen by a third. The shock had turned worry about the coronavirus to full-blown panic, wiped trillions of dollars from Asian stocks and sent futures for European and US markets plunging. “We assessed the book,” said Parrilla, 46, who runs a 300 million euro ($332 million) fund that is long gold and bonds and uses ...

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Coronavirus fallout: Import orders drop by 12pc in January

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s import orders dropped by more than 12 per cent or nearly US$663 million in January last due to supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China. Opening of letters of credit (LCs), generally known as import orders, came down to $4.63 billion in January from $5.29 billion a month ago, according to the central bank’s latest data. “The country’s overall imports are maintaining a falling trend in the recent months mainly due to global economic slowdown and coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan of China,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE. ...

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Economy shows mix trend: ICCB

economy

MNA Business Desk: The performance of Bangladesh economy in 2019 with reference to global, macro and micro levels presents a mixed picture. Globally, the country did not suffer any major setback during the year, but some headwind stemmed from slowed-down export and import due to shrinking global economic growth. The country recoded an estimated 8.15 per cent GDP growth in FY19 – considered by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to be the fastest-growing economy in the Asia-Pacific region, according to an editorial of the quarterly news bulletin of International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh’s (ICCB) released on Wednesday. Such growth was possible ...

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ECNEC approves country’s first deep-sea project

ECNEC

MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the country’s first deep-sea project to be built in Matarbari of Cox’s Bazar by 2026. The approval was given during the ECNEC meeting at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on Tuesday with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The government took the decision with an aim to fulfill the demand of international trade as well as facilitating speedy port services with the neighbouring countries, reports BSS. The Chattogram Port Authority and the Roads and Highways Division will ...

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Coronavirus may pull down global FDI by 5.0 to 15.0pc: UNCTAD

Coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: The outbreak and spread of Coronavirus (Covid19) will negatively affect the global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the current and next years. The rate of decline may be minimum 5.0 per cent to maximum 15.0 per cent in 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The UN body unveiled its special issue on its Investment Trends Monitor on Monday in Geneva focusing the impact of coronavirus outbreak on global FDI. “With scenarios of the spread of the epidemic ranging from short-term stabilisation to continuation throughout the year, the downward pressure ...

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Commerce minister launches ICC’s New Incoterms 2020 Rules in Dhaka city

Incoterms

MNA Business Desk: While launching the New Incoterms 2020 Rules at a city hotel in Dhaka on Sunday, commerce minister Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh’s trade is expanding year-on-year, so practice of the Incoterms 2020 will be essential. Bangladesh has been following all international trade tools for its export and imports, Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) rules are one of them. The rules are internationally accepted standards which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts, he said. On the economy, the minister said Bangladesh made remarkable achievement in FY 2019. In the last fiscal, ...

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BD to enjoy existing trade preference in EU till 2027

European Union

MNA Business Desk: There is nothing to be worried about preferential treatment of Bangladesh in the European Union even after the country’s graduation from LDC (least developed country) status in 2024, a German diplomat said in Dhaka on Wednesday. “The EU has offered to extend preferential market access for an additional three years from the graduation, meaning Bangladesh will enjoy the special treatment in EU market until 2027,” he said. “There will be ample opportunity for Bangladesh and EU to sit together and find a way for the transition,” Deputy Ambassador of German Embassy in Dhaka Burkhard Ducoffere said. He ...

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China assures to make up for coronavirus impact on mega projects: Momen

China

MNA Business Desk: China has assured Bangladesh of making up for the impact caused by coronavirus outbreak on the mega projects like Padma bridge. The assurance came as he had a conversation with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi over the phone a couple of days ago, Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told newsmen after a programme in the city on Thursday. He said though there was a disruption in project implementation due to the absence of many Chinese workers in the China funded projects, it would be made up for in the long run. “…he [ assured me ...

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Asian factories take a beating from virus outbreak

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: Asia’s factories took a heavy hit in February from the coronavirus outbreak with activity in China shrinking at a record pace, business surveys showed on Monday, adding to fears the crisis risks triggering a global recession. China’s factory activity suffered the sharpest contraction on record in February, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed, underlining the crippling effects of tough travel curbs and public health measures taken to contain the outbreak. That followed the Chinese government’s similarly dire PMI release on the weekend, which also showed a record pace of decline. The slump in the world’s ...

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BIMSTEC member states need FTA to boost regional trade: Commerce minister

BIMSTEC

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has stressed the need for signing free trade agreement (FTA) among the BIMSTEC member states to open a new horizon in trade for the region. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi came up with the statement while addressing the inaugural function of a two-day BIMSTEC Expo in Mumbai, India on Wednesday, reports BSS. “Sincere cooperation from the BIMSTEC member states is needed for signing a FTA. If the FTA is signed, it will open a new horizon in the trade sector of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan,” the minister said. Indian Chamber of Commerce ...

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Coronavirus affects RMG supply chain, no negative impact on export

coronavirus

MNA Business Desk: The country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector is facing some problems in supply chain due to coronavirus outbreak, but there is no negative impact on the export of RMG products. Top government officials came up with the statement at an inter-ministerial meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the city recently, reports BSS on Wednesday. Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus presided over the meeting on ‘Prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and fixing measures to face the impact of Coronavirus on Bangladesh’s Economy’. Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Senior Secretary of the Banking and Financial Institutions ...

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Daimler warns of “significant adverse effects” of virus outbreak

Daimler

MNA Business Desk: German luxury carmaker Daimler on Friday warned of risks for the economy and its own business from the outbreak of coronavirus that is spreading in China and around the world. “Risks for the Daimler Group may not only affect the development of unit sales, but may also lead to significant adverse effects on production, the procurement market and the supply chain,” the Stuttgart-based company said in its annual report. It also noted that the epidemic posed a risk for economic growth in China, other Asian countries and worldwide. Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius announced last week that its ...

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GP pays Tk 10b to BTRC

GP

MNA Business Desk: Grameenphone (GP) on Sunday deposited Tk 10.00 billion to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in compliance with the Supreme Court order. “It’s a disputable audit and GP wants a constructive solution through court or outside the court,” said the mobile phone operator in a statement on Sunday. “GP will continue negotiations with the authorities concerned to resolve the matter and it also hopes that its business environment will soon become normal and it’ll ensure quality services to its customers when,” it said. “Grameenphone respects the legal system of Bangladesh and following the order of the honorable Appellate ...

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Coronavirus outbreak to cost global airlines almost $30bn

Airlines

MNA Business Desk: Airlines stand to lose $29.3 billion (£23.7 billion) of revenue this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the global airline industry body has warned. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts demand for air travel will fall for the first time in more than a decade. Airlines in China and other parts of the Asia Pacific region are expected to take the vast majority of the impact. It comes as carriers around the world have been forced to reduce flights. In total, airlines in the Asia Pacific region are set to see a $27.8 billion revenue loss ...

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Govt may revise decision on post office savings interest rate

interest rate

MNA Business Desk: The government would revise the recent decision of interest rate cut on post office savings schemes considering the concern of the marginalized and low-income people. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave the information while talking to the reporters after chairing cabinet committee meeting on economic affairs and cabinet committee meeting on government purchase held at the Cabinet Division on Wednesday. “We’ll revisit it (recently taken decision on interest rate cut on post office savings tools). Even if it is not possible right at the moment, we’ll consider this matter in the next budget,” he said. The government ...

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Bangladesh can export vegetables, fish to Nepal: PM

export

MNA Business Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangladesh can export vegetables and fish to Nepal. “In winter, Bangladesh can export vegetables and fish. I always advocate transit for Nepal through India,” she said when visiting Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali met her at her office. PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting, reports UNB. About cooperation over electricity, the Prime Minister said India can invest in hydroelectricity generation in Nepal under a tripartite initiative so that Bangladesh can buy it from Nepal. She said Bangladesh has already been buying electricity from India. Sheikh ...

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ECNEC approves project to enhance Mongla Port’s capacity

ECNEC

MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a project involving for enhancing the capacity of Mongla Port with Taka 60.15 billion. Out of the total project cost, Taka 15.55 billion will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Taka 44.59 billion from the Indian Line of Credit. The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on Tuesday. ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan ...

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