Turkey doubles tariffs on some US imports


MNA Business Desk: Turkey has doubled tariffs on some US imports, such as passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco, in what its vice president said was a response to deliberate US attacks on the Turkish economy, reported news agency. The move comes amid increased tension between the two NATO allies over Ankara’s imprisonment of a pastor and other diplomatic issues. Last Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey, reports Reuters. A decree published in Turkey’s official gazette and signed by President Tayyip Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to ...

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MNA Business Desk: The largest marketplace in Bangladesh, and electronics manufacturing company Minister Hi-Tech Park Ltd jointly launched “Bikroy #BiraatHaat” to sell livestock ahead of Eid-ul-Adha. The campaign powered by Minister was announced at a press conference held at the Daily Star Center and will be live till the night before Eid, projected to be celebrated on August 22. Under this campaign will have a vast range of exclusive livestock from their specialized suppliers and get them delivered to their homes. Customers can also choose to visit the place where their desired Qurbani animal is being kept and ...

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WB to provide $520m to improve secondary education

secondary education

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank (WB) will provide $520 million for a programme to improve the secondary education system and student performance in Bangladesh. Out of the amount, the Washington-based lending agency will provide $510 million in loan while the rest $10 million as grants, said an official at the Economic Relations Division (ERD). The WB-funded ‘Transforming Secondary Education for Results’ (TSER) programme will benefit 13 million students from grade 6 to 12, reported news agency. The programme will enhance quality of teaching and learning as well as improve access and retention of students, especially girls and children from ...

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Garment workers to get Eid allowance by August 16

Garment workers

MNA Business Desk: Garment workers will receive festival allowances by August 16 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, reported news agency. The decision came at the 37th meeting of the crisis management core committee headed by state minister for labour Mujibul Haque Chunnu held at his secretariat office in Dhaka city. Apparel makers have also been asked to make partial payment of wages for this month based on the talks with the workers before Eid, according to a meeting source. Representatives from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, trade unions and other law enforcing agencies, ...

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Saudi Arabia freezes new trade with Canada

new trade

MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia will suspend new trade and investment with Canada after that country’s foreign ministry urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, it said in a statement released to the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday. It also gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Canada, the statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said, adding it retained “its rights to take further action.” The Saudi ministry had been briefed that the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy urged the Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil rights ...

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Floating LNG terminal to start operations


MNA Business Desk: A vessel that arrived in Bangladesh in April to offload its maiden cargo of liquefied natural gas and moor permanently as an import terminal should begin operations “within a week” after bad weather hampered its start-up, an official said. The floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will allow Bangladesh to import LNG for the first time as its domestic gas production falls and will boost several power projects in a nation where 30 per cent go without electricity. Since its arrival at Moheshkhali, near Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh, bad weather has hampered the FSRU’s efforts to ...

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BFIU finds evidence of Tk 40bn capital flight

capital flight

MNA Business Desk: A group of businesses is reported to have been involved in capital flight amounting to Tk 40 billion in disguise of imports and exports, reported news agency. Bangladesh Financial Intelligent Unit (BFIU) has discovered the evidence of such an involvement. The BFIU has also sent this information to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and other law-enforcement agencies requesting them to further investigate the cases before moving towards prosecution. BFIU head and Bangladesh Bank (BB) deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan disclosed this on Tuesday while responding to the reporters at the monetary policy unveiling programme. ...

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ADB to provide $357m to develop power transmission lines


MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved an assistance package totalling more than $357 million for a project to develop two power lines in support of Bangladesh’s national target of electricity for all by 2021. The investments comprise a $350 million ADB loan, a $7 million grant from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM) to partially finance new high-technology energy efficient conductors, and a $500,000 grant from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund (EAKPF) to promote socially inclusive growth with gender equality said an ADB press release on ...

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G20 agri ministers pledge WTO reform


MNA Business Desk: Agriculture ministers from the G20 countries criticized protectionism in a joint statement on Saturday, and vowed to reform World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but did not detail what steps they would take to improve the food trade system. In the statement, they said they were “concerned about the increasing use of protectionist non-tariff trade measures, inconsistently with WTO rules.” The ministers from countries including the United States and China, in Buenos Aires for the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, said in the statement they had affirmed their commitment not to adopt “unnecessary obstacles” to trade, and affirmed ...

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US-EU negotiate to skip trade clash


MNA Business Desk: The United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that US has agreed to work towards lowering trade barriers with the European Union. Trump made this comment after a meeting with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. The two would work for zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto goods, he said. They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater US soy bean exports to the EU, reported news agency. The agreements come amid heightened tensions between the US and EU. The two leaders defused what had threatened to become a ...

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BRICS leaders meet as US trade war looms


MNA Business Desk: Leaders of the BRICS emerging economies-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-will gather in Johannesburg on Wednesday for a three-day meeting focused on the threat of a US-led global trade war. US president Donald Trump’s hardening stance has compounded fears of an all-out trade war after he slapped levies on goods from China worth tens of billions of dollars and imposed tariffs on other international imports. China’s president Xi Jinping, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian president Michel Temer will attend the annual summit, along with several African leaders invited as guests. ...

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Europeans press for digital tax at G20 meeting


MNA Business Desk: European finance leaders called for progress on global rules to tax the digital economy at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Argentina on Sunday, putting them at odds with US counterparts. The final communique reaffirmed a commitment to address the impacts of the shift to a digital economy on the international tax system by 2020, without giving more details. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, proposed rules earlier this year to make digital companies pay more tax, with US tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Amazon set ...

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1.16cr sacrificial animals for Eid-ul-Adha


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has around 1.16 crore sacrificial animals, including cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep, for the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, according to Fisheries and Livestock Ministry. Of them, there are 44.57 lakh cows and buffaloes, while goats and sheep are 71 lakh. In a statement, Senior Information Officer of the ministry Md Shah Alam made the disclosure on Sunday. The government has set Aug 21 to Aug 23 for the Eid holidays, subject to the sighting of the moon. If the moon sighting for the month of Zulhijja is made on Aug 12, Eid-ul-Adha will fall on Aug 22.

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S Korea cuts economic growth outlook

economic growth

MNA Business Desk: South Korea cut its economic growth to 2.9 per cent forecast from 3.0 per cent for the current year, citing a feeble labour market recovery and global trade tensions. In its bi-annual economic policy report, the nation’s finance ministry projected growth of 2.9 per cent, in line with the Bank of Korea’s projections and down from a 3.0 per cent estimate in December. The South Korean policymakers are trying to drive a sustained return to growth rates that match the country’s potential after a 3.1 per cent expansion last year, the fastest in three years. The government ...

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Gold in BB vault adulterated


MNA Business Desk: Gold weighing almost 1000 kilograms kept in Bangladesh Bank’s vault has been adulterated, reveals an investigation by the customs intelligence. The 22-carat gold has turned into 18-carat gold as other metals were mixed with it after the central bank received gold discs and rings over a period of time, investigators believe. The customs intelligence and investigation directorate of the National Board of Revenue dug out serious discrepancies in gold management, as the investigators examined 963 kg of gold out of huge quantity kept at the central bank’s vault, on the basis of random sampling. This is another ...

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Muhith seeks info on state of banks


MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AMA Muhith has sought detailed and updated information about the country’s scheduled banks. Mr Muhith asked the senior secretary of the Financial Institutions Division (FID) to take necessary action to ensure availability of the information he has sought, reported news agency. The minister has sought to know about the volume of classified loans, outstanding loans and detailed information about the persons on the board of directors of all the banks, private and public. The FID will request the central bank to ensure the availability of the information. The government has taken the initiative to know ...

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Grameenphone shares jump on profit growth


MNA Business Desk: Shares of Grameenphone, the Bangladesh unit of Norway’s Telenor, surged as much as 4.93 per cent to its highest intraday level since Jun 26 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). The company reported that its earnings per share or EPS increased to Tk 8 in the April-June period from Tk 5.87 a year ago, reported enws agency. However, net operating cash flow per share—a major gauge of the company’s financial health—declined to Tk 20.3 in the January-June period from Tk 23.23 a year ago. Grameenphone announced Tk 12.5 in cash dividends per share for the half-year that ...

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Chinese company to invest $2.3b in steel plant


MNA Business Desk: Chinese giant Kunming Iron and Steel Holding Company (KISC) is all set to invest US$ 2.3 billion in a steel manufacturing project in Mirersarai, reported news agency. A delegation of the KISC led by its chairman Zhao Yongping is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka tomorrow (Monday). The delegation will hold final negotiations with senior officials of the government and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), people familiar with the development told the FE on Saturday. This will be the largest investment in manufacturing sector in the country. KISC will make the investment through its subsidiary company Chinese Yunnan ...

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EU to boost ties with China, Japan amid Trump trade show

boost ties

MNA Business Desk: The European Union’s top officials will meet the leaders of China and Japan next week to boost ties in the face of fears that US president Donald Trump will spark an all-out global trade war. The trip by EU Council president Donald Tusk and Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker includes the signing of a free trade deal with Japan, which was moved from Brussels last week because Japanese premier Shinzo Abe was dealing with deadly floods at home. Their Asian tour comes as the EU — which, with 28 countries and 500 million people is the world’s biggest ...

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Biggest US investment: GE signs 7.4 bn power, LNG deals


MNA Business Desk: US Company General Electric (GE) signed two separate deals to implement a number of power and energy projects worth about $7.4 billion in joint venture in Bangladesh. Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corporation is also a partner in the GE-Summit initiative signed separately with state-owned PDB and with Summit Group, a local business house, on Wednesday. Under the deals, GE-Summit-Mitsubishi will set up a gas-fired 2,400 MW power plant, having four combined cycle units of each 600 MW and also two units of LNG onshore terminals with total 380,000 cubic meter capacity, oil terminals with 100,000 MT capacity and ...

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US lists $200bn more Chinese goods for tariffs


MNA Business Desk: The Trump administration raised the stakes in its trade war with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10 per cent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. US officials released a list of thousands of Chinese imports the administration wants to hit with the tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminium. It also includes consumer goods ranging from car tires, , furniture, wood products, handbags and suitcases, to dog and cat food, baseball gloves, carpets, doors, bicycles, skis, golf bags, toilet paper and beauty products. ...

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China June FX reserves unexpectedly rise amid trade war fears

trade war

MNA Business Desk: China’s foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly rose in June, driven by changes in the value of its holdings and even as concerns of a full-blown trade war between Beijing and the Washington rattled markets. Reserves rose $1.51 billion in June to $3.112 trillion, compared with a drop of $14.23 billion in May, central bank data showed on Monday, reported news agency. Economists polled by news agency had expected reserves to drop by $10.6 billion to $3.10 trillion. The small increase in reserves was due asset price changes, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement. ...

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Shahjalal Islami Bank holds 17th AGM

Shahjalal Islami

MNA Business Desk: The 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited was held on Sunday at RAOWA Convention Centre in Dhaka, said a press release. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank Mr. Akkas Uddin Mollah presided over the meeting. The meeting approved 10 per cent stock dividend for the shareholders for the year of 2017 and the Directors Reported and audited Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account for the year ended on 31 December 2017. Chairman of the Bank Mr. Akkas Uddin Mollah, Managing Director Mr. Farman R Chowdhury and the shareholders ...

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Nepal invites Bangladesh to sign energy pact


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has been invited by the Nepal government to visit the country to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral energy tie-up, reports Xinhua, quoting officials concerned. “We have sent a letter to our counterpart Ministry in Bangladesh three-four days ago, inviting them to visit Nepal to finalize the MoU,” Dinesh Ghimire, joint secretary at Nepal’s Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI). Nepal Cabinet approved the MoU. It contains three components — power exchange, investment and establishing a joint mechanism to enhance cooperation in energy, according to MoEWRI. Dinesh Ghimire said after the MoU ...

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ADB approves $ 100m grant for Rohingyas


MNA Business Desk: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved grant assistance of $100 million for Rohingyas- the first of an envisaged package totaling $200 million to help Bangladesh develop basic infrastructure and services for the displaced persons (Rohingyas). “Given the scale of the humanitarian needs, we are coordinating closely and promptly with World Bank and other development partners to support the government in addressing the crisis in Cox’s Bazar,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. Nakao received the request from Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, for grant assistance when they met in early May. Then ADB developed and processed the ...

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ECNEC approves 8 projects


MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved eight projects, including one to construct 16 regional passport office buildings, aiming to improve the passport services in 16 districts, reports news agency. The approval came from the first ECNEC meeting of the new fiscal year of 2018-‘19, held at the NEC conference room in the city’s Agargaon area with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. “Today, the ECNEC approved eight projects with an estimated cost of Tk 64.93 billion,” said planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while briefing reporters after the ...

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Trump makes veiled WTO threat after EU warning on car tariffs


MNA Sports Desk: US President Donald Trump warned the World Trade Organization on Monday that “we’ll be doing something” if the United States is not treated properly, just hours after the European Union said that US automotive tariffs would hurt its own vehicle industry and prompt retaliation, reported news agency. Trump, speaking to reporters during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House, said, “The WTO has treated the United States very, very badly and I hope they change their ways.” His comments came after the Axios news website reported that Trump’s administration has drafted proposed ...

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