Business

BD chemical import posts double-digit growth

growth

MNA Business Desk: The combined import of chemicals has been on the rise for the last couple of years, with the annual average import posting a double-digit growth. During the past fiscal year, 2017-18 (FY18), the import of chemicals crossed a record $2.0 billion level, according to the central bank statistics. The data showed import of chemicals stood at $1.26 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year (FY19), registering 10.66 per cent growth over the same period last year. Chemicals are considered intermediate goods as these are used in different industries as inputs for the production of ...

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Govt to cut 15pc project aid due to poor utilization

utilization

MNA Business Desk: The government is set to cut development project aid by 15 per cent to Tk 510 billion for lower-than-expected utilization of the same in the first half of the current fiscal year (FY). Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said on Wednesday they recommended slashing some Tk 90 billion in the revised annual development programme (RADP) from the current Tk 600 billion project aid allocation. “Since ministries and divisions sought lower funds than their current allocations in the budget, we’ve cut the project aid outlay for the upcoming RADP,” said a senior official. “We’ve already sent it to ...

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FY ’16 set for new GDP base year

GDP

MNA Business Desk: The local statistical agency has said it will adopt a new base year for calculating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) effective from July 2020 and it is expected to raise the size of the economy by at least 10 per cent. Under the rebasing procedure, the fiscal year 2015-16 (FY ’16) will be the new base year replacing the existing FY ’06. Statistical agencies across the globe usually adopt the base year actually including new products and services. So, the size of the economy changes. Bangladesh last did it in 2013 by replacing the FY 1995-96 as ...

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UAE to consider manpower export, investment demands of BD: Crown Prince

UAE

MNA Business Desk: Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Nahyan on Monday assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that his country will give due consideration to Bangladesh’s demands, including manpower export and increasing investment. He made the assurance during a meeting with the Prime Minister at his Royal Palace. After the meeting, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters where PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim was present. He said there will be a foreign office consultation on Tuesday between the two countries. “This is very much unusual as normally a foreign office ...

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Finance minister for approval of three new banks

finance

MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has defended the central bank’s approval of three more private banks even though economists and bankers have long been opposing the move. “The central bank has approved the new banks because it thinks that it is necessary,” the minister told reporters at the Secretariat on Monday. The minister said he will not concerned about the number of banks if quality of service remains good. In 2012, twelve private banks were given licences based on ‘political considerations’ by the Awami League, which drew criticism from different quarters. Over the last few years, the ...

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Deal inked to prepare Payra port master plan

Payra

MNA Business Desk: The Payra Port Authority (PPA) has appointed a joint team of Dutch company Royal Haskoning DHV and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) to prepare the detailed master plan for the overall development of the third seaport of the country. A tripartite agreement titled ‘Consultancy Services for Preparation of Payra Port Detailed Master Plan’ was signed on Thursday at the seminar hall of the Shipping Ministry in presence of its Secretary Abdus Samad and Netherlands Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij. Commodore M Jahangir Alam, chairman of PPA, Prof Shamsul Haq, of BUET’s Bureau of Research, Testing ...

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BD and UAE to sign two investment-related deals

UAE

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will sign two investment-related deals during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s three-day visit to the Middle Eastern nation, starting on Feb 17. “This will speed up our economic diplomacy,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday, referring to the new foreign policy priority of the government. Trade and investment would be the key focus, the minister told reporters. UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the ruler of Dubai invited the prime minister for the visit. Hasina will attend the inauguration of the International Defence ...

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Proposed Kishoreganj Economic Zone set to get license

KEZ

MNA Business Desk: The proposed Kishoreganj Economic Zone (KEZ), a venture of Nitol Niloy Group, is set to obtain license from the authorities concerned, officials related with the development have said. The zone would be established on 91.63 acres of land in Pakundia Upazilla, next to Bhairab-Kishoreganj highway, they added. It received the pre-qualification licence from the BEZA in July 2017. “The KEZ is now getting prepared to receive the final nod,” Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury told the FE. He said the zone will host heavy industries like car and steel manufacturing plants by ...

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Survey on harmful elements in cow milk, HC orders

milk

MNA Business Desk: The High Court on Monday directed the authorities to conduct a survey to determine how much cow milk, dairy products and cow fodder containing bacteria, antibiotic, lead and pesticides are supplied across the country. The High Court bench of justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice K M Hafizul Alam came up with the order following a report published on different national dailies on adulterated milk. The HC also asked the authorities to submit a report over this within 15 days. Food, agriculture, fisheries and livestock and health secretaries, cabinet secretaries, all members of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, ...

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BD to lower foreign trade cost and time

lower

MNA Business Desk: The government targets to lower time and cost of overseas trading taking into consideration Singapore’s success in this case, sources said. In the World Bank’s latest ‘ease of doing business’ index, Singapore stood second and Bangladesh 176th. The target was set at a recent meeting with prime minister’s principal secretary Nojibur Rahman in the chair. Officials said the government wants to raise capacity of customs department and ports in handling cross-border trade to improve business environment in Bangladesh. According to the index, Bangladeshi exporters need to spend 168 hours for obtaining, preparing and submitting documents during port ...

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ADB approves $50m microenterprise development loan

microenterprise

MNA Business Desk: The government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an agreement for $50million in loan to promote microenterprise development for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. The assistance will help improve microenterprises’ access to finance through the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), an apex development finance and capacity building organisation; and its partner organisations. Monowar Ahmed, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, ADB, signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively on Wednesday. The total cost of the project, which is due for completion at the end of 2020, is ...

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Rehab intends to provide cheaper flats than Rajuk

Rajuk

MNA Business Desk: Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) has promised to provide flats to the low income group people at a cheaper rate than Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk). REHAB president Alamgir Shamsul Al Amin made the promise at the opening ceremony of the five-day REHAB Fair-2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on Wednesday. Asking government lands in Purbachal area, the REHAB president said, “We only can provide flats for rich people because of higher prices of lands.If we get lands then can give flats at a cheaper rate than that of Rajuk.” He also expressed ...

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Tax rates, fiscal measures to be consistent: Finance Minister

Finance Minister

MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday pledged to maintain consistency in tax rates and other fiscal measures and frame a simple budget from the next fiscal year (FY). In a meeting with income tax officials, Mr Kamal asked the taxmen to avoid issuance of statutory regulatory orders (SROs) after budget except for any national urgency. The tax officials, who attended the closed-door meeting at the Economic Relations Division, said such SROs that are usually issued bypassing parliament do affect the government’s policy guidelines. Top income tax officials and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Md Mosharraf ...

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Bangladesh seeks developers for first LNG terminal

terminal

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh is seeking expressions of interest to build the country’s first onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, according to a company official and a document posted on the company’s website. The South Asian country, which has a population of more than 160 million is turning to land-based LNG terminals as its first imports of the super-chilled fuel through a floating platform were delayed due to the weather and technical issues. Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Co, part of state-owned Petrobangla, which oversees LNG supplies, has requested interest from potential terminal developers for a land-based LNG regasification terminal at ...

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January holds record inflow of remittances

remittances

MNA Business Desk: Bangladeshi migrant workers sent a record amount of remittance home in January. They sent $1.59 billion in inward remittances to Bangladesh in the first month of the year, a new monthly record. The amount is about 15 percent higher than in January 2018. Migrant workers had sent over $9.08 billion in remittances to the country in the first seven months of the fiscal year, according to data from Bangladesh Bank. The amount over the same period in fiscal 2017-18 was $8.31 billion. Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute, suggested devaluing the taka’s exchange rate ...

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US Feds to back BB as cyber-heist lawsuit kicks off

cyber

MNA Business Desk: The Federal Reserve will lend a hand to Bangladesh’s central bank as it sues to recoup losses from one of the world’s largest cyber heists, even while the Philippine bank targeted by the lawsuit on Friday called it baseless and beyond US jurisdiction. The New York Fed’s formal agreement to provide “technical assistance” could spell some relief for Bangladesh Bank and sets the stage for its long-promised litigation over the February 2016 heist of $81 million, of which only $15 million has been recovered. Unidentified hackers pulled off the heist by breaching Bangladesh’s systems and using the ...

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Weaker 2019 earnings forecasted by Samsung Electronics

Samsung

MNA Business Desk: Samsung Electronics warned of weaker earnings in 2019 as it posted a 29 per cent drop in fourth-quarter (Q4) operating profit on Thursday, hit by a slowdown in demand for memory chips. The global market leader in computer chips and smartphones said it expected “overall annual earnings to decline” this year, although sales of memory products would begin to revive in the second half, according to a Reuters report. Uncertainties over US-China trade tensions and China’s sluggish economy bode ill for global electronics makers in 2019, pressuring demand for memory chips, smartphones and display panels, analysts say. ...

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US sanctions Venezuelan state oil firm to escalate pressure

oil

MNA Business Desk: The Trump administration on Monday imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA, aimed at severely curbing the OPEC member’s crude exports to the United States and at pressuring socialist President Nicolas Maduro to step down. Minutes before the announcement, Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who proclaimed himself interim president last week with US backing, said congress would name new boards of directors to the company and its US subsidiary, Citgo. Guaido, supported by the United States and most countries in the Western Hemisphere, says Maduro stole his re-election and must resign to allow new, ...

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Major Central Banks may face biggest challenges

Central banks

MNA Business Desk: Central banks may be about to face one of their biggest challenges yet. Global economic growth is slowing, but they have struggled to build up their policy arsenals since the last crisis to effectively deal with another one. The US-China trade war, worries about Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union, a potential recession in Italy and unrest in South America all pose risks for the global economy. While the US Federal Reserve embarked on its current tightening cycle back in December 2015, the European Central Bank, Bank of England and Bank of Japan still have interest ...

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Status quo imposed on 24 housing companies’ activities by HC

status quo

MNA Business Desk: The High Court (HC) imposed status quo on the activities of 24 housing companies over allegations of filling up canals, rivers, ponds and other water bodies under Kaliganj upazila in Gazipur. A High Court division bench comprising Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md. Ashraful Kamal passed the order on Sunday accepting a writ petition filed by rights group Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), BSS reports. The 24 housing companies are United Purbachal Lands Limited, AG Property Limited, Navana Real Estate, Biswash Builders Limited, Nilachal Housing Limited, Bagan Bilash, Rupayan Lands Limited, Adarsha Ideal Limited, ...

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‘Insufficient’ growth rate to accommodate workforce

insufficient

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s economy needs to grow at a rate of 8.0 per cent or more in the coming years to absorb the country’s growing labour force, a recent government report has suggested. At the same time, attracting more foreign direct investment along with other forms of foreign resources will be crucial for the country to attain the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report has said. Such views have emerged from the country’s first SDG progress report, which has been published recently. General Economics Division of the Planning Commission has carried out the study to evaluate the ...

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Japan to give loan for BD’s first underground railroad

underground

MNA Business Desk: Japan has agreed to provide loans for Bangladesh to build its first underground railroad. A stretch of 26.6-kilometer rail line will be constructed in Dhaka in two phases under the Mass Rapid Transit project. The design of the underground rail is being prepared, said Project Director Md Saidul Haque. “Japan has agreed to finance the project which is a big one,” he said. Haque hoped the tender process of the project will be finished by the end of this year after finalizing the finance contract with Japan. Bangladesh is likely to finalize the 40th loan package with ...

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Huawei chairman warns on global ‘partnerships’ end

Huawei

MNA Business Desk: The chairman of Chinese tech giant Huawei has warned that his company could shift away from Western countries if it continues to face restrictions. Huawei has been under scrutiny by Western governments, which fear its products could be used for spying. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Mr Liang Hua said his firm might transfer technology to countries “where we are welcomed”. He also stressed that Huawei follows regulations wherever it operates, reports BBC. Huawei makes smartphones but is also a world leader in telecoms infrastructure, in particular the next generation of mobile phone networks, ...

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New credit rating system launched by BB

credit

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank (BB) has recently launched a new credit rating system -ICRR to ensure more transparency and accuracy in analyzing the loan proposals. BB Governor Fazle Kabir awarded Certificate of Appreciation to members of the committee for their contribution in formulation of ICRR guidelines at a ceremony at Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management auditorium (BIBM) in the city’s Mirpur area, said a press release. Mercantile Bank Limited (MBL) Audit Committee Chairman Dr Mahmud Osman Imam received the Certificate of Appreciation as one of the members of the committee. BB Deputy Governor Ahmed Jamal, Secretary for Financial Institution ...

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Jute goods draw interest at DITF

DITF

MNA Business Desk: A portion of showcased products in Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) is jute products. This year jute made products catch huge attention of buyers. DITF displays various local and foreign products. The number of visitors and buyers of the fair is increasing day by day. Although the gate of the fair is open from 10 am every morning, maximum people start coming since 12 noon. With the people of all ages the fair tuned to a center of festivity.Housekeeping accessories has always been huge attraction point of the buyers. This year the situation didn’t change but jute ...

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Case to be lodged over BB reserve heist this month

reserve

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh will lodge case in New York within this month to get back the money stolen from the central bank (BB) reserve, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. “We’ve taken preparation to file the case. It would be filed in New York by this month as the theft happened there,” said the Finance Minister. Mustafa Kamal made the disclosure to the reporters after a three-hour meeting with officials concerned, including the BB Governor Fazle Kabir, on the reserve theft at the Secretariat on Sunday. “A lawyer from Bangladesh and another from New York to look after the ...

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US demands regular review on trade reform of China

trade

MNA Business Desk: The United States is pushing for regular reviews of China’s progress on pledged trade reforms as a condition for a trade deal – and could again resort to tariffs if it deems Beijing has violated the agreement, according to sources briefed on negotiations to end the trade war between the two nations. A continuing threat of tariffs hanging over commerce between the world’s two largest economies would mean a deal would not end the risk of investing in businesses or assets that have been impacted by the trade war. “The threat of tariffs is not going away, ...

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