Muhith calls WB ex-chief Zoellick ‘worthless’


MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Monday slammed former World Bank President Robert Zoellick over the Padma Bridge graft conspiracy, calling him a very ‘bad’ and ‘worthless’ person. ‘On the last day of his tenure (June 30, 2011), this former World Bank president cancelled the Padma Bridge loan bringing an allegation that we’re conspiring to appoint a particular consultant and take bribe,’ he said. The minister was speaking at a ceremony marking the distribution of awards among the highest VAT payers of Dhaka International Trade Fair-2018 at the National Board of Revenue (NBR) conference room. He also said ...

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bKash’s cash back offer at Book Fair

cash back

MNA Business Desk: bKash Limited, the largest mobile financial service provider in the country offers 10 percent cash back to its customer if they purchase books from the month long ‘Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2018’  through bKash payment. Around 350 leading publishers will accept bKash payment at the book fair which began on February 1, 2017 at the Bangla Academy premises. The customers can avail the cash back offer till February 28, the last day of the fair. bKash has been extended the same offer to its customers since 2014. To make the purchase, bKash customers  have to dial *247# ...

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Stock markets continue to experience freefall


MNA Business Desk: The core index of the Dhaka bourse fell 133 points or 2.21 per cent on Sunday, the biggest single-day freefall in the last 55 months, as nervous investors sold shares in bulk, fearing further decline. However, it terms of percentage, Sunday’s fall is the 32 months highest fall as DSE core index fell 98 points or 2.34 per cent on April 26, 2015. Market operators said growing political tension coupled with fears of liquidity shortage due to the central bank’s latest directive to slash the limit of banks’ advance-deposit ratio (ADR) kept most of the investors at ...

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Bitcoin skids amid broad cryptocurrency sell-off


MNA Business Desk: Cryptocurrencies plunged on Friday, with bitcoin at one point sliding below $8,000 and headed for its biggest weekly loss since December 2013, amid worries about a regulatory clampdown globally. The currencies have come off their lows but analysts said the sell-off was probably not over. This week’s slump brought the total market value of cryptocurrencies down to around $400 billion, half the high it reached in January, according to industry tracker The market value of cryptocurrencies is calculated by multiplying the number of digital coins in existence by their price, although many question whether that is ...

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WB approves $300 million loans for BD

secondary education

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank on Wednesday approved a $300 million loans for improving the transparency as well as efficiency of major cash transfer programmes in Bangladesh and benefitting about 5 million of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people. With the finance, the World Bank’s total commitment in the social protection sector stands at over $1.3 billion. The credit provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, is interest-free and repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period and 0.75 percent service charge. “Bangladesh has cut by half the number of people ...

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Bangladesh Bank clips ADR limit

capital flight

MNA Business Desk: The Bangladesh Bank issued a directive to banks to bring down their advance deposit ratio or ADR to highest 83.50 per cent down from over 85 per cent now, by 30 June. This will be applicable for the conventional banks while such limit for the Islamic banks and the Islamic branches of the conventional banks will be highest 89 per cent, down from over 90 per cent now, where it is termed as IDR. As per the circular, until the next directive, the conventional banks will have to maintain their ADR at 83.50 per cent (80.50 per ...

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Saudi Arabia tries to comfort the investors


MNA Business Desk: Saudi is freeing its billionaire detainees. Now it has to woo investors. Saudi Arabia tries to comfort the investors. Saudi Arabia is winding down a spectacular crackdown into alleged corruption after agreeing to release one of its highest profile suspects and recovering billions of dollars in cash and much more in real estate. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire global investor with stakes in Citigroup (C), Twitter (TWTR) and Apple (AAPL), was released on Saturday. The conditions of his freedom are unclear, and the country’s ministry of information said it would not comment on his situation. In ...

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Dhaka, Jakarta sign five instruments

five instruments

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh and Indonesia on Sunday signed five instruments, including two memorandums of understanding (MoUs), aiming to enhance bilateral relations, trade and investment, and boosting cooperation. The instruments were inked in presence of visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister’s Office. Tofail Ahmed and Minister of Trade of Indonesia Enggartiasto Lusitania signed the joint ministerial statement on launching negotiations for Bangladesh-Indonesia preferential trade agreement. The MoU on development of the integrated gas infrastructure and independent power producer was signed by Chairman of Bangladesh Power Development Board Khaled Mahmud and Vice ...

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ASEAN leaders agree to boost maritime cooperation


MNA Business Desk: The leaders of India and south-east Asia agreed on Thursday to boost their maritime ties at a summit in New Delhi, as they seek to balance the increasing weight of China across the region. India is hosting the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Regional Cooperation (ASEAN) and the summit comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pursuing an “Act East” policy of developing ties with these countries. The Indian and ASEAN leaders agreed “to establish a mechanism for greater cooperation in the maritime domain sector”, Preeti Saran, secretary in the Indian foreign ...

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WB chief economist Romer quits


MNA Business Desk: World Bank’s chief economist Paul Romer stepped down on Wednesday after he came under fire for saying that Chile’s rankings in a closely watched “Doing Business” report may have been deliberately skewed under socialist President Michelle Bachelet. Romer’s resignation, just 15 months after taking the job, was announced in an internal note that was posted by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and seen by Reuters. “Paul Romer has informed me that he is stepping down from his position as chief economist, effective immediately,” Kim said in the announcement. “I appreciated Paul’s frankness and honesty, and I ...

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Bangladesh ranks 34th in IDI index


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh showed stable and qualitative improvement in major economic indicators last year, with leading 40 countries in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Among 74 emerging economies, the country this year secured the 34th position in the IMF’s annual index, which reflects quality of economic performance in a particular country. In the index, Bangladesh also performed far better than India (ranked 62), Pakistan (ranked 52) and Sri Lanka (ranked 40). The index also includes 29 developed economies, headed by Norway. Iceland, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Denmark followed the Scandinavian state on the top ...

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Consumers get Tk 29,000 at DITF


MNA Business Desk: National Consumers Rights Protection Department fined over Tk 1 lakh in 22 days of Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) on charge of selling things for excess price, conducting false advertisement, cheating in weight. The National Consumer Rights Protection Department authorities gave Tk 29,000 to the victim consumers against their claims. The consumers filed 24 complaints against Haji Biriyani, Haji Biriyani and Kebab House, Mithai and others. Among the complaints, four were not proved, five were solved through mutual understanding, and fined 15 stalls as complaints were proved. Investigation is going on over four other complaints. Pramod Kumar ...

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Amazon introduces ‘no checkouts’ supermarket

Whole Foods

MNA Business Desk: In a move that could revolutionize the way we buy groceries, Amazon opens its first supermarket without checkouts — human or self-service — to shoppers on Monday. Amazon Go, in Seattle in the US, has been tested by staff for the past year, reported news agency. It uses an array of ceiling-mounted cameras to identify each customer and track what items they select, eliminating the need for billing. Purchases are billed to customers’ credit cards when they leave the store. Before entering, shoppers must scan the Amazon Go smartphone app. Sensors on the shelves add items to ...

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Capital market not a place for speculations


MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Saturday said the share market is not a place for speculations and those who think so are its enemies. ‘The present government has been able to strengthen the base of the country’s share market. Now it’s time for its further development,’ he said. Muhith was addressing the ‘Investors and Entrepreneurs Conference and Investment Education Fair-2018’ in Sylhet, reported news agency. ‘The share market is very important for the empowerment of mass people,’ Muhith said urging potential investors to invest in the share market after attaining proper knowledge about it. BSEC Chairman Dr ...

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Bangladesh to Produce Jute Drink


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation has started building a factory for commercial production of jute leaf drink, an alternative to tea, in Jamalpur’s Sarishabari. State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam unveiled the foundation stone of the plant in Jhaluparha area on Friday. “We are trying to diversify the use of jute with an aim to bring back the golden days of this fibre. New technologies are being invented. In continuation of these efforts, this green jute drink is coming,” the state minister said. “It will enrich the jute industry,” he added. The project’s adviser and inventor ...

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MNA Business Desk:, an online classifieds marketplace where both buyers and sellers can interact directly, has begun its journey in Bangladesh. Commencing in 2017 on a trial basis, the site has started its full-fledged journey on 1 January, 2018, said a press release. The platform, both as a mobile phone app and a classified site, has been developed in such a way where a person can easily sell/buy his/her desired products. The ease of inserting an ad for free will be maintained here. The e-Commerce business in Bangladesh is gaining popularity day by day. People are getting interested in ...

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New wage board for RMG workers

Garment workers

MNA Business Desk: The government has formed a new wage board to review the existing wages of the garment industry workers, reported news agency. State minister for labour and employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu came up with the information at a press conference at the Secretariat on Sunday. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) made a request to form the wage board. BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman and women’s affairs secretary of Jatiya Sramik League Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan have been included in the board with four other permanent members, said the state minister. The committee will submit a report with recommendations within ...

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China’s foreign trade rose 14.2 per cent

foreign trade

MNA Business Desk: Chinese foreign trade rose 14.2 per cent in 2017, helped by an increase of 18.7 per cent in imports, putting an end to two consecutive years of declines, reported news agency. The Asian giant’s total foreign trade volume reached 27.79 trillion Yuan ($4.28 trillion), Efe news reported. The Chinese trade surplus stood at 2.87 trillion Yuan with a decline of 14.2 per cent compared to 2016, according to Customs data which are always reported in Yuan. China’s imports last year totalled 12.46 trillion Yuan, 18.7 per cent more than in 2016. Exports of goods and services of ...

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BD economy may grow 6.4%: WB

secondary education

MNA Business Desk: The World Bank has revised upwards its growth forecast for Bangladesh and said the economy is expected to attain a 6.4 percent growth in current fiscal. In last June, the bank predicted a 6 percent growth for the financial year. The revised growth forecast came at the global lender’s half-yearly report ‘Global Economic Prospect’ released on Wednesday. However, the government eyes an economic growth of 7.8 percent in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Earlier, the bank predicted a 6 percent GDP growth in the 2016-17 fiscal which has now been revised at 7.2 percent. According to the Bangladesh ...

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ECNEC approves 13 projects

13 projects

MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved 13 projects involving an overall cost of Tk 124.15 billion, reported news agency. The approval came from the weekly ECNEC meeting held at NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital with ECNEC chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Briefing reporters after the meeting, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “A total of 13 projects were approved Tuesday involving an overall cost of Tk 124.15 billion.” Of the total estimated cost, Tk 118.22 billion will come from the national exchequer, while ...

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Coca-Cola launches jeera flavoured ‘RimZim’

alcoholic drink

MNA Business Desk: Multinational beverage company Coca-Cola on Sunday launched a new Jeera flavoured beverage tilted ‘RimZim’, said a press release. The new soft drink item of the renowned company was formally opened at a programme at Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC). The new drink item launch adds to the suite of beverage options that are currently available for the Coca-Cola’s consumers in the country, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Kinley Water, Kinley Soda, Coca-Cola Zero and Sprite Zero. PET bottle 250 ml RimZim is the first being rolled out in key towns of the country at a price ...

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Trade Fair witnesses huge visitors


MNA Business Desk: Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) witnessed a huge influx of visitors on Friday, the first weekend of the month-long trade fair at Sher-e Bangla Nagar in the capital. As city dwellers took the opportunity of the holiday to visit the fair with friends and family, the 23rd DITF saw a handsome amount of rush of the visitors. Stalls of food items, kitchen utensils, electronic appliances, ladies clothes and cosmetics experienced the largest portion of crowd, while children were found enjoying rides in the children park section. According to the sources at Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the 23rd ...

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Zulfikar Aziz new chairman of Ctg port

Zulfikar Aziz

MNA Business Desk: Commodore Zulfikar Aziz of Bangladesh Navy has been appointed the new chairman of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), reported news agency. Aziz will replace rear admiral M Khalid Iqbal as the new chairman. Public administration ministry attached him to the shipping ministry on Tuesday, according to an order of the ministry signed by deputy secretary Numeri Zaman. In the same order, captain Khandaker Akter Hossain of Bangladesh Air Force was appointed as member (Engineering) of the CPA. Outgoing chairman rear admiral M Khalid Iqbal was transferred to Bangladesh Armed Forces. The CPA is a government agency responsible for ...

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Remittance inflow slides in 2017


MNA Business Desk: The year 2017 saw a slide in the country’s remittance earning comparing to that in 2016. The inward remittance also showed a fall in just concluded month of December compared to that of November of the year 2017. The Bangladesh Bank official statistics show that the country received $13.538 billion in 2017 calendar year while it received $13.701 billion in the previous year. Officials said that the inflow did not show any improvement despite a number of measures taken by the central bank. They attributed the declining financial situation in the Middle-East nations to the fall in ...

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Saudi Arabia, UAE introduce VAT for first time


MNA Business Desk: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the first time from Monday. It is a five per cent tax on most goods and services to boost revenue. The VAT will be applied on food, clothes, electronics and gasoline, phone, water and electricity bills, as well as hotel reservations, reported news agency. Some outgoings were exempt from the tax or given a zero-tax rating, including medical treatment, financial services and public transport. The UAE estimates that in the first year, VAT income will be around 12 billion dirhams ($3.3 billion). ...

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DITF-2018 begins tomorrow


MNA Business Desk: The Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF)-2018 will begin at the ground on the west of Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city tomorrow (1 January). Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the month-long 23rd trade fair organized jointly by the commerce ministry and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The authorities concerned have already completed all preparations to hold the fair on 31.53 acres of land in a peaceful atmosphere. A total of 520 stalls and pavilions, including 64 premium pavilions, 27 foreign pavilions and 8 mini foreign pavilions, have been constructed in ...

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Country’s 1st specialised fish market launched


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC) launched the country’s first specialised government fish market in Dhaka’s Jatrabari area. Its aim is to ensure marketing and sales of fish in hygienic environment in mega-city Dhaka that is faced with a variety of public health hazards, reports news agency. The market, the six-storied fisheries centre, has been constructed at a cost of Tk 7.3.9 million under a project titled Fish Marketing Facilities Installation, according to an official handout. There are 183 rooms, including 61 storage rooms, a bank and a restaurant in the specialised market styled “Dhaka Metropolitan Fish Marketing ...

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