Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The BBN (Bangladesh Business News) has prepared the morning news highlights compiling reports, published by different newspapers and news portals in Bangladesh.

Factories disappear into thin air after taking duty benefits

Some 476 factories have vanished after taking tax and duty-free benefits under the bonded warehouse facility, costing the country hundreds of crores in lost revenues, a recent survey found. The Customs Bond Commissi-onerate or CBC, which conducted the survey, has now suspended licences of the firms and informed the banks about the move. It has also issued a notice to all customs houses and VAT commissionerates to stop the companies’ import and export activities. Some 314 companies out of the 476 firms owe Tk 726 crore in revenues to the government for non-compliance with the rules of the bonded warehouse facilities, according to the government agency.

BB announces incentives for good borrowers
Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Thursday issued a fresh policy for good borrowers aiming to establish a sound credit culture in Bangladesh, officials said.  A borrower will be considered as good one if his or her loan accounts – continuous, demand and term – are unclassified-standard for consecutively three years, the central bank said in a circular.  “The policy will help to increase the profitability of banks through strengthening loan portfolios,” Deputy Governor of the Bangladesh Bank SK Sur Chowdhury told the BBN in Dhaka.

Bangladesh seeks support from foreign partners for RMG sector

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali yesterday said the RMG industry and the government are determined to bring in changes whatever might be necessary for its further development, and sought support from foreign friends and partners. “Some important constraints are there for which Bangladesh requires support from friends and partners,” he told a high-level conference on “RMG Industry and Beyond: Bangladesh – Framing the Future” arranged at the initiative of the Danish government at a city hotel.

Tariff commission recommends signing PTA with Myanmar

The government may start negotiation with Myanmar for signing a bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) aimed at expanding market for Bangladeshi products in the neighbouring country, a commerce ministry study suggested. The proposed PTA may initially cover only trade in goods in which both the countries will provide tariff concession to each others for agreed lists with limited products, said the study conducted by Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC). BTC, a statutory public body, has recently forwarded the study report recommending signing a PTA with Myanmar to the commerce ministry for its consideration, an official of the tariff commission said.

Imports continue to drop
The country’s import expenditure continues to fall for second month in February due to drop in capital machinery import amid the ongoing political crisis. The letter of credit (LC) settlement value dropped by around 5% to $2.71bn in second month of the year compared to $2.85bn in the same period last year, according to the Bangladesh Bank data released yesterday. The capital machinery import, that declined by 14.5% to $151m during the month compared to the previous month, was mainly accounted for negative import growth.   

Bangladesh’s stocks break losing streak
Bangladesh’s stock returned to the green on Thursday, breaking five sessions’ losing streak with turnover dipping below BDT 2.0 billion-mark as most of the investors reluctant to make fresh investment.  The market opened with a positive note which sustained throughout the session.
At the end of the session, DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went up by 25.20 points or 0.56 percent to close at 4,468.02 points.

Danish minister calls for more focus on worker rights

Bangladesh has progressed a great deal in workplace safety and labour rights in the garment sector after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen said yesterday. Textile production in the country has now changed and is getting a better environment, and at the same time, business is improving as well, Jensen told reporters at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka.

WB approves $200m to improve livelihoods in Bangladesh
The World Bank on Thursday approved $200 million in interest-free credit to improve livelihoods of approximately 5.0 million poor people in the rural areas of Bangladesh.The Nuton Jibon Livelihood Improvement Project will benefit the rural poor in the poorest Upazilas in 21 districts, building on the activities supported by the predecessor Social Investment Program Project, a World Bank statement said.

H&M to buy more apparel products for Bangladesh
Swedish fashion chain H&M is going to pursue an aggressive approach to buy more apparel products from Bangladesh. “We’ve aggressive growth plan [for Bangladesh],” H&M Senior Executive Johan Stellansson told a workshop on multi-stakeholder engagement on water resources management in the capital Dhaka on Wednesday. He also said Bangladesh needs aggressive implementation plan, if the country wants to export $50 billion worth of readymade garment products by 2021. Private sector operators like H&M will play a facilitating role in this regard.

BBN/SSR/AD-20Mar15-9:40 am (BST)