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

Allow unused public land to build industrial zones: Business leaders yesterday urged the government to set up industrial zones with adequate utility and infrastructure facilities in unused public land and on the premises of closed nationalised mills. Setting up industrial zones in such a manner will save arable land and accelerate industrialisation, they said. The businesses also called for reducing bank interest rates, maintaining political stability and creating a business friendly environment. The demands came at a meeting of the business community with three key ministers, organised by Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) at its office in Dhaka. The ministers said they will consider some of the valid recommendations. Syed Manzur Elahi, chairman of Apex Group, said industrial plants are being set up using farm land. “So, we need industrial zones immediately.”

Listed cos hide information in financial disclosures: The listed companies are deliberately hiding important and compulsory information in their financial disclosures, thus misguiding the investors. A research conducted under the Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh and the World Bank (WB) revealed the companies' tendency in hiding mandatory information while making financial disclosures. The research was conducted on 94 listed companies by taking into account 190 items, which are supposed to be disclosed in financial disclosures in accordance with the Company Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission Rules 1987 and International Accounting Standard (IAS).

Dhaka to request KL to ease visa process:Malaysian home affairs minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is scheduled to hold meeting with expatriates welfare and overseas employment minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban on Monday. During the meeting, Bangladesh government would request the Malaysian home minister to ease visa processing for the selected Bangladeshi workers for the Malaysian plantation jobs, EWOE ministry secretary Khondaker Showkat Hossain told New Age on Sunday.

Footwear makers now set sights on home market: The country's leading footwear manufacturers, mainly the exporters, have now set their sights on grabbing the multi-billion-taka local market, alongside their usual exports, insiders said. They said the present strategy of retail marketing in the country would help the exporters sustain in business in the long run in case of any setback in their export activities.

Muhith opposes IMF proposal to monitor soft loans: Finance minister AMA Muhith has opposed an International Monetary Fund proposal saying monitoring concessional debts was not in the jurisdiction of the multilateral lending agency. He made the observation after a meeting with visiting IMF South Asian executive director Rakesh Mohan at the secretariat on Sunday. Early this year, the IMF in a proposal wanted to monitor the amount, quality and interest rate of soft loans the country borrows from the World Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency and Asian Development Bank.  It suggested that the country should not take concessional loans that do not have 35 per cent grant element.

Bangladesh launches web site with RMG sector database: The government has launched a website containing a database of the country’s garment sector in  line with the action plan for restoration of US generalised system of preference (GSP). The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments under Labour and Employment ministry of Bangladesh, in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has prepared the database. State Minister for Labour and Employment M Mujibul Haque Chunnu inaugurated the website, www.dife.gov.bd, on Sunday aiming to provide different information relating to the number of workers and owners of 3,498 garment units across the country.

Bangladesh’s stocks close lower: Bangladesh’s stocks closed lower on Sunday with turnover dropped further as investors remained shaky. The prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) — DSEX ended at 4,478.68 points, shedding 29.36 points or 0.65 per cent from previous session. The DS30, comprising blue chips lost 14.92 points or 0.92 per cent to close at 1,593.42 points. The DSE Index (DSES) went down by 8.05 points or 0.82 per cent to close at 973.56 points. Turnover value on the DSE came down to BDT 2.77 billion, registering 7.36 per cent decline over the previous session’s value.

Bangladesh seeks expanded trade privileges from China: Bangladesh has sought duty-free access for 17 additional products to China, to reduce trade imbalance between the two countries, which is heavily tilted in favour of China. The trade imbalance between China and Bangladesh is worth $5.87 billion in fiscal 2012-13, according to data from the commerce ministry. The proposed products include polymers, gloves, silk and silk waste, wiping cloth, leather footwear outer soles, lead-acid batteries and synthetic fibre.

BBN/SSR/AD-31Mar14-9:39 am (BST)