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

It’s all guesstimates yet
The real extent of loss that the economy, in its various sectors, has suffered because of hartals and blockade can hardly be quantified with any fair degree of accuracy or objectivity, a cross section of economists told the FE. This, according to them, can only be a guesstimate. The loss in reality can be either higher or lower than what a number of trade promotion organisations (TPOs) like chamber bodies, business associations etc., have so far estimated. There are both direct and indirect losses that are involved in any exercise for arriving at any precise figure, on a reasonably objective basis, economists observed.

Exporters fear growth may fall for unrest
Despite political and factory safety challenges at home and an image crisis abroad, apparel exports maintained positive growth during the first eight months of the current fiscal year. However, garment exporters fear the prospects may not remain the same in the coming months.“The growth might not last, and the impacts of the ongoing political unrest on garment exports will be evident soon,” said Atiqul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Loan procedure for cold storages relaxed
The central bank of Bangladesh has relaxed the procedure of bank loan for the owners of cold storages affected by ongoing political violence across the country, officials said. The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, in a circular said on Sunday that the affected cold storages would not have to make fresh down payment in case of taking fresh loan for working capital. However, the goods of the cold storage should cover the loan amount. Earlier on January 29, the central bank eased the loan repayment for the owners of the cold storages, allowing them five to eight years for paying back their outstanding loans.

Bank borrowing to go up

The government’s borrowing from the banks is set to leap abnormally in the rest of the fiscal year as mismatch between resource inflow and expenditure forced the finance ministry to go beyond its budget estimation. The ministry of finance last week decided to borrow Tk 8,250 crore for this month and another Tk 11,600 crore for next month from the banking sector. And the amount of bank borrowing for the final two months of the current financial year could be even more if the current dull business situation persists, a high official in the finance ministry said. The projected borrowings for March and April are nearly five times more than the amount borrowed during the first eight and half months of 2014-15 fiscal year. The amount borrowed from banking sector was Tk 2,045 crore as of February 15 of the current financial year.

Export earnings from US, Germany down in July-Feb

Bangladesh’s export earnings from two major markets, the US and Germany, inched down while from one of the emerging markets of Turkey slumped in the first eight months of the current fiscal year 2014-15. The earnings from some non-traditional markets like India, China and Australia, however, saw relatively good growth during the period, according to data released by the Export Promotion Bureau on Sunday. Businesses said that the country’s export to two North American countries — US and Canada — remained weak during the first half of the current fiscal year because of the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse and the subsequent negative campaign about the Bangladesh garment industry.

Bangladesh stocks’ continue losing streak

Bangladesh’s stocks extended their losing streak for the six running sessions on Sunday with sluggish trading activities as investors remained watchful amid continued political unrest. The market opened with a negative note which sustained throughout the session.  DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) went down further by 39.96 points or 0.85 percent to close at 4,624.94 points. The two other indices also closed lower. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips lost 18.64 points or 1.07 percent to close at 1,712.29 points.

Govt agrees to up VAT-free turnover ceiling to Tk 3.6m

The government has agreed to raise the ceiling of value added tax (VAT)-free annual turnover to Tk 3.6 million from the existing Tk 2.4 million for the small shop owners in line with the review committee’s proposal on VAT Act 2012. It also agreed to implement multiple rates of VAT system gradually instead of single rate of VAT, as mentioned in the Act. President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed disclosed these after a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the latter’s secretariat office on Sunday.

Development spending soars despite unrest

Development spending soared as much as 50 percent in February from the previous month in spite of the disrupting blockade and shutdowns for the most part. Last month, some Tk 5,040 crore was spent under the government’s annual development programme (ADP), in contrast to Tk 3,364 crore in January, according to statistics of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED). The spending is higher than in February last year, when political calm prevailed. Some Tk 3,361 crore was expended then. The prevailing political unrest is not getting in the way of ADP implementation, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters yesterday.

BBN/SSR/AD-09Mar15-10:46 am (BST)