Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Highlights of Monday’s newspapers:

The Financial Express:

–Leading businesses and experts suggested Sunday the use of entre-pot and re-export facility as an alternative to transit or transshipment to help grow local entrepreneurship.
They expressed the view that the alternative would protect the best interests of the country.

— The growth of overall deposit with the country’s banking system witnessed a rising trend in recent months mainly because of higher inflow of remittances, decreasing net sales of savings certificates and sluggish stock market.

— The Bangladesh currency has been depreciating against the US dollar over the past three years owing to higher domestic inflation and rising import bills, traders and bankers said on Sunday.

The Daily Star:

— History has repeated itself in Narayanganj city. Selina Hayat Ivy won the peaceful mayoral polls yesterday, defeating the ruling Awami League-backed candidate Shamim Osman by over one lakh votes. Her father Ali Ahmed Chunka, a popular labour leader, won the Narayanganj municipality chairman polls in 1974 without the support of his own party, the then ruling AL.

— Stocks opened the week with a big jolt, and the key index of the premier bourse slumped more than 4 percent amid street protests yesterday. The General Index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, DGEN, slid 231 points to 5,083. The slide prompted a group of retail investors to take to the streets in front of the DSE around 12:30pm.

— Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said electricity produced by a coal-fired plant to be set up in collaboration with India will be a little pricier than power from a gas-based plant. The minister spoke to reporters at his secretariat office after a meeting with the new Japanese Ambassador Shiro Sadoshima.

The New Age:

— The ruling Awami League-backed candidate Shamim Osman, running for the mayoral position in the Narayanganj City Corporation polls, on Sunday alleged that the Election Commission and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami had together conspired against him for his defeat.

–Voters were enthusiastic about the use of electronic voting machines but a good number of elderly and uneducated people faced difficulties to cast their vote with the device in the Narayanganj City Corporation polls held on Sunday. Voters after casting their vote with EVMs expressed a mixed reaction to the introduction of the device.

— The market price-earnings ratio of the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Sunday hit five-year low of 13.47 as the stocks continued to lose value because of panic-driven sales by investors. Besides, Tk 1,14,339.51 crore have so far been wiped out from the DSE’s market capitalisation since the market capitalisation hit the record high on December 5, 2010.

BBN/SSR/AD-31Oct11-10:26 am (BST)