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

$10b fund for big projects
The cabinet yesterday gave the go-ahead for the setting up of a fund with money from the foreign currency reserves, which would be used for government investment in long-term projects. Sources said the fund, called “sovereign wealth fund”, could be set up as soon as this July and be used for investments in seven sectors, including power, energy and in large infrastructure projects. “Primarily the fund will start with $2 billion and it will be raised in phases to $10 billion in five years,” Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam told reporters after a cabinet meeting at his secretariat office yesterday.

Tk 352cr more written off in Jul-Sept
Country’s scheduled banks wrote off more bad debts worth Tk 352 crore in the July-September period of 2016 with IFIC Bank and Janata Bank shedding the highest amounts of dud loans in the period. IFIC Bank and Janata Bank wrote off total Tk 176.75 crore in bad loans to bring down their defaulted loans and clean up their balance sheets. The banking sector, however, in the period recovered Tk 245.85 crore from the amount of bad loans they had earlier written off.

Banks, FIs want BB to lower rate for green refinance fund
Leading bankers and experts have urged the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to lower the interest rate of refinancing fund, commensurate with the existing lower interest rate scenario, in promoting green financing across the country. They made the call at a discussion on Monday, stressing the need for rationalisation of the interest rates to ensure effective and beneficial use of the green refinancing fund.

DCCI urges NBR to reduce VAT rate at 7%
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has called upon the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to set the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate at 7% from the proposed 15%, with implementation of the new VAT law from July this year. DCCI Board of Directors led by its President Abul Kasem Khan came up with the plea at a meeting with NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman held at NBR headquarters, says a DCCI press release. The standard VAT rate is 6% in Malaysia, 7% in Singapore, 10% in Indonesia, 5% in Nigeria while 12% in the Philippines, said DCCI President while placing the charter of demand.

Bangladesh’s stocks break two-day losing streak
Bangladesh’s stocks returned to the green on Monday, after remaining down in the last two sessions, as optimistic investors took position on lucrative stocks. Brokers said the market rebounded after two days’ heavy downfall in prices as optimistic investors went on buying spree amid lucrative bargain opportunity fundamental stocks.

Bank deposits rise despite falling interest rates
Bank deposits maintained a robust 13 percent growth year-on-year in December, despite declining interest rates. Bankers and analysts attributed the deposit growth to a lack of popularity of alternative investment tools available in the market. The ease of converting deposits to cash and its safety also encourages people to park their money in the banking system, they added.

Bangladesh’s export earnings grow by 4.36% in seven months
Bangladesh’s overall export earnings grew by 4.36 per cent in the first seven months of the current fiscal year despite slowdown in the US economic growth. The export earnings rose to US$20.11 billion during the July-January period of the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 from $19.27 billion in the same period of the FY 16, according to statistics from the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), released on Monday. The earnings during the period under review fell 4.43 per cent short of the period’s target of US$ 21.04 billion set by the government earlier.

Power overruns dev budget
The Power Division is poised to overrun its budget. It has already sought Tk 6.79 billion more in the revised annual development recipe for fully funding projects undertaken for this fiscal. Sources said Monday the Division placed the demand for higher funds as it will require more money for implementing some ongoing power-generation, transmission and distribution projects.

BBN/SSR/AD