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.

Apparel exports to new markets on the rise
Garment exports to non-traditional markets increased 3.4 percent year-on-year to $2.08 billion in July-December of the current fiscal year, according to data from Export Promotion Bureau. Except for the European Union, the US and Canada, Bangladesh considers all other countries as non-traditional markets. The government began giving cash incentives on garment exports to emerging markets to offset the fallout from financial meltdown that the world faced in 2007 and 2009.

Mirsarai economic hub’s first phase nears completion
Major development works like construction of connectivity roads, embankments and bridges and supply of drinking water for commissioning the first phase of Mirsarai Economic Zone have almost been completed. Government high officials on a spot inspection said the phase one of the economic zone in a 550-acre area would generate 100,000 employments after its successful completion.

Bad loans rise by 21pc to Tk 52,446cr in 2016
Bad loans, the worst type of defaulted loans, in the country’s banking sector increased by 20.60 per cent to Tk 52,445.65 crore in last year as the scheduled banks failed to recover their classified loans, said officials of Bangladesh Bank. They said a rise in financial scams in banks aggravated the situation. According to the latest BB data, the amount of bad loans was Tk 43,485.71 crore as of December 31, 2015.

Bangladesh’s imports up by 12.24% in seven months
Bangladesh’s overall imports grew by 12.24 per cent in the first seven months of the current fiscal year (FY), thanks to a jump by nearly 65 per cent increase in import of capital machinery, officials said. The actual import in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to US$26.55 billion during the July-January period of FY 2016-17 from $23.65 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank statistics. On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, rose by 12.32 per cent to $ 27.46 billion in the first seven months of FY 17 from $24.45 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Weekly Review: Bangladesh’s stocks rebound after single-week break
Bangladesh’s stocks bounced back to gaining streak last week that ended on Thursday after a single-week break as enthusiastic investors went on buying spree. Brokers said the market rebounded having optimistic support of large-cap issues, especially from bank, telecommunication and non-bank financial institutions sectors. The last week witnessed five trading sessions as usual. Of them, first session faced correction while last four closed higher.

Stock brokers demand 2-year tax holiday
Stock brokers of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) want a two-year tax holiday with waiver of gain tax on sales proceed of DSE shares in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2017-18. The leaders of the stock brokers also urged the government to increase tax-free amount of dividend for small investors from Tk25,000 to Tk1 lakh. DSE Brokers Association of Bangladesh (DBA) placed their demands to the managing director of the country’s premier bourse to include it in the list of demands to be placed to the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Big business groups not tempted by stockmarket
The biggest and most successful entrepreneurs in the country are yet to find the capital market a lucrative source of financing for their companies that they built over the years. The low interest rates in the money market and the opportunity to take foreign loans, the requirement for transparency and accountability for listed companies and inadequate fiscal and other financial benefits for listing put the entrepreneurs off. Take, for instance, the case of Meghna Group of Industries, which is one of the biggest conglomerates in Bangladesh, with an annual turnover of $2 billion (nearly Tk 16,000 crore) and asset of $1 billion.

Syndicated loans shrink as large projects become scarce
The volume of syndicated loans fell significantly in recent years mainly due to lack of large projects in the private sector. This highlights one unwanted development that financial institutions are gradually losing the good mode of financing. People, familiar with the development in banks and financial institutions, told the FE that syndicated loans fell both by number and volume. The syndicated loans amounted to Tk 102.51 billion in 2015, Tk 98.34 billion in 2014 and Tk 1,218.86 billion in 2013, the highest amount recorded.

BBN/SSR/AD