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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.

Imports soar to $35.8b in Jul-Feb
Bangladesh’s import payments grew 26.22 per cent or $7.44 billion in the first eight months of the fiscal year 2017-2018 against that of the same period in the previous fiscal year. Total import (freight on board) during the July-February of fiscal year 2018 increased to $35.82 billion while the figure was $28.379 billion in July-February in the previous fiscal, a Bangladesh Bank data released on Thursday showed.

Bangladesh adds asset with IMF in forex reserve
The central bank of Bangladesh has included the asset, lying with International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s currency-SDR (special drawing rights), in the country’s foreign exchange reserve calculation. Bangladesh’s forex reserve has got nearly US$200 million, equivalent to SDR 134 million, after including the asset, termed as reserve tranche position (RTP) in the estimation, according to officials.

PM asks banks to bring down interest rates to single digit
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has asked bankers to bring down the interest rates of loan to single digit to expedite investment in the country. “Interest rates have to be slashed and this should be in single digit. Or else, the investment will not accelerate along with the employment generation,” she said while receiving donations for her Relief and Welfare Fund from the Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) at her official residence Ganobhaban in the capital on Friday.

Six large ministries in slumber in polls year
Six of the 10 large ministries and divisions’ expenditures in the first half of 2017-18 were lower than a year earlier, unusual for an election year when the incumbent tends to go all guns blazing to impress the electorate. The biggest slump was witnessed in the railways ministry: between the months of July and December last year its expenditure was Tk 87 crore in contrast to Tk 2,400 crore a year earlier, according to a finance ministry report placed in the parliament on Wednesday.

SoEs’ divestment looks uncertain
The move to divest five state firms’ stakes on the stock market is unlikely to see daylight anytime soon as those are mired in deep financial trouble, a senior official said. The ministry of industries tapped Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd, Pragoti Industries Ltd, Bangladesh Insulator and Sanitary Ware Factory Ltd, Karnaphuli Paper Mills Ltd, and Chhatak Cement Company Ltd to make them profitable and eventually offload their shares.

Shortage of lighter vessels at Chittagong port: Cost of imported goods increases by Tk1 per kg
The cost of imported goods through the Chittagong port has increased by Tk1 per kilogram (kg) on average due to a shortage of lighter vessels, according to businesses. A lighter is a type of flat-bottomed barge used to transfer goods and passengers to and from moored ships.

AIBL ties up with Dmoney to launch ‘Digital Islami Wallet’ service
Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited (AIBL) and Dmoney Bangladesh, a financial technology service provider, signed an agreement to launch the country’s first ‘Digital Islami Wallet’ in Dhaka on Thursday. The Islami wallet will enable AIBL to extend its service perimeter and reach out to more subscribers, a press release of Dmoney said.

Current account deficit crosses $6.0b in July-Feb
Country’s current account deficit crosses $6.0 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year (FY18). Latest statistics, released by Bangladesh Bank, showed that current account deficit stood at $6.31 billion in July-February period of FY18. Current account registered a negative balance worth $0.96 million in the same period of the past fiscal year.