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.

Acquittal sparks call for apology
Three former senior executives of SNC-Lavalin Group in Canada were acquitted in the Padma bridge corruption conspiracy case, a development that prompted calls for apology from those who were vocal against the alleged graft attempt. On Friday, Justice Ian Nordheimer of the Ontario Superior Court in Canada ruled that he had serious concerns about three applications the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) filed in 2011 to get court approval for using wiretaps as the case evidence. The RCMP had sought the approval as it probed allegations that SNC staff planned to bribe officials in Bangladesh to try to win a $50 million contract to supervise construction of the country’s Padma bridge project.

BASIC to get Tk2,100cr as recap bonds
The government has decided to issue a total of Tk2,100 crore interest-free BASIC Bank Recapitalisation Bond in phases to the cash hungry state-owned bank, said official sources. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the finance ministry’s proposal last month. Bank and Financial Institutions Division sources said the Bank Division Secretary Enusur Rahman has called an inter-ministrial meeting to finalise the BASIC Bank Recapitalisation Bond proposal after the return of finance minister from Italy.

Fin min’s draft guidelines set board size at 9
Finance ministry has drafted a set of guidelines on forming board of directors of the subsidiary companies of the state-run banks and non-bank financial institutions with the provision that the size of the board would be nine-member. The ministry has recently sent the draft to the Bangladesh Bank seeking its opinion. A central bank official said that the state-run banks and NBFIs were now structuring the respective boards of subsidiary companies following their own guidelines. But the state-run banks and NBFIs will have to follow the government directives to form the board of their subsidiary companies after finalizing the guidelines, he said.

BANGLADESH’S TRADE DEFICIT WIDENS BY 25% IN H1
Bangladesh’s overall trade deficit widened by 25 per cent in the first half (H1) of the current fiscal year (FY) mainly due to higher growth of import payments than export earnings. The trade gap rose to $4.51 billion during the July-December period of the FY 2016-17 from $3.61 billion in the same period of the last fiscal, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. Talking to BBN, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said the trade deficit may widen further in the coming months if the existing slower growth of export earnings compared to import payments continue.

Stocks back to black
Dhaka stocks rebounded strongly last week after plummeting in the previous week as investors’ bargain hunting in the week infused optimism into the market. The key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, DSEX, added 275 per cent, or 147 points, over the week to close at 5,512.46 points on Thursday after 253-points fall in the previous week. Before the previous week’s fall, the DSEX had gained 982 points during a relentless surge in share prices in 13 weeks. In last week, turnover on the bourse, however, declined by 23.14 per cent to Tk 737 crore compared with that of Tk 959 crore in the previous week.

Accord wants unified approach to reduce RMG audit, inspection cost
A uniform standard of social audit as well as safety inspection can help both garment manufacturers and brands to reduce cost and time, the Accord has said. Joris Oldenziel, head of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement of Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, came up with the remarks while talking to a group of journalists at his office in the Netherlands. Separate social audits with several standards cost the manufacturers and the buyers high while it is a waste of money by both of them, which is not desirable, Joris said.

Garment exports to UK drop amid Brexit fears
Garment shipments to the UK, Bangladesh’s third largest export destination, declined 5.19 percent in the first half of 2016-17 in what can be termed as a harbinger of the Brexit fallout, expected to take effect in 2019. Between July and December last year, Bangladesh’s garment exports to the UK stood at $1.53 billion, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

Biman in trouble over VRS loan repayment
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is in trouble with the loan it had taken for settling pension/gratuity dues of its employees who embraced the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in 2007. The national flag-carrier in a letter sent on January 8 this year to the secretary of the civil aviation and tourism ministry sought conversion of the entire loan liability worth about Tk 4.19 billion into government’s equity in it (Biman). The liability includes a principal amount of Tk. 2.91 billion and interest worth Tk. 1.29 billion.

BBN/SSR/AD