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Bangladesh, Dhaka (BBN) – Bangladesh Business News prepares Thursday’s evening business round up compiling reports, published by different newspapers and news portals.

Sonali Bank launches online payment gateway
Sonali Bank Limited has launched Sonali Payment Gateway, an online payment service, in a bid to make the financial transaction easier. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the service at the ministry on Thursday. On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Sonali Bank and the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, to facilitate the e-payment service.

Moderna CEO says vaccine likely to protect for ‘couple of years’
Moderna’s Covid-19 mRNA vaccine is likely to offer protection of up to a couple of years, its chief executive said on Thursday, even though more data is still needed to make a definitive assessment. The US biotech company, which stunned the world last year by coming up with a vaccine against the disease caused by the new coronavirus in just a few weeks, received approval for its shot from the European Commission on Wednesday. Given vaccines development and pharmacovigilance usually requires years, the protection duration of Covid-19 shots is a lingering question for scientists and regulators.

Trump now promises an ‘orderly transition’ of power after Congress confirms Biden win
President Donald Trump is now promising an “orderly transition” of power, tweeting through a surrogate early Thursday minutes after Congress formally confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president following an hourslong takeover of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters. A statement from the president on Twitter via deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino repeated baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, but included the reversal. “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

Asia-Pacific stocks higher as Dow jumps to new record overnight; China telco shares in Hong Kong plunge
Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high overnight despite unrest in Washington. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6% to close at 27,490.13 while the Topix index gained 1.68% to end its trading session at 1,826.30. Earlier during the session, the Nikkei shot as high as 27,624.73, and surpassed the recent 52-week intraday high of around 27,600 on Dec. 29 — a level not seen since August 1990. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 2.14% to close at 3,031.68.

Alibaba and Tencent shares fall after report says they could be added to U.S. blacklist
The shares of Alibaba and Tencent saw heavy falls on Thursday after a report, citing several people familiar with the matter, suggested the Trump administration could be about to add the Chinese tech giants to a U.S. blacklist. The conglomerates saw their shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange slide by around 4% after the report from The Wall Street Journal said that officials were considering prohibiting Americans from investing in the firms.

Oil steady after U.S. Capitol drama; tighter supplies in focus

Oil prices were steady on Thursday after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, with investors focusing on the likelihood of tighter supplies after Saudi Arabia unilaterally agreed to cut output. Brent crude was up 8 cents at $54.38 a barrel by 0125 GMT, after gaining 1.3% overnight. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 11 cents to $50.74, having slipped earlier in the Asian session. The contract rose 1.4% on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, said it would voluntarily cut one million barrels per day (bpd) of output in February and March, after OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, met earlier this week.