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

Commercial papers: short-cut to funds

A new money market instrument — commercial paper — is gaining popularity among companies owing to its low cost and easy access. At least four companies have so far raised Tk 345 crore through six commercial papers since its introduction in the country in October 2013, with half of the funds collected in just the last four months. Many companies are interested in CP as it is a low-cost alternative to bank loans, said Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director and chief executive of Eastern Bank that introduced the short-term debt instrument in Bangladesh.   

PC under pressure to approve politically-motivated projects

The Planning Commission (PC) has been coming under intense pressure in recent months from a number of ministries and divisions to approve unimportant and politically-motivated development projects. The PC has already approved a few such projects and is about to do the same in the case of some other projects, according to a PC official.  Last month the PC had to approve the Tk 4.38 billion Itna-Mithamoin-Ostogram road construction project of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in no time. It could not even scrutinise the project properly.  There was massive pressure to endorse it, the official said.

EU buyers disqualify 1 RMG factory, warn 13 more

Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a platform led by the European brands and retailers, on Monday announced a local apparel making company disqualified for producing cloths for the Accord signatory due to noncompliance. The Accord also issued warning letters to another 13 factories where remedial works for ensuring safety were not satisfactory. The EU retailers group in their discloser said recently Accord engineers identified serious fire safety lapses in Mega Chois Knitwear Ltd located at Ashulia and asked the authority to evacuate the building temporarily for necessary remedial works, but factory owner refused.

Bangladesh Bank purchases $64m from 5 banks

The central bank purchased US$64 million more from five commercial banks on Monday to help keep the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market stable, officials said, “We’re is purchasing the greenback from the banks directly at market rate to protect the interests of exporters and migrant workers by keeping the exchange rate of the Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against the US dollar stable,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka. The US dollar was quoted at Tk 77.80 in the inter-bank forex market unchanged from the previous level, market operators said.

Non-banks asked to depend less on call money

The central bank has recently asked non-bank financial institutions to reduce their dependence on call money — a short-term bank loan repayable on demand. The directive has forced many non-banks to adjust their additional exposure, causing a fall in interest rate and a rise in transactions. “We have been asked verbally to bring down our reliance on call money, which doesn’t generate any revenue for the government,” the chief executive of a non-bank said.

Oil plunges to a 6-year low
Extremely cheap oil is back, and it may get even cheaper. Crude plunged 4% to as low as $42.85 a barrel on Monday.  That’s the lowest price since March 2009 and marks the fifth consecutive day of losses, reports CNN. This should bring smiles to the faces of the millions of American drivers who have watched gasoline prices creep higher in recent weeks. A month ago, people were talking about an “oil comeback.” Now that looks like just a mirage.

Towel makers get lifeline after hike in ‘Jhut’ prices
The government has hiked export prices of ‘Jhut’, in a move that will offer lifeline for scores of terry towel makers, while boosting supplies for spinning mills, a top export official said. Garment ‘Jhut’ becomes a major raw material for terry towel industry and a section of textile mills after being processed. The decision was taken at a recent meeting, where export prices of a tonne of coloured ‘Jhut’ has been re-fixed at US$ 235 from its existing rate of $140.

BBN/SSR/AD-18Mar15-10:29 am (BST)