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ACI eyes stake in digital banking, aviation businesses

The publicly traded conglomerate has to invest Tk10 crore for a stake in the upcoming digital bank

In continuation of its exploration for new business windows, ACI Ltd now eyes a 5% stake in a proposed digital bank “Kori Digital Plc”, according to the Dhaka Stock Exchange.

The publicly traded conglomerate has to invest Tk10 crore for a stake in the upcoming digital bank.

The Bangladesh Bank called for applications for digital bank licences after finalising and publishing the guidelines to introduce digital banks in the country. Experts said digital banks could revolutionise banking penetration by reaching the unbanked and micro-merchants.

In its meeting on Wednesday, the ACI board of directors also decided to open a subsidiary company, “ACI Avionics and Airlines Services Limited,” to enter the aviation business.

ACI Ltd would provide 77% of the initial paid-up capital of Tk1 crore while the authorised capital of the proposed company would be Tk50 crore, said the company in its price-sensitive information disclosure, adding, the plan would be executed at the earliest convenience subject to the approval of the authorities concerned.

Declining to share further details of the aviation business plan, a senior ACI official told TBS that the company would have options to operate with both helicopters and aeroplanes.

ACI, the successor of British Imperial Chemical, has expanded its business in a wide range of fields, including consumer products, agribusiness, automobile and construction equipment, and supermarket chains.

Leveraged expansion made the company interest rate-sensitive, as soaring interest drastically hurts its net profits.

ACI Ltd shares with a face value of Tk10 closed at the floor price of Tk260.2 apiece on the DSE on Thursday.

Source: The Business Standard

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