First Security Islami Bank’s sponsor to sell his entire holding

Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, who is a sponsor of the First Security Islami Bank, has expressed his intention to sell his entire holding in the bank.

According to a filing on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Tuesday, at present, the sponsor holds 2,425,500 shares of the bank out of the total 104.60 crore shares.

As per the disclosure, he will sell his entire holding of the bank at the prevailing market price in the block market through the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) within the next 30 working days.

The shares of the bank are being traded at the floor price at Tk9.80 each. So, the entire share selling value is Tk2.38 crore at the market price.

Earlier on 8 May, Farzana Parveen, one of the directors of the bank, expressed her intention to buy 32.16 lakh shares in the block market within 30 days.

As of July 2022, she holds 4.75 crore shares of the bank, according to First Security Islami Bank’s data.

According to its audited financials for last year, First Security Islami Bank reported a 12% lower profit of Tk296.15 in 2022, compared to 2021.

The bank has recommended a 10% stock dividend to its shareholders, which is subject to the approval of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).

The board has approved the dividend but is yet to get approval from the general shareholders in the annual general meeting (AGM) which is scheduled to be held on 20 June this year.

In the January-March quarter of 2023, its net profit after tax declined by 32% to Tk38.71 crore.

Source: The Business Standard
Screenshot 2023-05-09 114848

Tax collection growth halves in March

Revenue collection growth reduced by half in March this year from a year ago, suffered by decline in income and customs tax receipts amid falling corporate earnings and a downturn in imports, which analysts say is likely to weigh on the government’s budget spending, especially for development.

Value-added tax (VAT), the biggest source of revenue for the state, was the only saviour that helped the National Board of Revenue (NBR) log 4.3 per cent higher growth in overall revenue to Tk 29,473 crore in March from Tk 28,254 crore a year ago, according to preliminary data released by the NBR yesterday.

Collection from VAT, an indirect tax paid by consumers, soared nearly 18 per cent year-on-year to Tk 10,501 crore in March.

On the other hand, income tax collection decreased 2.8 per cent year-on-year. In March, taxmen logged Tk 10,648 crore, down from Tk 10,958 crore a year ago.

Customs duty collection from imported items declined 1.37 per cent year-on-year to Tk 8,182 crore this March.

Including March’s collection, the NBR’s total receipts stood at Tk 225,513 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal year beginning from July 2022.

The amount was 8.3 per cent higher from the same period a year ago, when the NBR posted more than 14 per cent year-on-year growth.

Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, chairman of the Research and Policy Integration for Development, said the slowdown in revenue collection will further constrain Bangladesh’s fiscal space or spending capacity from its own coffer.

And if the collection growth continues to slow down, the government will have to cut public spending, particularly development spending, this year and next year to avoid excessive borrowing from the banking sector and other sources.

The government may also need to reduce the subsidies it provides to various sectors, he added.

Razzaque then said the slowdown in collection makes it obvious that the NBR would miss the tax collection target of Tk 370,000 crore for the current fiscal year.

Until March, the NBR logged three-fifths of the target, meaning that it needs to collect roughly Tk 145,000 crore in the remaining three months of the fiscal year ending in June.

It is likely to miss the revenue collection target of Tk 345,630 crore given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a part of its $4.7 billion loans.

“Meeting the IMF’s target will be very difficult too,” he added.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue earlier projected that overall revenue collection shortfall from the government’s target would be approximately Tk 75,000 crore if the current trend of revenue mobilisation persists.

During July-March of fiscal year 2022-23, the NBR logged Tk 71,227 crore in direct tax collection, registering 4.87 per cent year-on-year growth.

VAT receipts soared 15.4 per cent year-on-year to Tk 86,905 crore in the nine-month period.

At the same time, customs tariff collected on imported goods grew 3.6 per cent year-on-year to Tk 67,380 crore, according to the NBR.

Source: The Daily Star


Pressure buildup on forex reserves, feared Foreign fund inflows falling

Forex receipt thru three major channels like aid, export, remittance slows

After a fall in remittance and export earnings last month, foreign-aid flow into Bangladesh also dipped 21 per cent as of March as the development partners got tightfisted on fund release, sources said.

On the other side of the country’s foreign-exchange coffer, repayment for the outstanding foreign loans is rising year on year, officials said.

As such stress on the forex reserves is building up. Latest on Monday, the central bank cleared import payments amounting to US$1.18 billion through the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) mechanism, officials said. And the country’s forex reserves now dropped below US$30 billion to US$29.77 billion.

The sources said the commitments for medium-to long-term (MLT) foreign assistance dropped deeper by 43.33 per cent during July-March period of the current fiscal year (FY) 2022-23.

Analysts and officials say the government’s belt-tightening stance in public expenditure, poor reform initiatives, country’s waning creditworthiness, and global economic shocks worked behind fall in the overseas development assistance (ODA) inflow.

According to the provisional data available with Economic Relations Division (ERD), the overseas development partners, like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AIIB, and India, confirmed lowest funds in the first three quarters (July-March) this FY2023 compared to the corresponding period of last FY2022.

Bangladesh received ODA worth US$5.363 billion in 3Q of the current fiscal-21-percent lower from the $6.798 billion got during the same period of last FY.

The development partners had committed US$3.076 billion in loans and grants for the Jul-Mar period for bankrolling Bangladesh’s development recipe, which is 43.33 per cent lesser than that in the corresponding period last FY, the ERD data showed.

In July-Mar period last FY, Bangladesh got confirmation of $5.431 billion worth of foreign assistance.

Meanwhile, the government repaid $1.73 billion as principal and interest of its total outstanding loans during 3Q of the current fiscal.

In the same period of FY2022, it had served debts with $1.595 billion against different loans, the ERD data showed.

Out of the $5.363 billion disbursed in foreign aid during 3Q of the current FY, the development partners released $5.017 billion worth of loans and $346.07 million as grants.

Of the assistance, Japanese development partner JICA released $1.30 billion, the WB $854.30 million, the ADB $801.93 million, Russia $747.20 million, China $637.97 million, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) $336.39 million, and India 208.66 million during the Jul-March period.

Meanwhile, the MLT loan and grants commitments by the development partners dropped to $3.076 billion during the period compared to $5.431 billion in the same period last fiscal, according to the ERD count.

Out of the $3.076-billion aid commitment, the development partners confirmed $2.804 billion worth of loans and $272.25 million as grants during the first three quarters of the current fiscal.

China, India and Russia had not made any aid commitment for Bangladesh in July-March period, which lowered the overall assistance commitment.

Meanwhile, the government repaid a total of $1.73 billion in the July-Mar period of FY2023.

Out of the repayment, it made a payment of $1.244 as principal and $485.90 million as interest for the outstanding MLT loans in 3Q of the current fiscal, the ERD data showed.

A senior ERD official said since the government had almost halted project approval over the few months, foreign-assistance commitments fell “significantly” in the recent months.

“In addition, the belt-tightening approach in public pending and failure in timely project execution prompted the negative growth in foreign-aid commitment and disbursement,” he adds.

Until expediting on quality project implementation, the foreign-fund receipt will be coming down, the official noted.

Source: The Financial Express


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Increased prices of some key construction materials, including mild steel (MS) rod, cement, stone and brick, are causing trouble for the country’s construction and real-estate sectors, industry people said.

A number of construction companies have already halted their operations. Many others are struggling to cope with the price volatility, which seriously affected their activities, they added.

However, building material manufacturers said the price spiral mainly resulted from hike in prices of raw materials in the international market, following the Russia-Ukraine war along with other local and international factors.

Besides, increased import cost due to the dollar crisis in the country has added fuel to the fire.

Cost of per tonne rod marked a rise of around eight per cent on an average during the last six months, while cement price has also been maintaining a higher trend through ups and downs.

According to the retail sources, best quality or 72-grade MS rod was selling between Tk 93,000 and Tk 1,02,000 per tonne depending on manufacturers.

Of these, per tonne rod manufactured by BSRM and AKS was selling at Tk 1,02,000 and Tk 1,01,000 per tonne respectively in the capital on Sunday, while the prices of other renowned brands were creeping near Tk 0.1 million per tonne.

As per the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data, cost of per tonne better quality rod increased by 11.30 per cent in this May compared to May 2022.

The statistics also revealed that the price of lower quality or 40-grade rod price increased by almost 4.0 per cent per tonne over the same period.

Sheikh Masadul Alam (Masud), Managing Director of Shahriar Steel Mills Ltd, told the FE that the steel manufacturers are adopting different coping mechanisms, as both demand and supply of the item have declined.

Referring to the dry season when construction work gains momentum, he said: “We haven’t witnessed the usual demand during this peak season.”

The price of per tonne scrap metal, the key ingredient of steel products, has slightly reduced to US$ 460-500 in the international market in recent times, said Mr Masud, also former chairman of the Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association (BSMA).

“But we can’t reap any benefit of the price drop, as we have to bear additional expenses for the raw material import, which is a major concern for us now,” he added.

Among other construction materials, per 50-kg portland cement bag was selling at Tk 500-560, depending on brands. The price was between Tk 480 and Tk 530 a year ago.

The cement price fluctuated, but remained at a higher level, said a trader in the city’s Panthapath area.

A truck-load of three thousand bricks was now selling at around Tk 45,000.

Contacted, Rezwanul Kabir, director of the Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI), said prices of almost all construction materials are increasing day by day, causing serious trouble for them.

The BACI has around 200 registered members, whereas a huge number of other (non-member) construction companies are operating in the country, according to the sources.

“A number of the construction companies have stopped working on the undertaken projects, as they are likely to incur loss due to uncertainty involving with the price hike,” said Mr Kabir, who is also the Managing Director of Energypac Infrastructure and Development Limited.

Many companies stopped looking for new projects, while some are waiting for price adjustment.

The sloth in infrastructure development means a negative impact on the economy, as the construction sector makes a good contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), he noted.

The sector’s share in the economy was nearly nine per cent, and it generated direct employment for six million people three years ago. The sector might have been affected to some extent by this time.

Another problem is the possibility of quality fall, as some contractors might use substandard materials to ensure their profit after offering lower bids to grab work orders, Mr Kabir observed.

“Unlike the international contractors, working in the country’s major infrastructure projects, the local contractors are the sufferers due to the price volatility and absence of a suitable policy to adjust prices for them in line with the changes,” he added.

Source: The Financial Express


4 banks must pay Tk26.12 crore in penalty for violating SEC rules

Four banks are facing a penalty of Tk26.12 crore for not providing cash dividends, instead giving bonus dividends only, which is a violation of the rules of the stock market enlistment.

The banks are Arab-Bangladesh Bank or AB Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, One Bank, and First Security Islami Bank Limited.

According to the law, AB Bank will have to pay Tk1.72 crore, Mutual Trust Bank Tk8.94 crore, One Bank Tk5.0 crore, and First Security Islami Bank Tk10.46 crore.

According to the law, listed companies must pay cash dividends at least equal to bonus dividends. If the bonus amount is more than cash, the entire bonus share will be taxed at the rate of 10%.

As such, the banks will have to suffer the penalty of additional income tax. This Act was enacted in FY2018-19.

The authorities of four banks say that bonus shares are given as dividend profit and this decision has been taken to increase the paid-up capital of the banks. The profit money will further strengthen the bank’s capital.

In the year 2022, from January to December, the profit of AB Bank was Tk71.54 crore. From there it has been decided to give a 2% bonus share dividend to the shareholders.

The board of the bank has decided to issue only bonus shares without cash dividends. For this, a penalty of Tk1.72 crore has to be added to the bonus shares of Tk17.22 crore at the rate of 10%.

Mutual Trust Bank like AB Bank, has violated the National Board of Revenue Act by paying only bonus share dividends instead of cash shares. A penalty of Tk8.94 crore at the rate of 10% of Tk89.37 crore is imposed as a penalty under the income tax Act.

One Bank will have to pay a fine of 10% of the profit of Tk49.3 crore of bonus shares, i.e., about Tk5 crore, as the company has only paid bonus share dividends instead of cash dividends.

On the other hand, the total profit of First Security Islami Bank in 2022 was Tk293.93 crore. From there it paid only a 10% bonus share dividend instead of a cash dividend to the shareholders.

The bank’s bonus share amounts to Tk104.60 crore. A fine of 10% has been levied above this amount. The penalty amount is stood Tk10.46 crore. The bank authority will have to pay this penalty.


Interbank dollar rate hits record Tk108, but transactions poor

The country’s foreign currency reserves have dipped to $29.78 billion amid a dollar crisis

Infographic: TBS

Infographic: TBS

The interbank dollar rate, at which one bank sells dollars to another, rose to a record Tk108, but transactions on the platform were poor due to a shortage of greenbacks in the country.

And the country’s foreign currency reserves have dipped to $29.78 billion.

According to data from the central bank, banks on Sunday transacted dollars among themselves between Tk107.30 and Tk108.

The interbank dollar rate had risen to Tk107.65 at its highest earlier.

According to bankers, the interbank dollar rate has risen mainly due to an increase in remittance rates.

Earlier on 30 April, the Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) and Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association (Bafeda) raised the dollar rate by Tk1 to Tk108 for remitters.

ABB Chairman and Managing Director of Brac Bank Selim RF Hussain told TBS that dollar transactions in the interbank market are now much lower than before.

“One of the reasons for the decrease in dollar transactions in the interbank market is that the dollar market is not yet free-floating. If the market is not free-floating, it is normal for the interbank market to be inactive,” he added.

Earlier, the dollar rate of remittance was Tk107 for about six months, although several banks have brought remittances with higher rates in March.

Since September last year, these two platforms of banks’ managing directors have been fixing the dollar price for export proceeds and remittances.

According to senior officials at several banks, at the beginning of 2022, when there was no dollar crisis in the country, the interbank platform used to see an average daily transaction of $15-25 million.

However, as the dollar crisis intensified in the middle of last year, its interbank transactions started to decrease. Due to an obligation to trade dollars on the interbank platform at its selling rate from the reserves, the transactions almost stopped at one stage, they added.

Later in September, transactions on the interbank platform resumed after the central bank allowed banks to transact at a rate determined based on the rate for remittances.

Senior officials from several private banks, who wished to remain anonymous, have stated that even if the dollar rate of remittance is considered the base rate, it is still much lower than the active market rate. Although a maximum charge of Tk0.50 can be added to the remittance rate.

Besides, banks do not have enough dollars to sell. Due to the dollar crisis, they have reduced the opening of import letters of credit. So banks are now doing interbank dollar transactions on request from other banks. Currently, an average of $1.5-2 million is transacted on this platform every day.

According to a Bafeda report, banks traded $1 million at the rate of Tk107.30 and $50,000 at the rate of Tk108 on the interbank system on Sunday.

Forex reserves stand at $29.78 billion

After clearing the import bills of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), the country’s foreign currency reserve stood at $29.78 billion on 7 May, according to Bangladesh Bank Spokesperson Md Mezbaul Haque.

He told The Business Standard that the Bangladesh Bank has cleared import bills of $1.18 billion for the ACU.

The ACU payment gateway covers monetary transactions by its nine member countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – for regional imports. The bills are cleared every two months.

Earlier in March, the central bank cleared $1.05 billion in import bills to the union, which brought down the reserves to $31.15 billion.

Source: The Business Standard


রাষ্ট্রমালিকানাধীন চার ব্যাংকে খেলাপি ঋণও কমেনি, কারও শাস্তিও হয়নি

মতিঝিল শাপলা চত্বর
মতিঝিল শাপলা চত্বরফাইল ছবি

খেলাপি ঋণ ১০ শতাংশের নিচে নামিয়ে আনতে গত বছরের শেষ প্রান্তিকে রাষ্ট্রমালিকানাধীন ৪ ব্যাংককে লক্ষ্য বেঁধে দেয় বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংক। গভর্নর আব্দুর রউফ তালুকদারের সভাপতিত্বে ওই সভায় জানিয়ে দেওয়া হয়, লক্ষ্যের নিচে খেলাপি ঋণ কমিয়ে না আনলে তাদের জরিমানা গুনতে হবে। লক্ষ্য অর্জন করলে তারা পাবে পুরস্কার। বছর শেষ হলেও কোনো ব্যাংক সেই লক্ষ্য পূরণ করতে পারেনি। ফলে খেলাপি ঋণও কমেনি। এ জন্য ব্যাংক চারটিকে জরিমানাও করেনি বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংক। উপরন্তু নিজেদের নেওয়া সিদ্ধান্তই যেন ভুলতে বসেছে নিয়ন্ত্রক সংস্থাটি।

ব্যাংক চারটি হলো সোনালী, অগ্রণী, জনতা ও রূপালী। এর মধ্যে গত বছর রূপালী ছাড়া সব ব্যাংকের খেলাপি ঋণ বেড়েছে। রূপালী ব্যাংকের খেলাপি ঋণ কমেছে ৩৫ কোটি টাকা। শতাংশের হিসাবে ১৭ থেকে কমে হয়েছে ১৫ শতাংশ।

এ নিয়ে জানতে যোগাযোগ করা হলে বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংকের মুখপাত্র মেজবাউল হককে পাওয়া যায়নি। তবে এ প্রক্রিয়ার সঙ্গে সংশ্লিষ্ট দুজন কর্মকর্তা প্রথম আলোকে বলেন, গভর্নরের মৌখিক নির্দেশে জরিমানার বিষয়টি এসেছিল। আইএমএফের ঋণের প্রথম কিস্তি ছাড় হওয়ায় বিষয়টি আর এগোয়নি। পরের সভাতেও গভর্নর উপস্থিত থাকলেও এ নিয়ে কোনো আলোচনা হয়নি। সার্বিকভাবে ব্যাংকগুলোকে তাদের পরিস্থিতির উন্নতি করতে বলা হয়েছে।

জানা যায়, আন্তর্জাতিক মুদ্রা তহবিলের চাওয়া রাষ্ট্রীয় খাতের ব্যাংকগুলোর খেলাপি ঋণ ১০ শতাংশের নিচে নামিয়ে আনা। এর অংশ হিসেবে চার ব্যাংকের সঙ্গে সভা করে খেলাপি ঋণ কমিয়ে আনার লক্ষ্য বেঁধে দিয়েছিল বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংক।

সূত্রঃ প্রথম আলো

অপরিশোধিত জ্বালানি তেল: শীর্ষ ১০ দেশ কারা, কোন দেশে মজুত সবচেয়ে বেশি

যেসব দেশ সবচেয়ে বেশি জ্বালানি তেল উৎপাদন করে, তাদের কাছেই সবচেয়ে বেশি তেলের মজুত থাকে—সাধারণভাবে এমনটাই মানুষ ভাবেন। কিন্তু বিষয়টি মোটেও সে রকম নয়। বিভিন্ন কারণেই তা হতে পারে। আবার প্রাকৃতিক সম্পদ থাকা এক কথা, আর তার উন্নয়ন আরেক কথা।

দেখে নেওয়া যাক, বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে বেশি অপরিশোধিত তেলের মজুত আছে কোন দেশগুলোতে।


রাজনৈতিকভাবে অনেক ডামাডোলের মধ্যে থাকলেও বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে বেশি তেলের মজুত আছে ভেনেজুয়েলায়—৩৩০ বিলিয়ন বা ৩৩ হাজার কোটি ব্যারেল। কিন্তু মার্কিন নিষেধাজ্ঞা ও অর্থনৈতিক দুরবস্থার কারণে দেশটি এই তেলভান্ডার ব্যবহার করতে পারছে না। অথচ ১৯৯০-এর দশক ও ২০০০-এর শুরুর দিকে ভেনেজুয়েলা প্রচুর তেল বিক্রি করেছে।

২০২২ সালে ভেনেজুয়েলা দৈনিক গড়ে ছয় থেকে সাত লাখ ব্যারেল তেল উৎপাদন করেছে; রপ্তানি করেছে ছয় লাখ ব্যারেল।

সৌদি আরব

সৌদি আরবের তেলের মজুত ২৬৭ বিলিয়ন বা ২৬ হাজার ৭০০ কোটি ব্যারেল। তারা বিশ্বের দ্বিতীয় বৃহত্তম তেল উৎপাদনকারী এবং ওপেকভুক্ত দেশগুলোর মধ্যে দ্বিতীয়। ২০২১ সালে তাদের দৈনিক উৎপাদন ছিল ৯০ লাখ ব্যারেলের কিছু বেশি, ২০২২ সালে যা ১ কোটি ১৫ লাখ ব্যারেলে উন্নীত হয়।

২০২৭ সালের মধ্যে সৌদি আরব দৈনিক তেল উৎপাদন ১ কোটি ৩০ লাখ ব্যারেলে উন্নীত করতে চায়। অনেক বিশ্লেষক বলছেন, সৌদি আরব তার কাছাকাছি পৌঁছে গেছে।


ইরানের অপরিশোধিত তেলের মজুত ২০৮ দশমিক ৬ বিলিয়ন বা ২০ হাজার ৮৬০ কোটি ব্যারেল; দৈনিক উৎপাদন ২৩ লাখ ৯০ হাজার ব্যারেল। তবে তারা রপ্তানি করে দৈনিক ৭ লাখ ৬০ হাজার ব্যারেলের কিছু বেশি। মূলত যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের নিষেধাজ্ঞার কারণে এটা হয়েছে। তবে সম্প্রতি ইরানের তেল রপ্তানি বেড়েছে। তেলের উৎপাদন আরও বৃদ্ধির পরিকল্পনা তাদের আছে।


কানাডার অপরিশোধিত তেলের মজুত ১৭১ বিলিয়ন ১৭ হাজার ১০০ কোটি ব্যারেল, যার সিংহভাগই আসে বিটুমিন থেকে। কানাডা বিশ্বের চতুর্থ বৃহত্তম তেল উৎপাদনকারী দেশ। গত বছর দেশটি দিনে ৫০ লাখ ব্যারেলের বেশি তেল উৎপাদন করেছে। দেশটির কার্বন নিঃসরণ কমানোর লক্ষ্য থাকলেও চাহিদা বেশি থাকায় কানাডার তেল উৎপাদন বাড়ছে। সম্প্রতি ইপসোসের সমীক্ষায় দেখা গেছে, বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে কাঙ্ক্ষিত তেল সরবরাহকারী দেশ হচ্ছে কানাডা।


ওপেকভুক্ত দেশগুলোর মধ্যে দ্বিতীয় বৃহত্তম তেল উৎপাদনকারী দেশ হচ্ছে ইরাক। তাদের মজুত আছে ১৪৫ বিলিয়ন বা ১৪ হাজার ৫০০ কোটি ব্যারেল; দৈনিক উৎপাদন ৪৫ লাখ ব্যারেল ও রপ্তানি ৩৪ লাখ ব্যারেল।

উৎপাদনের দিক থেকে তারা সৌদি আরবকে ধরে ফেলার পরিকল্পনা করেছে। কিন্তু গত পাঁচ বছরে তারা দিনে সর্বোচ্চ ৬৩ লাখ ব্যারেল তেল উৎপাদন করতে পেরেছে।

সংযুক্ত আরব আমিরাত

ওপেক সদস্যভুক্ত দেশগুলোর মধ্যে তৃতীয় বৃহত্তম তেল উৎপাদনকারী দেশ হচ্ছে সংযুক্ত আরব আমিরাত। তাদের কাছে মজুত আছে ১১১ বিলিয়ন বা ১১ হাজার ১০০ কোটি ব্যারেল তেল। দিনে তারা উৎপাদন করে ২৭ লাখ ব্যারেল তেল। এর মধ্যে বিদেশে রপ্তানি করে ২৩ লাখ ব্যারেল।

বিশ্বের অন্যতম বৃহৎ মজুত থাকলেও আরব আমিরাত কেবল তেলের মধ্যেই অর্থনীতি সীমাবদ্ধ রাখতে চাইছে না। নানাভাবে অর্থনীতির বহুমুখীকরণের চেষ্টা করছে তারা। বিশেষ করে বিলাসবহুল আবাসনের জন্য বিখ্যাত হয়ে উঠেছে আরব আমিরাত, সেই সঙ্গে উচ্চ প্রযুক্তিভিত্তিক ব্যবসার কেন্দ্র হয়ে ওঠার চেষ্টা করছে দেশটি।


ওপেকের তথ্যানুসারে, কুয়েতের তেলের মজুত ১০১ দশমিক ৫ বিলিয়ন বা ১০ হাজার ১৫০ কোটি ব্যারেল। পারস্য উপসাগরীয় অঞ্চলের ছোট এ দেশ দৈনিক গড়ে ২৪ লাখ থেকে ২৬ লাখ ৭০ হাজার ব্যারেল তেল উৎপাদন করে এবং রপ্তানি করে ১৭ লাখ ব্যারেল।

কুয়েত পেট্রোলিয়াম করপোরেশনের পরিকল্পনা হচ্ছে, ২০৩০ সালের মধ্যে দেশটির তেল উৎপাদন দিনে ৪০ লাখ ব্যারেলে উন্নীত করা। তবে তেলের চাহিদা কমে যাবে, এমন পূর্বাভাসে কুয়েত বিশেষ গুরুত্ব দিচ্ছে না।


যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের এনার্জি ইনফরমেশন অ্যাডমিনিস্ট্রেশনের তথ্যানুসারে, রাশিয়ার অপরিশোধিত তেলের মজুত ৮০ বিলিয়ন বা ৮ হাজার কোটি ব্যারেল। দিনে তারা উৎপাদন করছে ৯৪ লাখ ব্যারেল।

কয়েক বছর আগে রাশিয়া দিনে ১ কোটি ১০ লাখ ব্যারেল অপরিশোধিত তেল উৎপাদন করত। তবে ইউক্রেনে হামলার জেরে পশ্চিমারা রাশিয়ার ওপর যেসব নিষেধাজ্ঞা আরোপ করেছে, তার জেরে দেশটির তেল উৎপাদন কমেছে। তা সত্ত্বেও দেশটির অপরিশোধিত জ্বালানি তেল ও জ্বালানি রপ্তানি যুদ্ধের আগের পর্যায়ে ফিরেছে।


যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের অপরিশোধিত জ্বালানি তেলের মজুত ঠিক কত, তা নিয়ে অনেক ভিন্নতা আছে। এক হিসাবে দেশটির মোট তেলের মজুত ৬৮ দশমিক ৮ বিলিয়ন ব্যারেল বা ৬ হাজার ৮৮৯ কোটি ব্যারেল; আরেক হিসাবে তাদের মজুত ৭৪ বিলিয়ন বা ৭ হাজার ৪০০ কোটি ব্যারেল। তবে মজুত যা-ই হোক, যুক্তরাষ্ট্র বিশ্বের অন্যতম বৃহৎ অপরিশোধিত তেল সরবরাহকারী।


উত্তর আফ্রিকার দেশ লিবিয়ার মজুত আছে প্রায় ৪৮ দশমিক ৩ বিলিয়ন বা ৪ হাজার ৮৩০ কোটি ব্যারেল অপরিশোধিত তেল। তা সত্ত্বেও বিশ্ববাজারে তাদের সরবরাহ খুবই কম—দিনে মাত্র ১২ লাখ ব্যারেল।

লিবিয়ার সাবেক প্রেসিডেন্ট মুয়াম্মার গাদ্দাফির পতনের পর থেকে দেশটিতে যে রাজনৈতিক ডামাডোল চলছে, তার জেরে তারা তেল উত্তোলন করতে পারছে না। তবে সম্প্রতি ইউরোপ উত্তর আফ্রিকার এ দেশের দিকে আবার ঝুঁকতে শুরু করেছে। এতে তাদের তেল ব্যবসা আবারও ফুলেফেঁপে উঠতে পারে বলে ধারণা করা হচ্ছে।

সূত্র: অয়েল প্রাইস ডটকম


Marico posts record profit

Its profit grows 9pc in 2023

Marico Bangladesh reported a net profit of Tk 3.87 billion in financial year 2023, the highest since its listing on the stock market, thanks to an increase in sales and product prices.

Its net profit grew 9.0 per cent year-on-year for the financial year that ended in March 2023, according to a disclosure published on Friday.

The India-based fast-moving consumer goods company also posted an 8.45 per cent growth in sales revenue to Tk 14.13 billion.

Despite its record profit, the board of the multinational company did not recommend any final dividend for 2023 as it had already paid a 750 per cent interim cash dividend in two phases (450 per cent and 300 per cent) for the year. It is the lowest dividend since 2020.

Company Secretary Md Sahabuddin could not be reached over phone for comments.

Contacted, an official of the company who declined to be named said the revenue growth was driven by a healthy mix in the product portfolio dominated by hair oil and baby-care products.

Marico launched ‘Parachute Just for Baby Shampoo’ last year, extending its comprehensive range of baby-care products.

Marico also launched three new products in shampoo and hair care categories in 2021 and 2022, which helped boost its business growth, the company official said.

However, he said, the higher cost of production and exchange rate volatility slowed down the profit growth. Otherwise, the net profit would be much higher, he added.

The company’s cost of production rose 14 per cent year-on-year to Tk 6.18 billion during the year as raw material prices rose amid sharp depreciation of local currency against the dollar.

The cost of goods sold, which is the sum of all direct costs associated with making a product, was more than 48 per cent of Marico’s total sales in 2023.

Listed in 2009, the company’s stock price has been languishing at the floor price at Tk 2,421.50 each since October 18 last year.

Marico Bangladesh started its journey 24 years back with its flagship brand, Parachute Coconut Oil. Marico Bangladesh is the first subsidiary of Indian Marico Ltd.

Since then, the company has expanded to 42 brands in 10 categories, including hair care, skincare, baby-care, hygiene and food products.

Parachute coconut oil holds a leadership position in the branded coconut oil market of Bangladesh.

To meet the growing demand for coconut oil and food products, the company invested Tk 292 million to set up a new manufacturing unit three years back in its factory site in Gazipur.

Marico has also made an investment of Tk 2.27 billion in phases in a new manufacturing unit in Mirsarai Economic Zone since 2021 for enhancing its production capacity.

Marico is one of the fastest-growing fast-moving consumer goods companies in Bangladesh.


Source: The Financial Express


Forex reserve to drop to $30b

Bangladesh to clear $1.0b ACU import bills soon

The pressure on Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserve mounts further, as the central bank is set to clear import bills amounting to over US$ 1.0 billion to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) within next few days, officials said.

With this payment to settle the import bills through the ACU mechanism, the forex reserve would go down to $30 billion. As of April 27, the country’s foreign currency reserve was over $31.06 billion, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) data showed.

The ACU is an arrangement through which the member countries settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a net multilateral basis.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are members of the Tehran-headquartered ACU. The member countries of the union clear their payments every two months.

The significant fall in reserve, particularly the greenback, is deemed as a matter of serious concern for the economy, which is facing difficulties to meet the NIR (net international reserve) target of $24.46 billion within June, as set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Seeking anonymity, a BB official said the downward trend in the foreign currency reserve continues because of low export earning. Although remittance earning is growing, it is still not at the expected level.

On the other hand, the central bank has sold $11.65 billion from the reserve from July 2022 to April 25, 2023 to the commercial banks to facilitate their LC settlement. However, the BB sold $7.62 billion to the commercial banks in the previous fiscal year (FY 22).

“This is also putting an extra pressure on the reserve. Because of it, the BB might miss the target of maintaining the net reserve of $24.46 billion by June, as set by the IMF,” the central bank official added.

Another BB official said the central bank has already reduced the greenback sale volume in recent times to protect the reserve.

“I personally think the BB needs to be more cautious in injecting the US dollar in the next couple of months.”

At the same time, the dollar exchange rate from the reserve should be revised upward and made costlier than other sources, so that the banks are not encouraged to come to the central bank for foreign currency requirement, he opined.

According to the BB, the gross volume of foreign currencies, held by the country’s commercial banks, increased further to $5.34 billion in March from $5.24 billion in February.

Talking to the FE, Chairman of Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Dr M. Masrur Reaz said the government ought to increase the supply of dollar to avert unbearable pressure on the economy in the days to come.

“Otherwise, it would trigger panic and severely disrupt business activities.”

Responding to a question, Mr. Reaz said the central bank should not consider any option that would largely squeeze the space of availing greenback for the banks to settle their import-related obligations.

“The banks are using the dollars – purchased from the reserve – for LC purposes, leading to better economic outcomes for the nation.”

The economist also said the central bank took various measures to control import of consumer goods, but it has not declined to the expected level.

The BB needs a proper and complete analysis over the reserve use to take stricter steps to stop import of non-essential and luxury goods under the current circumstances, he concluded.

According to the BB, the opening of LCs against consumer goods dropped by 15.99 per cent in the last nine months (until March 2023), whereas that of intermediate goods dropped by 30.91 per cent, capital machinery by 55.88 per cent, industrial raw materials by 31.16 per cent, and machinery for miscellaneous industries by 44.99 per cent.

Source: The Financial Express