Dhaka, Mar 20 (UNB) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $14.2 million loan with a local company to enhance inclusiveness in Bangladesh’s agribusiness sector.
It will support the expansion plans of Sylvan Agriculture Limited (SAL), a PRAN-RFL Group (PRAN) company, one of the largest food and agribusiness companies in the country.
“ADB’s second loan to SAL will further improve the agribusiness sector in Bangladesh through increased private sector investment,” said ADB Investment Specialist for Private Sector Operations Tushna Dora, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
Dora said agriculture provides nearly half of all employment in the country and supports over 70 percent of the total population. The loan will enhance the livelihoods of thousands of local farmers, with a focus on empowering women.
It will finance new processing facilities to produce potato chips, potato flakes, and pasta. Women will comprise at least half of the 450 people directly employed in the new facilities.
Gender wage gaps will be reduced, women’s facilities introduced, and greater technological assistance provided to women farmers.
Potatoes for the new processing facilities, located in Habiganj industrial park, will be sourced from around 2,000 contract farmers.
The project is ADB’s first repeat assistance to a private sector borrower in agribusiness. In 2012, ADB approved a $25.1 million loan to SAL for the construction of processing facilities.
Tokyo, Mar 19 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mixed in muted trading Tuesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to 21,528.23 in early trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.1 percent to 6,182.10. South Korea's Kospi inched down less than 0.1 percent to 2,178.91. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose nearly 0.1 percent to 29,429.99, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 percent to 3,104.89.
U.S. stock indexes finished modestly higher Monday, extending the market's solid gains from a rally last week.
The S&P 500 gained 10.46 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,832.94. The benchmark index is now up 13 percent for 2019 so far, which is a bigger gain than it's had in four of the last five full years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.23 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,914.10.
The Nasdaq composite added 25.95 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,714.48. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10.39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,563.93.
On market players' mind is the Federal Reserve meeting later in the week, and speculation it may slow its pace of increases for interest rates. The worry in December was that the central bank would raise rates too fast in the face of a slowing global economy and choke off growth. The Fed will meet to discuss interest-rate policy this week, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday, but economists expect it to announce no change to rates.
Some economists say the Fed could release documents Wednesday that would suggest one rate increase in 2019, or possibly zero, after the Fed raised rates four times in 2018 and three times in 2017.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped 3 cents to $59.06 a barrel. It rose 1 percent to $59.09 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude gained 1 cent to $67.55 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.21 yen from 111.56 yen Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1341 from $1.1335.
Tokyo, Mar 18 (AP/UNB) — Shares rose in Asia on Monday as investors awaited signs the U.S. and China could be making progress in negotiations on resolving the trade war between the two biggest economies.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent in morning trading to 21,591.90. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 6,181.20. South Korea's Kospi was flat at 2,174.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained nearly 0.4 percent to 29,119.08, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6 percent to 3,038.93.
China's congress on Friday endorsed an investment law that aims to address complaints, particularly from the U.S., that China's system is rigged against foreign companies. The U.S. claims China forces companies to share technology in order to do business in the country.
"U.S.-China trade war concerns were a major factor of a global growth downgrade," said Alfonso Esparza, an analyst with Oanda. "While comments from both sides have been positive, there have been few details on where negotiations stand. The delay could once again spark anxiety in the market."
Wall Street ended last week on an upbeat note, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.5 percent Friday to 2,822.48, a new high for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.5 percent to 25,848.87. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.8 percent, to 7,688.53. The S&P 500's gain was 0.5 percent. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 3.90 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,553.54.
U.S. stocks have had a strong showing this year, with all the major indexes gaining at least 10 percent.
Traders are also confident that the Federal Reserve will hold off on any action that could jeopardize economic growth. The central bank, which signaled in January that it was hitting pause on its rate hikes amid a slowdown in global growth and weak inflation, is holding a meeting of policymakers this week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.56 Japanese yen from 111.48 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1335 from $1.1326.
ENERGY: The price of U.S. crude oil slipped 21 cents to $58. 31 a barrel. It slipped 0.2 percent to settle last week at $58.52 a barrel. Brent crude dropped 16 cents to $67.00 a barrel.
Dhaka, Mar 17 (UNB)- The local electronics appliances manufacturer ‘Marcel’ has recently unveiled its new brand logo at the company headquarter in Chandra of Gazipur.
Marcel Directors SM Nurul Alam Rezvi, SM Shamsul Alam and SM Ashraful Alam unveiled the new brand logo before more than one thousands businessmen by cutting cake just after inaugurating a day-long ‘Marcel Distributors Conference 2019’.
The event was also attended by company’s director SM Rezaul Alam, Executive Directors Eva Rezwana, Marcel head of sales Dr Md Shakhawat Hossen, Brand Ambassador Amin Khan and other high officials of the company.
With the slogan of ‘Lets Achieve the Goal Together,’ the day-long conference was commenced on Thursday morning. More than one thousand distributors of the local company from all over the country attended the conference.
Speaking at the event, SM Ashraful Alam said, Marcel is achieving tremendous success in the local electronics market and the market share is going up very rapidly.
Marcel authorities said, Marcel registered about 40 percent growth in its business in 2018 as against of 2017.
This year they set a target of achieving 80 percent growths. They have already witnessed 20 percent growth in the first two months of the current year compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
By upholding the present pace of business growth, Marcel would be the country’s top brand within 2021.
The company’s Executive Director Uday Hakim said that a new road map has been prepared for turning Marcel into the country’s leading electronics brand.
Thus, they are conducting their business activities with aspirations, hopes and new working plans of which unveiling new brand logo is the first one.
The participants of the conference visited the production units of different sorts of electronics, electrical, home, ICT and Industrial Solutions. They were amazed to see the production process of Marcel fridge, television, air conditioner, laptop, computer, mobile phone, elevator, compressor, washing machine, oven etc. at the gigantic manufacturing plant equipped with world’s latest technology and machineries.
Dhaka, Mar 16 (UNB) - Walton is manufacturing world-class appliances in Bangladesh and has created huge employment opportunities, said National Board of Revenue Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Saturday.
“It would be a great source of the government’s revenue,” said the chairman while expressing his reaction before the media after visiting Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited at Chandra in Gazipur.
The NBR chief said, “I am proud of Walton. I saw much better than I heard about them. They are manufacturing raw materials and finished goods, specially the major parts of fridges and air conditioners, at their own factory.”
Mosharraf also said that Walton has become a giant industrial sector now. “They turned into the country’s leading electronics brand. Now, the time has come to lead the global electronics market. To this extent, they will get all sorts of assistance from the NBR.”
He assured that the incentives, which are given to the export-oriented readymade garments, would be provided to the local exporters of electronics appliances.
Along with the NBR chairman, his spouse Mahfuja Begum, NBR Members Md Rezaul Hasan (VAT), Md Firoz Shah Alam (Duties and ICT), Kanon Kumar Roy (Tax), Customs Commissioner of Dhaka North Zakia Sultana and Income Tax Commisser of Gazipur Md Ali Ajgar also visited the Walton factory.
They were welcomed with a bouquet by Walton Hi-Tech Industries Limited Vice-Chairman SM Shamsul Alam, Managing Director SM Ashraful Alam and Director SM Rezaul Alam.
Among others, Walton Group’s Directors SM Monjurul Alam, Tahmina Afrose Tanna and Raisa Sigma, Executive Directors Abul Bashar Howlader, SM Zahid Hasan, Col (Retd.) Sahadat Alam, Shoyeb Hossain Nobel, Uday Hakim, Golam Murshed, Deputy Executive Director Md Firoj Alam were also present.
SM Shamsul Alam said the country needs more employment and industrialisation. With the direction of the NBR chairman, we will go ahead to this extent.
The NBR chairman, along with his team, enjoyed a corporate document on Walton and then visited the product display center and the production units of refrigerators, compressors, air conditioners, LED televisions, computers, laptops, mobile phones and other home, kitchen and electrical appliances.