Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) - Tanners have finally agreed to pay the arrears of rawhide merchants in three phases to resolve the crisis that has gripped the country’s leather industry.
The decision was taken at a five-hour tripartite meeting held at the office of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Saturday.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, FBCCI Vice-president Rezaul Karim Reznu said they had been able to resolve the crisis in the leather industry after several meetings.
Tanners will pay the arrears in three phases and the payment has already started, he said. “They’ll first pay the dues from 2015-2019, then from 2010 to 2015 and finally they’ll clear the arrears from 1990 to 2010.”
Reznu expressed the hope that the leather industry will flourish within a short time.
“Generally, poor people get the money earned from selling sacrificial animals’ rawhide. So, the fall in in the prices of rawhide this year is unexpected,” he said, adding that the rawhide market is now gaining momentum.
Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA), Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association (BFLLFEA) and Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants’ Association (BHSMA) sat in the meeting at the mediation of FBCCI to resolve the crisis over the sales of rawhide of sacrificial animals after the Eid-ul-Azha.
BTA President Shaheen Ahmed said the unrest in the industry will end soon as the payment of arrears has begun. “We had to spend thousands of crores of taka for shifting tanneries to Savar from Hagaribagh but we didn’t get any loan from banks.”
He thanked the government for formulating the Leather and Leather Products Development Policy 2019. “We hope we’ll be able to achieve the target to earn $5 billion from the sector by 2021.”
BHSMA President Delwar Hossain said the amount of arrears is around Tk 3.5-400 crore.
He said they will sit in the next meeting after receiving the arrears of this year.
Shariful Islam, president of Natore District Hide Merchants’ Association, said they are now selling rawhide at the government-fixed rate.
Dhaka, Aug 31 (AP/UNB) - Major U.S. stock indexes ended little changed Friday after a listless day of trading ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend capped a solid week of gains for the market.
A late-afternoon flurry of buying gave the S&P 500 its third straight gain. The benchmark index also snapped a string of four consecutive weekly losses. Even so, the market closed out August with its second monthly decline this year, after May.
Financial, industrial and health care stocks were among the big winners. Those sectors outweighed losses in consumer goods makers and communication services stocks. Shares in companies that rely on consumer spending also fell.
The stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses through much of the day, with trading volumes lighter than usual.
"Going into a holiday weekend you just have three days here where you're not going to be able to reposition, so people are probably taking some profits and squaring their books ahead of the weekend," said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
The S&P 500 edged up 1.88 points, or 0.1%, to 2,926.46. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 41.03 points, or 0.2%, to 26,403.28. The Nasdaq gave up an early gain, sliding 10.51 points, or 0.1%, to7,962.88. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks dropped 1.88 points, or 0.1%, to 1,494.84.
The major indexes stemmed their August slide this week, but still ended the month with losses. The Dow dropped 1.7%, the S&P 500 lost 1.8% and the Nasdaq gave up 2.6%. The Russell took the heaviest losses for the month, falling 5.1%.
Trading turned volatile in August as investors worried that the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China and a slowing global economy could tip the U.S. into a recession. The bond market seemingly confirmed these fears when long-term bond yields fell below short-term ones, a so-called inversion in the U.S. yield curve that has correctly predicted previous recessions.
"We found the limits of how far both the U.S. and the Chinese side can push the trade issue until it actually starts to manifest itself in markets," Samana said. "And where you probably saw the bulk of that reaction is in the fixed-income market. That's why you saw long-term yields basically collapse."
Bond prices initially fell Friday, pushing yields higher, but then lost momentum. That pushed long-term bond yields further below short-term ones. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.50% from 1.51% late Thursday. The 2-year Treasury yield dropped to 1.51% from 1.55% the day before.
Washington and Beijing are deadlocked in talks over U.S. complaints about China's trade surplus and industrial plans, which its trading partners say are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.
Last week, the trade conflict escalated again with both sides threatening new tariffs on each other's goods, triggering a sharp sell-off in global markets.
Some of the Trump administration's additional tariffs on Chinese products take effect Sunday and others on Dec. 15. In addition, higher tariffs on a separate group of Chinese products are to take effect Oct. 1.
Still, investors were encouraged by a Chinese government statement Thursday that its penalties on U.S. products are adequate. That suggested Beijing might be pausing in the tit-for-tat cycle of tariff increases that has raised fears the global economy might tip into recession.
Negotiators meet next month in Washington after the latest round of talks in July in Shanghai produced no sign of progress.
Investors also weighed a mixed batch of corporate earnings reports Friday.
Campbell Soup rose 3.9% and Big Lots added 3.4%. Both companies reported quarterly profits that easily beat analysts' forecasts. Ulta Beauty plunged 29.6%, it's biggest drop ever, after the company reported weak results and cut its estimates.
Benchmark crude oil fell $1.61 to settle at $55.10 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell 65 cents to close at $60.43 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell 7 cents to $1.61 per gallon. Heating oil declined 3 cents to $1.83 per gallon. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.29 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell $7.40 to $1519.10 per ounce, silver rose 2 cents to $18.19 per ounce and copper fell 3 cents to $2.53 per pound.
The dollar fell to 106.25 Japanese yen from 106.62 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.0978 from $1.1052.
U.S. markets will be closed Monday for Labor Day.
Washington, Aug 30 (UNB/AP) — The U.S. economy slowed in the spring, and most analysts expect it to weaken further in the months ahead. Yet the main driver of growth — consumer spending — remains vigorous enough to keep the economy growing steadily if still modestly.
Spending by households, which accounts for about 70% of economic growth, accelerated in the April-June quarter to its fastest pace in nearly five years. Eventually, President Donald Trump's tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports could bring higher prices and lower consumer spending. But for now, household spending remains a vital pillar of the economy.
The nation's gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic health — grew at a moderate 2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That was down from a 3.1% growth rate in the first quarter, but it would have been much weaker without a burst of consumer demand.
Economists generally expect growth to slow to a 2% annual rate or less for the rest of the year. But most think consumer spending will be enough to offset headwinds ranging from a slowing global economy to growing uncertainties caused by Trump's trade war with China.
In the April-June period, consumer spending shot up to an annual rate of 4.7%, the best showing since the final quarter of 2014. The surge followed two weak quarters for spending as car sales sank and households grew cautious after a stock market fall and a partial shutdown of the government.
At the same time, business investment is weakening in the face of the uncertainties created by the taxes that Trump has imposed on numerous imports — goods that many American businesses rely upon.
Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial, said he expects the trade war to begin to weigh on consumers in the second half of this year as some of Trump's additional tariffs on Chinese products take effect Sunday and others on Dec. 15. In addition, higher tariffs on a separate group of Chinese products are to take effect Oct. 1.
Faucher said thinks growth is slowing to a 1.5% annual rate in the current July-September quarter and will dip to around a sluggish 1.3% rate in the fourth quarter.
"On the plus side, consumers remain in good shape ... with solid job growth and good wage gains," Faucher said. "But the higher tariffs are going to cause consumers to pull back for a time, especially on big-ticket items like cars and appliances."
But by mid-2020, Faucher said, he expects spending to start accelerating as consumers become used to the higher tariffs. He said he thinks the strength from such spending will help avoid a recession.
The latest earnings reports from retailers show that some stores are faring better than others. Discounters are doing well, with Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Five Below all reporting solid sales figures in the most recent quarter.
And although Best Buy managed to post an increase in a key sales figure, it was overshadowed by disappointing revenue and by concerns about Trump's taxes on Chinese imports. The electronics retailer lowered its revenue outlook for the year, citing the expected impact of tariffs.
Best Buy said it expects TVs, smartwatches and headphones to be affected by tariffs that take effect Sept. 1. Computers, smartphones and video game consoles would come next on Dec. 15.
CEO Corie Barry said she was unsure if Best Buy will raise prices yet, saying it's difficult to predict how customers would respond.
Trump, who is counting on a strong economy to support his re-election bid, has a decidedly upbeat view of the economy. In a tweet Thursday, Trump asserted that "the economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential! If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!"
The president, who last week called Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell an "enemy," has been demanding that the Fed cut rates by a full percentage point — a proposal that most economists regard as wildly excessive. The Fed did cut rates by a quarter-point last month, the first rate reduction in a decade, and is expected to do so again at least twice more this year.
Some analysts say they think the expectation of further rate cuts makes them believe that the economy won't be pushed into a recession by the trade war.
The 2% annual GDP growth in the April-June quarter represented a slight downward revision from the government's first estimate of a 2.1% growth rate. Trump has pledged to achieve annual growth at annual rates of 3% or better. But economists generally foresee GDP slowing sharply after hitting 2.9% last year.
For all of 2019, economists estimate that GDP will slow to around 2.2% and then drop to below 2% in 2020 as the economy faces headwinds from the global slowdown and the effects from the escalating trade war with China.
The biggest factor in the government's downward revision for the April-June quarter was a smaller gain in spending by state and local governments and fewer export sales. American exports have been hurt by the retaliatory tariffs China and other countries have imposed on U.S. soybeans and other products.
Business investment spending turned negative in the second quarter, falling at a 0.6% annual rate, which many economists believe occurred because of the uncertainty among businesses resulting from Trump's trade war.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said he isn't forecasting a recession in the next 18 months but said one can't be ruled out in light of Trump's trade war with China.
"If the president continues to ratchet up the rhetoric and his tariffs on China, it will continue to unnerve business people who are already being more cautious with their investment plans," Zandi said. "The risks of going into a recession are high if the president keeps escalating his trade war."
Dhaka, Aug 29 (UNB)- Local mobile network operator Robi managed to make 1.2 crore taka profit in the second quarter of this year.
The company saw its revenue grow by 1.6% compared to the previous quarter reaching 1,858.7 crore taka. Compared to the same quarter last year, the revenue grew by 12.4%.
Compared to the previous quarter, Robi’s voice revenue grew by 2.8% and in relation to the same quarter last year, the voice revenue grew by 9.7%. While, its data revenue grew by 2.5% compared to last quarter and by 28.9%, compared to the same quarter last year.
Robi’s subscriber base grew by 1.3% from last quarter to reach 4 crore 79 lakhs in Q2,’19, representing 29.6% of the subscriber market share. Compared to the same quarter last year, the subscriber base grew by 7.2% in this quarter. At end of Q2’19, 3 crore 1 lakh subscribers were data users, representing 62.8% of its subscriber base.
Without considering the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16, Robi’s EBITDA stood at 662.6 crore taka in Q2,’19 with 35.6% margin. In terms of EBITDA margin growth in percentage point (pp), Robi’s EBITDA grew by 6.6 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the previous quarter and by 11.0 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the same quarter last year. Considering IFRS 16 implications, Robi’s EBITDA stood at 849.9 crore taka at the end of the third quarter of 2019.
Robi’s capex investment declined by 11.7% from last quarter reaching 269 crore taka in Q2,’19. The capex investment was made to finance the company’s 4.5G network expansion and other network upgradation activities. As of now, the company has taken a commanding lead in creating the largest 4.5G network of the country by on-airing 8,080 4.5G sites.
The total capex investment made by the company since its inception reached 23,720 crore taka in this quarter; during this period, Robi has paid a paltry 290 crore taka to its shareholders in the form of dividend.
Robi contributed 679.7crore taka to the Government exchequer in Q2’19 which amounts to 35.6% of the total revenue for the quarter. Robi’s total payment to the Government exchequer since its inception reached 25,190 crore taka in this quarter.
Dhaka, Aug 29 (UNB)- Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited inaugurated its Agent Banking outlet at Bhawal Mirzapur, Gazipur recently.
Abu Reza Md Yeahia, Deputy Managing Director of the Bank inaugurated the outlet as the chief guest. Mohammod Ullah, Executive Vice President and Head of Dhaka East Zone presided over the program while Md Anwar Hossain, Senior Vice President and Head of Gazipur Chowrasta Branch addressed welcome speech.
Md Fazlul Haque Musulli, Chairman of Bhawal Mirzapur Union Parishad, Md Abu Taher Musulli, former Vice Chairman of Gazipur Sadar Upazila, Awlad Hossain Mridha, Managing Director of Unity Febrics Industries Limited and Md Shafiqul Islam, educationists and social workers were present as special guests.
Md Shah Alam, bank’s agent and proprietor of M/s Bipu Enterprise along with local businesspersons, professionals and dignitaries attended the occasion.