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Asian Stock Markets Slump as Investors Brace for Prolonged Rate Hikes

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Global financial markets took a sharp nosedive on Tuesday as investors grew increasingly anxious about the possibility of another interest rate hike in the United States. Concerns were compounded by worries that these elevated rates might persist to combat stubbornly high inflation.

Despite a brief rebound on Wall Street, early Asian trading saw the dollar strengthen even further, driven by a surge in US Treasury yields to their highest levels in 16 years. This development reignited fears that the world’s largest economy could slip into a recession.

Adding to the uncertainty, lawmakers in Washington struggled to reach an agreement on spending, raising the specter of a government shutdown. This political deadlock prompted warnings that it could negatively impact the US credit rating. The recent surge in oil prices further fueled concerns that central banks’ efforts to curb inflation might be derailed after over a year of tightening measures.

Last week, the US Federal Reserve indicated that it could raise borrowing costs once again before the year’s end. This announcement dealt a blow to many market participants who had hoped that the interest rate hike in July would be the last for a while. Additionally, policymakers hinted that rates might need to remain at their highest levels in over two decades for an extended period.

Market analysts from the BlackRock Investment Institute believe that “rates will stay high” and that Treasury yields could continue to climb. They suggest that rising long-term bond yields reflect the market’s adjustment to increased macro and market volatility. The prevailing sentiment, as noted by National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland, is that rates will remain elevated for an extended period, reflecting the Federal Reserve’s stance.

In early Asian trading, major stock markets including Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, and Wellington all experienced declines, reflecting the uncertainty gripping investors. The situation in China’s property sector also raised concerns, with the troubled developer Evergrande announcing that it had missed an onshore bond repayment.

On the currency front, the dollar remained near 11-month highs against the yen, prompting Japanese authorities to express their willingness to intervene if the dollar’s ascent becomes excessive. However, analysts do not anticipate a significant strengthening of the yen, given the Bank of Japan’s commitment to its ultra-loose monetary policy.

The ongoing political standoff in Washington, where hardline Republicans in the House of Representatives have blocked key spending bills, is causing unease among investors. If an agreement is not reached by the weekend, it could lead to a government shutdown, a scenario that Moody’s warns would have negative implications for the US’s top-tier credit rating.

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Dhaka Bourse Skyrockets, Achieving 4-Day Gaining Streak

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Dhaka Stock Exchange DSE, Bourse on the last working day of the week, 20th June, ended with a hike in Indices and Turnover from the previous working session. This information is known from DSE sources.

452 crore 94 lakh taka shares were traded on this day. 206 crore 50 lakh more tradings were done in DSE today compared to the previous workday, June 19th, Shares worth Tk 246 crores 44 lakh shares were traded last time, Wednesday

The benchmark DSEX increased 82.74 points or 5,244 The Shariah-based index DSES added 24.78 points or 1,146, and the blue-chip index DS30 gained by 31.34 points or 1,875.

Of the issues traded, 288 advanced, 55 declined and 50 remained unchanged.

Linde Bangladesh Limited ranked top gainer on DSE, the share price increased by Tk 424.10 paisa or 43.04 percent. On this day, the share was last traded at Tk 1409.40 paisa.

Global Heavy Chemicals Limited ranked top loser on the DSE, the share price dropped by Tk 1.20 paisa or 3.00 percent. On this day, the share was last traded at Tk 38.90 paisa.

DSE topped on trade is Asiatic Laboratories Limited 14 crore 63 lakh takas of company shares have been traded.

A total of 45 companies’ shares were traded in the Block on Dhaka Stock Exchange. A total of 1 crore 71 lakh 39 thousand 978 shares of the companies were traded. The financial value of which is 113 crore 38 lakh taka.

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National Tea Sets New Subscription Date for Tk279.7cr Placement Shares

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National Tea Company Limited, a publicly traded entity, has announced new subscription dates for its Tk279.7 crore placement shares. Originally slated for nearly a year ago, the subscription had been postponed by regulatory authorities but is now set to proceed following a recent court directive.

According to the company’s disclosure, the subscription period will run from June 19 to August 19 during banking hours. This follows a letter from the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) instructing the resumption of the capital-raising initiative, in compliance with a High Court order.

The primary objective of issuing these placement shares is to fuel business growth, finance working capital, and repay bank loans. However, due to a funding shortfall, the company has been unable to complete its modernization projects and other initiatives, resulting in decreased turnover caused by declining average sale prices in the auction market for its products.

Following the court’s directive, significant progress has been made in implementing the state-owned company’s plans.

In July of the previous year, Jakir Hossain Sarkar, a minor shareholder with just 10 National Tea shares, filed a writ petition with the High Court opposing the company’s scheme to issue fresh shares as approved by the BSEC, alleging unequal treatment of existing shareholders. The court later upheld the BSEC’s approval. Upon a petition by the market regulator, the Appellate Division’s chamber judge temporarily stayed the High Court’s order.

Shareholders have borne the brunt of these legal battles. After the record date, the price of National Tea shares dropped in anticipation of the increased number of shares, and the issuance of placement shares remained uncertain.

In April last year, National Tea received BSEC approval to raise its paid-up capital by issuing 2.34 crore shares at Tk119.53 each, inclusive of a Tk109.53 premium per share. The distribution plan allocated 1.24 crore shares to the government, Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, and Sadharan Bima Corporation at an average ratio of 4.43 new shares for each existing share. Sponsor-directors were allocated 13.8 lakh shares at a ratio of 3.21:1, and general shareholders were to receive nearly 96 lakh shares at a 2.85:1 ratio.

As of Wednesday, National Tea shares closed at Tk388.60 each on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. Founded in 1978 and listed on the capital market in 1979, National Tea cultivates, manufactures, and sells tea and rubber in the local market. The company’s average annual production is about 52 lakh kg of tea, most of which is sold through the Chattogram auction market.

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Renata Launches First Terbinafine Shipment to the UK

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Renata PLC, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in the country, has successfully exported its initial consignment of Terbinafine tablets to the United Kingdom, marking a significant milestone in its export portfolio.

The company’s secretary, Md Jubayer Alam, announced that this shipment expands Renata’s export range to 17 distinct products within the UK market. “We have received an order of approximately 200,000 boxes, valued at £150,000,” he stated.

In local currency terms, this translates to an export value of over Tk2.23 crore.

In a disclosure to stock exchanges on Wednesday, June 19, Renata PLC detailed the dispatch of the first batch of Terbinafine 250 mg tablets to the UK, where the product will be marketed under the brand name Terbimax. The tablets are manufactured at Renata’s MHRA-approved facility in Rajendrapur, Gazipur, and will be distributed by Renata (UK) Limited.

Terbinafine, an allylamine antifungal, is commonly used to treat onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails caused by dermatophytes. The global market for Terbinafine was valued at $614 million in 2023. In Bangladesh, this medication is also available under the brand name Terbimax.

Md Jubayer Alam emphasized the strong demand for Terbinafine in the UK. “The market for these products is expanding rapidly. With our entry into this market, we anticipate significant benefits for the company,” he said.

Renata PLC entered the UK market in 2018 through its subsidiary, Renata (UK) Limited. Currently, several products are being commercialized in the UK, supported by agreements with five distribution partners. According to its annual report, Renata (UK) Limited generated a consolidated revenue of Tk7.71 crore in FY23.

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