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Bangladesh Pitches Investment Opportunities to the French Market

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The Chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, has revealed that France is actively seeking to become a partner with Bangladesh in a significant business venture. He emphasized that France is a substantial market globally, and having accurate information about Bangladesh is crucial. In the past, France lacked accurate data and insights about Bangladesh, but that is changing. Now, France is well-informed and understands the potential of Bangladesh. Consequently, they are considering Bangladesh as a valuable partner. Previously, they provided aid and had a Bangladesh Donor Club in Paris, but the focus has shifted. Instead of seeking assistance, Bangladesh is now looking for investment opportunities.

On Monday, October 23, “The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Bangladesh-France Trade and Investment Summit 2023” was held in the French capital, Paris. The event was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), with the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the respective embassies of both nations.

The occasion featured the presence of Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the Minister of Information, and Salman F. Rahman, the Prime Minister’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment. It was graced by special guests including Khondker M. Talha, the Bangladeshi Ambassador to UNESCO, and Ms. Marie Masdupuy, the French Ambassador to Bangladesh. The event also included a video presentation by Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, the Chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).

The Chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) highlighted the historical friendship between Bangladesh and France, tracing it back to the establishment of diplomatic relations on February 14, 1972. He noted that the Bangladesh Embassy in Paris was inaugurated on March 17, 1972, on the occasion of the birthday of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh. Discussing Bangladesh’s foreign policy, he emphasized the country’s commitment to maintaining friendly relations with all nations, without harboring any enmity.

Furthermore, the Chairman emphasized the significant trade ties between the two countries, particularly in the export of various products from Bangladesh to France. These products include garments, accessories, bags, shoes, and processed fish, showcasing the diversity and potential of trade between Bangladesh and France. The remarks underscored the strong foundation of bilateral relations and the promising economic collaborations between the two nations.

The Ambassador of France to Bangladesh, Marie Masdupuy, has expressed France’s interest in exploring investment opportunities in various sectors in Bangladesh. This declaration comes on the heels of a recent visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Bangladesh, during which both nations engaged in discussions on matters of mutual economic interest.

Pierre-Jean Malgouyres, President of the France-Bangladesh Business Council, announced plans for a business delegation to visit Bangladesh in February or March 2024, with the aim of assessing investment prospects in the country. The delegation will evaluate the existing conditions and potential for investments in various sectors.

The Director-General of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), Md. Mahbubul Alam emphasized Bangladesh’s economic potential and progress over the past decade. He noted significant advancements in the country’s economic and social sectors, with remarkable infrastructural development. The cost-effective labor force and investment-friendly climate in Bangladesh provide lucrative opportunities for foreign investors. However, Bangladesh’s Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) have organized investment promotion events and roadshows in three European countries to attract foreign investors to explore the potential that Bangladesh offers.

Furthermore, the Chairman added that in the past decade, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in its economy. It has been on an upward trajectory in all key indicators. However, the opportunities and potential of our economy have not been adequately conveyed to potential foreign investors. This has hindered substantial foreign investments from flowing into the country. Thus, initiatives like investment promotion events and roadshows will play a crucial role in attracting foreign investments.

He further emphasized that Bangladesh offers various incentives for investment, developmental initiatives, an investment-friendly government policy,overall economic situation and FDI were presented to the guests. In particular, how expatriates and foreign investors can directly invest in the stock market, its strategy and overall security are informed.

Istaq Simul, Managing Director of 3i Asset Management Limited, lauded the successful organization of the business summit in Paris by BSEC and BIDA. He expressed hope that this event will substantially boost French investments in Bangladesh, particularly in the stock market and various other sectors. These developments mark a significant step towards strengthening economic collaboration between Bangladesh and France.

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NRB Bank Set to Debut on DSE in ‘N’ Category from Tomorrow

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NRB Bank

NRB Bank is gearing up for its trading debut on Tuesday, February 27, listed under the “N” category on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). The trading code assigned to the company is “NRBBANK,” as announced by the Dhaka bourse.

In the initial public offering (IPO) phase, general investors were allotted 255 shares each, while non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) received 209 shares against a Tk10,000 deposit. The DSE distributed the IPO shares on a pro-rata basis.

The IPO witnessed significant oversubscription, reaching 3.61 times, according to a DSE press release. Approval from the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) for the bank’s plan to raise Tk100 crore through issuing new shares at Tk10 each was granted on November 9.

Allocating the funds raised, the bank plans to invest Tk92 crore in government securities, Tk4.17 crore in the secondary market, and Tk3.83 crore to cover IPO expenses.

As of the financial report spanning January to September 2023, NRB Bank reported a consolidated net profit after tax of Tk16 crore, with earnings per share at Tk0.27. This was a notable decrease from Tk55 crore and Tk0.94, respectively, in 2022. The net asset value per share stood at Tk12.72 as of September 30, 2023.

The bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was reported at 6.10% of the total outstanding as of September 2023, compared to 3.22% a year ago. Established in 2013, NRB Bank offers a diverse range of products and services in retail banking, SME banking, NRB banking, corporate banking, and e-banking.

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Asian Markets Dip Amid Profit-Taking Following US Records

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Asian Markets

In Monday’s trading session, most Asian markets witnessed a downturn, despite Tokyo’s Nikkei index reaching new all-time highs following record closures of two of the three main US indices. The recent market surge, fueled by outstanding results from US tech giant Nvidia, prompted investors to engage in profit-taking, leading to a moderation in the impressive rally, analysts noted.

On Friday, Wall Street saw the Dow and the S&P closing at record highs, while the Nasdaq, dominated by tech stocks, experienced a slip, following a notable three-percent surge the day before.

Rodrigo Catril, National Australia Bank’s senior FX strategist, observed that the advance of Nvidia moderated, and other major tech stocks saw a decline after a robust run driven by artificial intelligence.

Tokyo’s Nikkei index managed to defy the trend, rising by 0.5 percent and surpassing the December 1989 record it had smashed on the previous Friday. However, Chinese shares struggled, with Hong Kong opening higher before losing 0.6 percent, and Shanghai down by 0.4 percent.

Despite the Chinese government expressing intentions to stimulate its economy through “piecemeal incentives” such as boosting sales of cars and home appliances, Asian markets experienced setbacks.

Singapore recorded a 0.9 percent drop, Seoul fell by 0.5 percent, while Bangkok, Jakarta, and Wellington reported declines. Sydney remained relatively flat, and Taipei gained a modest 0.1 percent.

Oil prices continued their descent, extending losses from Friday, as the G7 countries pledged new sanctions against Russia, marking two years since its invasion of Ukraine. Catril highlighted concerns about a lack of demand for crude oil, coupled with uncertainty arising from the new sanctions.

Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management expressed expectations of a slowdown in the global oil supply throughout the year. He pointed to challenges facing the Chinese economy and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to mitigate inflationary pressures as factors likely to impact global growth and oil demand.

Looking ahead, the upcoming week holds significant indicators, including January Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for Australia and Japan. The week culminates in a “Super Friday” featuring key inflation and manufacturing data releases from both the United States and China, adding to the ongoing market uncertainties.

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Rollercoaster Ride for Index Values results Mixed Performance

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Dhaka Stock Exchange DSE, Bourse on the first working day of the week, February 25, ended with price Index mixed & turnover drops. This information is known from DSE sources.

804 crore 98 lakh taka shares were traded on this day. 57 crore 19 lakh less tradings were done in DSE today compared to the previous workday, 22 February, Shares worth Tk  862 crores 18 lakh shares were traded last time, Thursday.

The benchmark DSEX lost 14.32 points or 6,259 The Shariah-based index DSES gained 2.03 points or 1,362, and the blue-chip index DS30 decreased by 2.30 points or 2,137.

Of the issues traded, 96 advanced, 243 declined and 56 remained unchanged.

Bangladesh Monospool Paper Manufacturing Co. Limited ranked top gainer on DSE, the share price increased by Tk 18.30 paisa or 9.98 percent. On this day, the share was last traded at Tk 201.60 paisa.

EBL 1st Mutual Fund ranked top loser on the DSE, the share price dropped by Tk 0.50 paisa or 7.81 percent. On this day, the share was last traded at Tk 5.90 paisa.

DSE topped on trade is Best Holdings Limited 39 crore 8 lakh takas of shares of the company have been traded.

A total of 35 companies’ shares were traded in the Block on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, 62 lakh 58 thousand 465 shares of the companies were traded. The financial value of which is 38 crore 89 lakh taka

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