• Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Business

NBR tightens rules for rent payment

The National Board of Revenue has tightened rules for businesspersons and professionals who rent properties for commercial or residential purposes. These people will now have to pay rents of properties through crossed cheques or bank transfers, a move that taxmen say will help plug tax loopholes. "Otherwise, the rents will not be admissible as expenses," the NBR said in a notice on Monday. It means businesspeople and professionals will have to pay more tax if they do not pay such rents through banks. The expenses, claimed by taxpayers as rental payments for properties, will then be treated as income and entail tax, taxmen say. NBR officials said people who will fall under the professional category include physicians, lawyers and engineers. The measures will be effective from July 1 this year. "We have introduced the rule to ensure disclosure of real expenses. It will boost tax receipts," a senior official of NBR said, asking not to be named. The tax administrator took the step as it found that claims of payments for property rents were not verifiable as the money could be paid to owners in cash. Taxmen said there was scope of collusion between renters and owners on disclosure of expenses paid as...

Mozena urges American Bangladeshis to invest in their roots

Mozena urges American Bangladeshis to invest in their roots

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena yesterday called upon American Bangladeshis...

Regulator approves National Feed Mill's IPO

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday gave a go-ahead to National Feed Mill to raise Tk 18 crore from the...

Grassroots women entrepreneurs awarded for excellence

Grassroots women entrepreneurs awarded for excellence

Mokseda Begum, a housewife from Thakurgaon district, decided to take matters...

Invest to explore marine resources

The private sector should come forward to invest in exploring marine resources in a bid to boost the country's gross domestic product, analysts said yesterday. “New investment opportunities in ocean will create jobs and bring foreign currencies,” said Khurshed Alam, secretary of the marine affairs unit at the foreign ministry. He was speaking at a roundtable on the state of the economy organised by the Board of Investment (BoI) at its office in the city. The Bay of Bengal has huge unexplored...

Citi launches roadshow on e-fund transfer

Banks are yet to fully embrace the electronic fund transfer (EFT) services even four years after its launch due to lack of awareness and incentives among bankers about the cost effective, quicker and secure system. As a result, only 5 percent of all banking transactions are cleared through the electronic system, leaving the rest to costly and time consuming paper-based system. The use of EFT in the Asia Pacific is however as high as 85 percent, said Noel Saminathan, managing director...

Mozilla comes up with $33 smartphone in India

Mozilla, a company best known for its Firefox browser, has launched a new low-cost smartphone in India that will retail for 1,999 rupees ($33; £19.90). The phone is only for sale on India's online shopping site, Snapdeal. The Intex Cloud FX runs on Mozilla's Firefox operating system and as such it will be the first low-cost device running that system available in Asia. India's emerging market is regarded as the world's fastest growing for low-cost smartphones. Various emerging markets across Asia are seen...

New DMD for Midas

New DMD for Midas

ASM Mashi-ur-Rahaman has recently been appointed as the deputy managing director and managing director (acting) of Micro Industries Development Assistance and Services. Rahman has nearly three decades of experience in project development, management and implementation, human resource development and export marketing, Midas said in a statement yesterday. He is a post graduate in applied chemistry...

Amazon to buy videogame platform Twitch for $970m

US online retail giant Amazon has bolstered its Internet video presence, whistling past Google to snatch up Twitch and its huge audience for live-streamed gaming. The acquisition, announced Monday, is one of the largest in Amazon's history: $970 million in cash for the three-year-old Internet company. The costliest takeover by Jeff Bezos's group was online shoe store Zappos, valued at $1.2 billion in 2009 but partly in shares. "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a...

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India fines car makers $420m for anti-competitive practices

India fines car makers $420m for anti-competitive practices

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined more than a dozen global and local carmakers a total of 25.5 billion rupees ($420 million) after a probe found they had engaged in anti-competitive practices in the world's sixth largest auto market. The Indian penalty follows heightened regulatory scrutiny of the auto industry in China,...

Swiss private banks to release first-ever results

The elite of Swiss private banks will Tuesday begin lifting the veil on their books after a radical shift in their business model, amid tougher international regulations and crackdowns on tax dodgers. Geneva's Bank Pictet opens the way with an unprecedented release of its first-half results, followed on Thursday by crosstown rival Lombard Odier. "All the figures published will be important, even if these banks are not listed," Andreas Venditti, an analyst at Zurich's Vontobel Bank, told AFP. The revolution in the...

Chevron seeks up to $1.5b for Canadian oil project

Chevron Corp has been searching for up to $1.5 billion of equity investment to help develop its Duvernay shale formation assets in Canada and contacted potential investors including private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter. Chevron's subsidiary, Chevron Canada Limited, has exploration leases for approximately 330,000 net acres (1,335 square km) in the Duvernay shale formation. The area is located about 124 miles (200 km) northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. The San Ramon, California-based oil and gas company has...

South Africa dodges recession

South Africa dodges recession

South Africa narrowly avoided slipping into recession in the first half of the year, thanks in part to election-time government spending, official data showed on Tuesday. Africa's most advanced economy had shrunk in the first quarter of the year by 0.6 percent, amid a mining strike that halted platinum production for five months. But the...

India's Karbonn Mobiles may go public by 2016

India's Karbonn Mobiles may go public by 2016

Karbonn Mobiles, the third-largest smartphone maker in India, expects to go public by 2016 as it bets on sales of Android devices made in partnership with Google Inc to boost revenue growth. "Frankly, I've been delaying it for the last couple of years because I wanted to know my valuation ... and now my...

Chinese regulator targets Microsoft's web browser, media player

Microsoft Corp's Windows web browser and media player are being targeted in a Chinese antitrust probe, raising the prospect of China revisiting the software bundling issue at the heart of past antitrust complaints against the firm in the West. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) suspects Microsoft of not being fully transparent with information about its Windows and Office sales, but the company has expressed willingness to cooperate with ongoing investigations, Zhang Mao, the head of the antitrust...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Solaric takes green energy tech to next level

Solaric takes green energy tech to next level

Solaric, a developer of renewable energy technology and products, is set to expand its operation in a bid to grab the country's growing solar energy market. The US-Bangla joint venture company will open a new factory in Dhaka today to manufacture solar optimisers, a key component of solar home systems (SHSs) that increase power...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
BB bankrolls troubled jute sector

BB bankrolls troubled jute sector

The central bank yesterday signed deals with 16 banks to extend low-interest loans to the jute sector in a bid to prop up the ailing industry. The loans will be extended from the Tk 200 crore refinance scheme that Bangladesh Bank has created for five years. All public and private sector jute mills, exporters and...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Exports to India on the decline

Exports to India on the decline

Exports to India declined 19 percent year-on-year to $456.63 million in fiscal 2013-14 mainly due to a slowdown in shipment of garment items that enjoy duty-benefit in the neighbouring market. In fiscal 2012-13, exports to India were worth $563.97 million, according to Export Promotion Bureau. But exports were supposed to increase as the Indian government...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
IDB offers $44m for second undersea cable

The government yesterday signed a Tk 340 crore ($44 million) loan contract with Islamic Development Bank to install the second submarine cable for the country. “We had been trying to get the loan for the last couple of years and finally the contract was signed,” said Monwar Hossain, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL). The installation may complete by 2016, while Bangladesh entered a consortium in March this year. The new cable -- SEA-ME-WE 5 -- that is likely...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Submarine Cable's profit falls 58pc

Net profit of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company dropped more than 58 percent year-on-year to Tk 36 crore in 2013-14, as the state-owned internet connectivity provider lost its market share. The company's major income comes from sales of bandwidth, which came down to 25 gigabits per second (Gbps) last fiscal year from 42 Gbps a year earlier. “Many of our customers switched to private sector international terrestrial cable (ITC) providers that sell bandwidth at low prices,” said Monwar Hossain, managing director of...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Stocks return to black after three days in red

Stocks broke a three-day losing streak to return to the black yesterday, riding on investors' buying into large-cap firms. DSEX, the benchmark general index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, gained 23 points or 0.52 percent, to close at 4,564. The shariah index of the Dhaka bourse, closed at 1,063 points after gaining 2.87 points or 0.27 percent. Recent momentum in multinational companies and fast-moving consumer goods continued to support markets following the uptrend witnessed throughout much of the past two weeks, said...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
China urges more private investment in troubled railways

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged the heavily scrutinised railway sector to seek more private investment and rely less on state support as a key plank of its reform, the government website said on Sunday. Beijing has vowed to deepen reforms of its state-owned enterprises and to open up protected industries such as finance, petroleum, power, telecoms and railways to private investors for the first time. "Railway construction invested solely by the government and promoted by administrative orders will not work anymore,"...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Anwar Group's director for sales and marketing

Anwar Group's director for sales and marketing

Md Saiful Islam Helaly has recently joined Anwar Group of Industries as director for sales and marketing, the company said in a statement yesterday. Helaly will be working for the group's building materials division, particularly business vertical-I, which comprises Anwar Ispat Ltd and Anwar Cement Ltd, according to the statement. Before joining Anwar Group, Helaly served Bashundhara Group as chief marketing promotion officer. He also worked with Premier Cement, Shah Cement, Meghna Group of Industries and Akij Group. A student of the marketing department of Dhaka University, Helaly completed ACBA course from the Institute of Business Administration of the same university.

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Global network of audit, tax firms launches Bangladesh operation

BDO, the fifth largest global network of audit, tax and advisory firms, launched its operation in Bangladesh on Thursday. BDO is the second such firm to enter Bangladesh after KPMG, according to a statement. Stephen Darley, chief executive of Asia Pacific Region for BDO International, was present at the launch at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka. Darley introduced Nurul Faruk Hasan and Co (nufhas), Chartered Accountants and Business Consulting Services as member firms of BDO International in Bangladesh. Nufhas and BCS...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
India Supreme Court declares coal licences illegal

India Supreme Court declares coal licences illegal

India's Supreme Court has ruled that all coal mining licences awarded between 1993 and 2010 are illegal. Successive governments gave rights to mine coal to state and private companies in a manner which was "not fair and transparent" and without competitive bidding, the court said. The court will now examine whether 218 such licences should...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Thai Airways denies reports that 200 pilots have suddenly quit

Thai Airways International, whose earnings have been hit by fierce competition and high operating costs, denied local media reports that 200 pilots have suddenly left the company due to concerns over the carrier's finances. It is untrue that 200 pilots have left the company, First Lieutenant Athisak Padchuenjai, executive vice president for operations, told a press briefing in Bangkok on Monday. About 30 pilots have resigned this year, but that has not affected the airline's operations, Athisak said. The media reports sent...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Venezuela to take steps to stop food smugglers

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced plans to introduce fingerprint scanners at supermarkets in a bid to stop food smugglers he blames for the crippling shortages gripping the country. Price controls in Venezuela keep food and other basic goods up to 10 times cheaper than in neighboring countries, and Maduro blames the shortages on smugglers who buy cheap products and sell them for large profits across the border, particularly in Colombia. Under the new system, the scanners would be used...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Merkel backs Spain's economy minister to lead Eurogroup

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her powerful backing Monday to Spain's economy minister, Luis de Guindos, in his bid to lead the Eurogroup forum of eurozone finance ministers. The German leader's support could be crucial in landing him the job, a testament to Spain's changed fortunes two-and-a-half years since the nation was fighting off the threat of an all-out financial and economic bailout. Now, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy is being touted by some as an example of fiscal restraint and economic...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Why inflation is so persistent

Inflation has been high for nearly four years and has not responded to the policies of the Reserve Bank of India or the central government. This is because the kind of inflation that we have is of an unusual variety and cannot be checked by conventional means. It is important to look at the numbers. In July, the consumer price index (CPI) was up 8 percent and threatens to crawl up further after a deficient monsoon. That's because 68 percent...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Chinese move into luxury Manhattan property

Chinese move into luxury Manhattan property

Owning a home on US soil is no longer only an American dream. Increasingly, buyers from China are snapping up luxury property in America, particularly in high-priced markets like New York. Cynthia Liu, 26, is among the Chinese buyers who have decided to invest in upmarket residential real estate here. Liu grew up in Beijing...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Meena Bazar brings grocery to customers' doorstep

Meena Bazar brings grocery to customers' doorstep

Meena Bazar, one of the largest supermarket chains in Bangladesh, is looking to make its online supermarket as popular as its brick-and-mortar ones, as the country warms to the idea of purchasing groceries off the internet. “Recently, we have noticed that the urban people are more focused on saving time, which led us to...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Small island states, facing rising seas, seek economic overhaul

Small island states facing a "frightening" rise in sea levels will seek investments in everything from solar energy to fisheries to boost their economies at a UN summit next week. Leaders will meet in Samoa in the Pacific from Sept 1-4 to drum up partnerships with companies, development banks and donors on projects that bring in dollars and jobs while protecting oceans and environments, organisers said. Many islands from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean are suffering erosion and coastal flooding...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Heinz recall brings food tracking issue to the fore in China

Heinz recall brings food tracking issue to the fore in China

The entanglement of HJ Heinz Co. in China's latest food scare highlights a key concern for international and local firms - how to keep track of ingredients from diverse sources in a country where food supply tracing technologies are far from the norm. The US food maker apologised to Chinese consumers last week and...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Burger King in takeover talks with Tim Hortons

Burger King has said it is in takeover talks with Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain. A merger would create the world's third-largest fast-food combine, one with a stock market value of about $18 billion. The companies confirmed the talks late on Sunday and said the new group would be headquartered in Canada, where corporate taxes are lower. Burger King's majority shareholder, 3G Capital, would stay in overall control. The New York and Rio de Janeiro-based investment firm bought Burger King...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Indian billionaire to invest $2b in Odisha power plant

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani plans to invest $2 billion to build a 2,500 megawatt power plant in Odisha, which would raise group capacity by a quarter and boost supply in a country where a third of the population still goes without power. A college dropout and self-made entrepreneur, Adani has built a power, mining and ports giant with revenue of nearly $9 billion. Among his latest purchases in an expansion spree was the $327 million acquisition of a power plant...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Modi govt renews pledge to deepen trade links with Saarc

Modi govt renews pledge to deepen trade links with Saarc

The Modi government is committed to strengthening relations with Saarc countries, including Bangladesh, for greater regional cooperation and connectivity, a visiting Indian state minister said yesterday. “Our prime minister has invited the Saarc countries to his swearing-in ceremony to convey our friendly intentions and the way we want to engage with them ahead,” said VK Singh, India's union minister of state for development of northeastern region. “Today we have the climate and the political will on either side of the border to think and progress in a manner which will be of benefit to both sides. If there is no mutual benefit, we will not move forward.” Singh's comments came at the...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Minister spurs telcos to invest more

Minister spurs telcos to invest more

Mobile phone operators should come up with more investment as the government is ready to provide them with all types of support, Telecom Minister Abdul Latif Siddique said yesterday. The minister spoke at the opening session of a workshop organised by Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) in partnership with Global System...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Ericsson study sees bright future for mobile banking

Ericsson study sees bright future for mobile banking

About 97 percent of the country's population are interested in using mobile phones to send and receive money, according to a study by Ericsson, the Swedish communications technology and services company. The report -- Mobile Commerce in Emerging Asia -- by Ericsson ConsumerLab studied Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam and explored the possibilities of widespread m-commerce adoption in emerging Asia. The target group for the study was mobile phone users aged 15–59 years in urban and sub-rural areas. Some 6,000 consumers and 900 merchants in total were chosen from approximately six million people in Bangladesh, 24 million in Indonesia and 12 million in Vietnam. The research reveals that 54 percent of the respondents...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Tuba owner seeks Tk 30cr loans to turn around

Tuba owner seeks Tk 30cr loans to turn around

Delwar Hossain, managing director of Tuba Group, yesterday sought Tk 30 crore in soft loans from the government to help his businesses turn around. “I have lost everything. I have nothing left to sell for money,” said Hossain with tears in his eyes, while reading a written statement during a media briefing at Hotel...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
ADB suggests 'realistic' criteria to gauge poverty

The number of the poor in Asia would jump more than one billion if more realistic criteria are used for measuring poverty, the Asian Development Bank said in its latest report. The report also termed the existing scale of gauging poverty outdated and inappropriate for the continent. In its Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2014, the Manila-based lender said fast growth has made Asia a role model in reducing extreme poverty—measured by the conventional $1.25 poverty line. However, that...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Social business design lab held

The 25th social business design lab took place at the Grameen Bank auditorium in the capital on Saturday. Six new social business plans were presented at the lab, Yunus Centre said in a statement. The plans include four projects, all of which are businesses launched by young entrepreneurs who are children of Grameen Bank families. They are: Sumaiya Poultry Feed and Medicine Corner, Mim Fashion, Khokon Video Editing Centre and Afsana Pigeon Farm. Two other projects -- Himel Mushroom Cultivation Project and Creation...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Menon calls for greater cooperation in aviation among D-8 countries

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon yesterday called for enhanced cooperation among the D-8 member countries for compliance with international, regional and national civil aviation safety standards. It will assist in the development of a harmonised regulatory framework among the D-8 countries and encourage safe air transportation, Menon said at the inauguration of the 8th meeting of D-8 Working Group on Civil Aviation (WGCA) and Director General at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel. Established in 1997, the Developing 8 is a...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Five-day central banking course begins in Dhaka

Five-day central banking course begins in Dhaka

A five-day central banking course to disseminate newer tools of financial management to the new generation of regulators at the central banks and other regulatory financial institutions, started at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. An organisation of the central banks of 20 countries—SEANZA Forum—organised the event inaugurated by SK Sur Chowdhury, current chairman of...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Western Marine starts building vessel for MR Global

The construction of another vessel capable of carrying 176 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers started at Western Marine Shipyard in Chittagong yesterday through a keel-laying ceremony. Owned by MR Global Ltd, the ship will be built under French class Bureau Veritas, the shipbuilder said in a statement. The ship—MV Siara Ereshva—will carry containers from Chittagong port to the newly developed Pangaon Inland Container Terminal in Narayanganj. Western Marine Chairman Saiful Islam, Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain and MR Global's Chairman Salim Chowdhury and...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Citi official in Dhaka to attend e-payment roadshow

Citi official in Dhaka to attend e-payment roadshow

Noel Saminathan, managing director and head of cash product management in the Southeast Asian region of Citi, will be in Dhaka for a two-day official visit beginning today, Citi said in a statement. Saminathan is also the country head for treasury and trade solutions at Citi Malaysia, it said. He will attend the inaugural session...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Bad loans need more vigilance: experts

The government should develop a separate bench to facilitate quick disposal of cases on non-performing loans, economists and bankers said on Saturday. Banks are facing problems in managing such loans due to delay in case disposals in court, said Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank. The capacity of managing the bad loans will increase if the bankers could solve cases quickly, Ahmed said. Bad loans are an inevitable burden on the banks and financial institutions, he said. He spoke at a discussion...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Rice transhipment slows Ashuganj port activities

Ashuganj river port is now facing a huge congestion as one of the jetties of the port has remained occupied for transhipment of Indian rice since August 6. Five Indian vessels have been using the reinforcement concrete cement (RCC) jetty, which was constructed on the southern side of the port recently to cut congestion, for loading and unloading their rice. The only floating pontoon jetty on the port's northern side is now bearing all the pressure of the port, creating a...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
Call for using eco-friendly construction materials

Engineers and realtors yesterday called for using environment-friendly construction materials instead of clay bricks to stop pollution. “The use of clay bricks in construction is outdated. This is diminishing cultivable lands and trees and pollution keeps rising due to it,” said Saleh Mostafa Kamal, an environmental consultant. He presented a keynote on “using environment-friendly construction materials in Bangladesh” at a programme organised by Concord, a real estate company, at Westin Hotel in the capital. Clay brick makers consumed 45 million tonnes of...

Published Date: August 25, 2014
China targets own operating system to take on likes of Microsoft, Google

China could have a new homegrown operating system by October to take on imported rivals such as Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Apple Inc, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday. Computer technology became an area of tension between China and the United States after a number of run-ins over cyber security. China is now looking to help its domestic industry catch up with imported systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Google's mobile operating system Android. The operating system would first appear...

Published Date: August 24, 2014
Jute sector in deep trouble

Jute sector in deep trouble

Stockpiles of jute goods hit a nine-year high of 1.69 lakh tonnes in the face of a slump in exports and domestic consumption, putting the entire sector in deep trouble. Jute mills have begun the current fiscal year with the stock, which is 62 percent higher than last year, according to the Department of...