10 months ago

The Bangladesh Today (10-02-2018)


ECONOMY & BUSINESS SATURDAy, THE BANGLADESHTODAY FEbRUARy 10, 2018 6 Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Chairman and CEO of PRAN-RFL Group, RN Paul, Managing Director of RFL Group, SriniNagarajan, Head of South Asia, Rahul Shah, Nicolas Pitiot and Partha Shah, Investment Directors at CDC, among others, were present on the occasion. RFL Electronics signs loan agreement with CDC for USD 15M CDC, the UK's development finance institution, will provide USD 15 million to RFL Electronics Limited, a sister concern of PRAN-RFL Group. The loan will be used to acquire equipment for producing consumer electronic goods for the local market, a press release said. The agreement was signed between RFL Electronics and CDC on Wednesday evening at a city hotel. Uzma Chowdhury, Corporate Finance Director of PRAN-RFL Group and Richard Palmer, CDC's Head of Corporate Debt, signed the agreement for their respective organizations. CDC is investing alongside Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh who are Spain ups growth forecast as Catalan fears ease Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Thursday upped Spain's growth forecast for 2018 to "at least 2.5 percent" just months after it was downgraded over the secession crisis in Catalonia. "This year, 2018, we will have a growth forecast of at least 2.5 percent, with the creation of 400,000 jobs," he told a conference in Madrid. In October, at the height of an attempt by Catalan leaders to break from Spain that caused huge economic uncertainty, the Spanish government had downgraded its 2018 growth forecast to 2.3 percent. Last month, though, official data showed the Spanish economy had grown more than three percent in 2017 as a record year for tourism and booming exports contained the impact of the Catalan crisis. And on Thursday, Rajoy upgraded the growth forecast for 2018 for the eurozone's fourth largest economy. He said that Spain in 2017 recovered GDP levels only previously seen before the severe economic crisis that hit the country from 2008. At 16.5 percent, however, the jobless rate remains the second highest in the eurozone after Greece, even if it has dropped from a crisis-high of close to 27 percent. The secession crisis in Catalonia, a region that accounts for close to a fifth of Spain's GDP, has raised economic concerns but its impact has been limited so far, causing a slight slowdown at the end of last year. But more than 3,200 companies have transferred their social headquarters out of the region, and the crisis isn't over. Rajoy put the semi-autonomous region under direct rule from Madrid after the Catalan parliament. providing an additional USD three million, for a total financing package of USD18 million. Now, RFL Electronics isproducingtelevision, refrigerator, airconditioner, rice cooker, blender, microwave oven, electric kettle, infrared cooker, roti maker, room heater, iron and fan under the Vision brand in Bangladesh.The investmentwill support the creation of 1500 manufacturing jobs. Uzma Chowdhury said, "Consumer Electronics goes a long way in improving livelihood if it can be offered at affordable price. In order to make it affordable, the industry needed to be setup within Bangladesh. We are delighted to have CDC as our partner." Richard Palmer said:"As Bangladesh's economy grows we see our investment in RFL Electronics as an opportunity to create jobs, meet the growing demand for consumer goods and help the country boost its local manufacturing." Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, Chairman and CEO of PRAN-RFL Group, RN Paul, Managing Director of RFL Group, SriniNagarajan, Head of South Asia, Rahul Shah, Nicolas Pitiot and Partha Shah, Investment Directors at CDC, among others, were present on the occasion. Trade on agenda as China’s top envoy visits US US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcomed Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi to Washington on Thursday as the world's two most powerful diplomats talked trade, drugs and North Korea. Yang is in Washington for two days at a time when relations between the top powers are dominated by the North Korean nuclear stand-off and President Donald Trump's concerns about their trade imbalance. His first port of call was the State Department, where he held closed door talks and had a working lunch with Tillerson, who is keen to keep China on board with a diplomatic push to force Pyongyang to negotiate its own nuclear disarmament. "During the meeting, both sides reaffirmed President Trump and President Xi's commitment to keep up pressure on North Korea's illegal nuclear weapons and missile programs," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. "They discussed the need to achieve a fair and reciprocal bilateral economic relationship, and shared approaches to stemming the flow of deadly narcotics," she added. Yang told Tillerson that the two countries could address trade disputes by further opening their markets to each other and "making a bigger cake of cooperation," the official Xinhua news service reported after the meeting. Washington is also pushing China to support Trump's "maximum pressure" drive to force Pyongyang to abandon its quest to build nuclear-armed long-range missiles capable of hitting US cities. "We hope that China will do more because we know that they can do more in terms of adhering to UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions that have been put in place against North Korea," Nauert said. In the talks, however, Yang apparently stuck to China's long-standing position that the issues on the Korean peninsula "should be solved through dialogue and negotiation," Xinhua reported, implying that Washington's approach could damage peace efforts. Nauert said some diplomatic conversations are best kept private but noted that: "We have a frank exchange of ideas and information, and our viewpoints. Our president has made it very clear his concerns about trade imbalances, that's the kind of thing that comes up." China's long-standing trade surplus with the United States grew 10 percent last year to $276 billion, a sum Trump finds intolerable, and senior officials from both countries are in talks to try to head off a trade war. "We're not seeking an adversarial relationship with the government of China," Nauert said. "We are simply identifying actions that China has taken that undermine a rulesbased order." Washington is also pushing China for more cooperation on cutting off the flow of synthetic drugs and chemical precursors used in the production of narcotics to Latin America, as these are often smuggled into the United States and fuel an epidemic of opioid addiction. German public sector unions demand six percent pay rise German unions said Thursday they would demand a six percent pay rise from state and local governments for public sector workers in upcoming talks, soon after metalworkers scored a big increase. Some 2.3 million public employees should get a pay rise of six percent or at least 200 euros ($245) per month over the coming year, unions Verdi, GEW and DBB said. Any protracted dispute with politicians could disrupt life in Germany, as in 2016 when rubbish collection, daycare, hospitals and transport were hit by "warning strikes". "We've seen continuous increases in tax revenue for years. Public sector workers should get a share of that, all the more so because there is a gap to make up with the average increase in salary" across the economy, said Frank Bsirske, leader of the Verdi union. Germany's budget surplus, which hit 38.4 billion euros last year, is forecast to climb this year and in 2019. Meanwhile, the unions say public sector workers are paid around four percent less than their private sector peers. Civil servants' talks with the interior ministry will begin in Potsdam, near Berlin, on February 26. Media caption Government workers on what happens during a shutdown Employees deemed essential - including military personnel and air traffic controllers - are required to work regardless of shutdowns. Three weeks ago, some people lost three days of work in a shutdown but this time, it is not yet clear which agencies will close. The federal Office of Personnel Management said employees should "refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty". CNN is reporting that if the shutdown is not averted, government agencies will still be able to call their employees in for a half day's work to make the shutdown go smoothly. Hong Kong stocks dive 3.10% at end of volatile week Hong Kong stocks plunged more than three percent Friday, the second hammering this week, as global markets are swept up in a wave of selling while investors fret about the impact of US interest rate tightening. And the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 4.05 percent, or 132.20 points, to 3,129.85 while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, fell 3.19 percent, or 55.31 points, to 1,679.26. Tokyo’s Nikkei index drops 2.3%, extending global slump Tokyo's benchmark index plunged more than two percent on Friday after European and US stocks suffered big drops as volatility continued to dog equity markets. The Nikkei index fell 2.32 percent, or 508.24 points, to close at 21,382.62, while the broader Topix index was down 1.91 percent, or 33.72 points, at 1,731.97. US Congress votes to end brief shutdown US lawmakers have voted to pass a two-year budget, meaning the country's second shutdown in three weeks could end before the working day begins.The measures have passed the Senate and the House but still need to be signed off by President Donald Trump. Federal funding for government services expired at midnight (05:00 GMT), after the Senate missed a voting deadline. The 600-page plan proposes an increase in spending, by about $300bn (£215bn), on defence and domestic services. Canadian provinces feud over Pacific pipeline project A pipeline project aimed at boosting Canada's overseas oil sales and reducing reliance on US buyers has pitted two provincial governments against each other, sticking the prime minister in the middle. The Can$7.4 billion (US$5.9 billion) expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will allow it to carry 890,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta's oil sands to the Pacific coast for shipping overseas, was approved by Ottawa in November 2016, and "twinning" of the 1,150-kilometer (715-mile) conduit is now underway. But a newly-elected New Democratic Party (NDP) government in British Columbia announced last week it would block new oil shipments through the province pending a further review of the risk of an oil spill in coastal waters. British Columbia is concerned that an oil tanker leak could damage its pristine rainforest coastline, putting commercial fisheries and tourism at risk. The move outraged the NDP government in Alberta, which has been forced to sell most of its oil to the United States at a discount due to a lack of pathways to other markets. It hit back by walking out on talks to purchase electricity from a massive new dam project in British Columbia and by ordering a boycott of its wines. Federal opposition leader Andrew Scheer on Wednesday called the interprovincial trade row a "crisis" and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cut short a US trade mission, return to Canada and "take control of the situation." "Jobs are being threatened not only in Alberta, but in British Columbia and indeed around the country," he said. Trudeau told a local talk radio show during a visit last week to Alberta: "That pipeline is going to get built." But he equivocated when pressed Wednesday before flying south about whether he would step in to end the Alberta- British Columbia feud. "Obviously, we're going to continue to make sure that we're standing up for the national interest," he told reporters. "Canadians know that the environment and the economy need to go together." Boxed into a corner, Trudeau must defend the federal approval of a pipeline deemed to be in the "national interest" and of economic benefit to this oil-rich country, while trying to maintain his appeal with progressive voters who helped elect him in 2015 on a promise to slash greenhouse gases. That pledge would require a significant cut in Canada's use of CO2 emissions, and the Alberta oil sands are the single biggest emitter in Canada. Further riling his supporters, Trudeau's government unveiled a new, stricter and streamlined environmental and regulatory review process on Thursday for pipelines, mines and other major projects. But that came too late for the Trans Mountain pipeline, approved under the old regulatory framework, which Trudeau himself has maligned. Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who will be tested for the first time in national elections in 2019, also refused to pick sides, but placed blame for the row on Trudeau for using the outdated environmental regulations to assess the project. Kinder Morgan, the company behind the project, is reportedly considering legal action to keep its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on track. If British Columbia does not back down, chief executive Ian Anderson told the Globe and Mail newspaper "then we're going to have a problem." "No one wants a trade fight between two provinces," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said in a video posted on social media. But, she added, "Our country can't work like this." British Columbia Premier John Horgan at first promised a strong response to Alberta's warning shots, but appeared to cool off by midweek, saying he would not escalate the trade war. Federal officials were dispatched on Thursday to try to quell the standoff, but both sides remain at odds. Ghana president says ‘no reason’ to return to IMF Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday hailed the country's economic recovery and said he saw "no reason" to seek further help from the International Monetary Fund. Once hailed as a regional growth model, in 2015 former president John Mahama's administration was forced to turn to the IMF for help amid a global commodities rout. But Akufo-Addo told parliament in the annual state of the union address that his government had buckled down on mismanagement and pledged to stabilise the economy to avoid another bailout. "We are determined to put in place measures to ensure irreversibility and sustain macroeconomic stability, so that we will have no reason to seek again the assistance of that powerful global body," Akufo-Addo told lawmakers. "For the first time in a long while, our macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, and all the critical indices are pointing in the right direction." The $918-million loan is set to come to an end this year, completed on conditions of reform, tighter fiscal discipline and lower inflation. The World Bank last month said Ghana's economy would likely grow by 8.3 percent in 2018 as a result of increased oil and gas production, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Creating more jobs will be the next step, said Gideon Amissah, of the Institute of Certified Economists of Ghana. "For the ordinary Ghanaian on the street we still need to keep the confidence level high," he told AFP. "If the government is unable to fulfil some of its promises given, then the confidence may not be sustainable." Senators struggled with last-minute objections from Republican Rand Paul, meaning they did not vote in time. The shutdown came within three weeks of the last one, as lawmakers wrangle over the spending plan and other political demands on either side. What does a shutdown mean for ordinary people? Many government agencies close during a shutdown as their future funding is theoretically not secure. Many employees are asked not to come to work and will not be paid - although some will get back pay.

SPORTS SAtuRDAy, FEBRuARy 10, 2018 7 Viktor Ahn (middle) won three gold medals at Sochi 2014. Mirpur Test day2 Lankans take control in series decider Sports Desk Sri Lankans took control in the series decider of a two-Test series against host Bangladesh as they extended their lead to199 runs, with 7 wickets in hand, form 112 in the 2nd innings at tea break of the second day's play at Sher-e- Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpuron Friday. Having 222 runs in the 1st innings, Sri Lanka opened the second innings and were on batting at tea break, scoring 87/3 * in 30th over where opener Dimuth Karunaratne (29* off 94b) and skipper Dinesh Chandimal (4* off 14b) were on batting for the side. Mustafizur Rahman lbw Danushka Gunathilaka (17 off 27 b; 1x4) on 80/3 in 25.5 overs after Taijul Islam bowled out Dhananjaya de Silva (28 off 24b; 5x4) on 53/2 in 16.4 overs and Abdur Razzak lbw Kusal Mendis (7 off 21b) for the first breakthrough on 19/1 6.5 overs. Earlier, Bangladesh resumed the 1st innings on the second day with overnight score of 56/4 in 22 overs and finished on 110/10 in 45.4 overs, giving Sri Lanka a 112-run lead in the 1st innings, before the lunch break. The Tigers went through a messy innings of 23.4 overs, losing six wickets for 54 runs on the day where overnight Mehidy Hasan Miraz (38* off 78 b; 2x4; 1x6) was the only batsman could hold the nerves till the end to add 33 runs more with his overnight collection. Another overnight batsman Liton Kumar Das (25 off 54b; 3x4) played 11 balls on the day's innings to add one run more with his previous score before being bowled out by Suranga Lakmal on 73/5 in 27overs. Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad (17 off 46b; 2x4) was bowled out by debut all-rounder Akila Dananjaya, giving a 46-ball company to Miraz to carry the team collection to 107/6 in 42.2 overs from where Akila started his spin show of 3 for 20 in 10 overs. The Tigers lost their five wickets- Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rathhman, Abdur Razzak, Taijul Islam and Mustafizur Rahmanwithin a span of three runs off 3.1 overs, from 107/6 in 42.2 overs to 110/10 in 45.4 overs, to end the innings with shame. Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal equally shared six wickets in the innings conceding 20 and 25 runs respectively while Dilruwan Perera got two wickets for 32 runs. Brief score: Sri Lanka 1st innings: 222/10 in 65.3 overs; Kusal Mendis 68, Roshen Silva 56, Dilruwan Perera 31, Abdur Razzak 4/63, Taijul Islam4/83, Mustafizur Rahman 2/17. Sri Lanka 2nd innings: batting on 87/3 * in 30 overs at tea; Dimuth Karunaratne 29*, Dinesh Chandimal 4*, Dhananjaya de Silva 28, Danushka Gunathilaka 17, Kusal Mendis 7, Mustafizur Rahman 1/8, Taijul Islam 1/25, Abdur Razzak 1/46. Photo: Internet Court rejects appeals by 47 Russians against Olympic bans Sports Desk Sports' highest court rejected appeals by all 45 Russian athletes plus two coaches who were banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns in a decision announced Friday less than nine hours before the opening ceremony. The International Olympic Committee had refused to invite the group of Russians, saying it had evidence of alleged doping in Russian sports. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IOC has the right to set its own standards for who is eligible. CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, reading from a statement and declining to take questions, said the IOC process "could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision." "No finding that this was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner," he said. The IOC issued a statement welcoming the decision. GD-214/18 (20 x 4) GD-217/18 (10 x 4)

December - The Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington DC