ECONOMY & BUSINESS FRIDAY, THE BANGLADESHTODAY MARCH 30, 2018 10 Chittagong City Corporation in collaboration with WaterAid Bangladesh and Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) yesterday inaugurated two modern public toilets at Lal-Dighi Par and K-C Dey Road in Chittagong city. Funded by the Kimberly-Clark Foundation, this collaboration has constructed these modern public toilets - with facilities such as disable friendly spaces, separate chamber for male and females, locker room, hand washing area, shower and safe drinking water facility, 24x7 electricity, CCTV camera availability, professional cleaners and female caretakers. Photo : Courtesy Deputy Chairman and directors of Standard Chartered PLC visit Bangladesh Naguib Kheraj, Deputy Chairman; Christine Hodgson, Senior Independent Director; and Jasmine Whitbread, Independent Non- Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC were recently in Dhaka for an official visit to the country, a press release said. During their visit, the senior leaders of the Bank engaged with the bank's key stakeholders, regulators and clients for an in-depth perspective on how the Bank is following through on its commitment to be here for good for Bangladesh. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, said, "Naguib, Christine and Jasmine are senior members of the Bank's board of directors, and their visit signifies the growing importance of Bangladesh in the Bank's global footprint. Bangladesh is a unique market with an incredible growth story, and the perspectives and insights this leadership group will be able to share, based on their impressions during their visit and their wealth of experience gained from working with major organizations across the world, will be invaluable in our endeavour to continue to be a partner in progress to the nation." Naguib Kheraj joined Standard Chartered PLC in January 2014 and was appointed Deputy Chairman in December 2016. Naguib is currently a Senior Advisor to the Aga Khan Development Network and serves on a number of non-profit entity boards within the Aga Khan Development Network. He is also a member of the Investment Committee of the Wellcome Trust, a member of the Finance Committee of the Oxford University Press and is Chairman of Rothesay Life. Naguib holds a degree in Economics from Cambridge University. Christine Hodgson was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC on 1 September 2013 and Senior Independent Director on 1 February 2018. Christine is currently the chair of Capgemini UK plc, part of one of the world's largest IT and professional services companies. She sits on the board of The Prince of Wales' Business in the Community and also Chair's of The Careers & Enterprise Company Limited, a governmentbacked company established to help inspire and prepare young people for the world of work. Christine is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds a first class honours degree from Loughborough University. Jasmine Whitbread was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC on 1 April 2015. Jasmine is Chief Executive of London First and a non-executive director of BT Group plc. Jasmine began her career in international marketing in the technology sector and joined Thomson Financial (now Thomson Reuters) in 1994, becoming managing director of the Electronic Settlements Group based in Boston. Since then, she has gone on to work with Oxfam and Save the Children in senior roles. In 2010 she was appointed as Save the Children's first international chief executive officer. Jasmine has a BA in English from Bristol University, and is a graduate from the Stanford University Executive Program. Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Chairman of BIFFL and Secretary in charge to the Finance Division, presided over the 7th AGM of BIFFL. Other Directors and Shareholders, Khandker Anwarul Islam, Senior Secretary, Bridges Division, Nazimuddin Chowdhury, Secretary, Energy and Mineral Resource Division; Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus, Secretary, Power Division, Md. Nazrul Islam, Secretary, Road Transport & Highways Division, Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Sajjadul Hassan, Secretary in charge, PMO, S.M. Formanul Islam, Executive Director & CEO of BIFFL, Mohammad Khan FCS, Company Secretary and other officials along with the external auditors of the company were present in the meeting. Photo : Courtesy. DBBL holds22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) The 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited was held on March 29, 2018 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sayem Ahmed, Chairman, and the Board of Directors of the Bank. The Chairman welcomed the Shareholders' present in the AGM, a press release said. A huge number of Shareholders attended the AGM of the Bank. The Bank declared Cash Dividend @ 30% for the year 2017. Among others, Directors of the Board including Abedur Rashid Khan (Chairman, Executive Committee of the Board of Directors), Md. Fakhrul Islam, Md. Nazim Uddin Bhuiyan, FCMA (Chairman, Audit Committee of the Board of Directors), Mohd. Khorshed Alam attended the meeting. Among others, the Audited Financial Statements of the Bank for the year ended December 31, 2017 were placed before the AGM and a number of Shareholders discussed the performance of the Bank. The shareholders made various observations and suggestions on performance of the Bank for the year 2017. Total assets of the Bank as at 31 December 2017 stood at Taka 311,906.8 million compared to Taka 264,797.4 million of 2016 registering a growth by Taka 47,109.4 million or 17.8%. Loans and Advances of the Bank stood at Taka 207,257.4 million at the end of 2017, a growth of 19.5% over Taka 173,397.8 million at the end of 2016. The deposits grew by Taka 26,562.4 million in 2017 from Taka 207,234.0 million to Taka 233,796.4 million showing a growth of 12.8%. In 2017, profit before tax stood at Taka 5,293.3 million compared to Taka 3,234.0 million in 2016. Profit after tax stood at Taka 2,455.2 million compared to Taka 1,775.2 million in 2016. During the year under review, earnings per share attributable to shareholders amounted to Taka 12.3 compared to Taka 8.9 during the previous year. Capital to Risk-weighted Asset (s) Ratio (CRAR) under Basel III stood at 14.5% at the end of 2017 against the Bangladesh Bank minimum requirement of 11.25%. BIFFL observed its 7th AGM Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Ltd (BIFFL) has observed its 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 27 March 2018. In the meeting, the Shareholders approved the Audited Financial Statements for the FY2017 and declared the Stock Dividend of BDT49.00 crore in the form of bonus shares leading the company's paid up capital to BDT2, 108.00 crore, and Cash Dividend of BDT15.00 crore in favor of the Government of Bangladesh against its shareholding, represented by the Finance Division, Ministry of Finance. Established in 2011, BIFFL finances PPP projects, other Infrastructures as well as Environment friendly and Energy Efficient projects for sustainable Infrastructure development of the country. It has already financed BDT1716.27 crore in Power, Economic Zones, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Health and Environment Friendly projects, and another BDT1500 is waiting to be disbursed. United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) recently signed a partnership agreement Software Shop Limited (SSL Wireless). As per the agreement people can pay pay at any SSLCOMMERZ's online merchants using Upay. This partnership will allow any Upay customers to make payments for any online purchase from SSLCOMMERZ's e-Commerce merchant sites. Md. Abdullah Al Mamoon, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and SEVP of UCB and Ashish Chakraborty, COO of SSL signed the agreement on behalf of both the organizations. Among others Taufiq Hassan, Head of Retail Banking and EVP of UCB, Saud Bin Jahan (Susan), Head of Banking & Financial Services of SSL and other senior officials from both the organizations were present at the signing ceremony. Photo : Courtesy. Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited organized a discussion meeting marking its 35th founding anniversary on 29 March 2018 Thursday at Islami Bank Tower, Dhaka. Arastoo Khan, Chairman of the bank attended the program as chief guest. Presided over by Md. Mahbub ul Alam, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank, the program was addressed by Md. Zillur Rahman, Chairman, Audit Committee, Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, Chairman, Risk Management Committee, Md. Joynal Abedin and Syed Abu Asad, Directors, Md. Shamsuzzaman and Mohammed Monirul Moula, Additional Managing Directors, Abu Reza Md. Yeahia, Deputy Managing Director and Md. Abdul Jabbar, Senior Executive Vice President of the Bank. Deputy Managing Directors, top executives and officials of the Bank attended the program. Photo : Courtesy Results of "Sher-e-Bangla Smriti Scholarship Examination-2013" conducted by the Barisal Division welfare organization were published on Thursday. The scholarships were awarded in 34 centers in Dhaka, Barisal and Jessore. Photo: Courtesy Prime Insurance declared 15 percent cash dividend for its shareholders for the year 2017. The announcement came at the 22nd annual general meeting of the company held at PSC Convention Hall, Mirpur- 14, Dhaka. Md. Zakiullah Shahid, Chairman of the Company presided over the meeting. A large number of shareholders attended the meeting and unanimously adopted the Directors' Report, Auditors' Report & the Audited Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2017, the company said in the statement. Chairman of the Company Md. Zakiullah Shahid, thanked the Management for their admirable performance and the Shareholders for their sincere and wholehearted participation in the AGM. Photo : Courtesy
MISCELLANEOUS 11 friDAY, MArch 30, 2018 Justices struggle with partisan redistricting again WASHINGTON : Dealing with an issue that could affect elections across the country, Supreme Court justices wrestled Wednesday with how far states may go to craft electoral districts that give the majority party a huge political advantage, reports UNB. But even as they heard their second case on partisan redistricting in six months, the justices expressed uncertainty about the best way to deal with a problem that several said would get worse without the court's intervention. The arguments the court heard Wednesday were over an appeal by Republican voters in Maryland who object to a congressional district that Democrats drew to elect a candidate of their own. The Maryland case is a companion to one from Wisconsin in which Democrats complain about a Republican-drawn map of legislative districts. That case was argued in October and remains undecided. Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that the court could add in yet a third case involving North Carolina's congressional districts and set another round of arguments to deal with all three states. Breyer said that "we'd have right in front of us the possibilities as thought through by lawyers and others who have an interest in this subject." His comment is an indication that the justices haven't figured out the Wisconsin case in the nearly six months since it was argued. More importantly, it suggests that Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote almost certainly controls the outcome, has reservations about using the Wisconsin case for the court's first-ever ruling that districting plans that entrench one party's control of the legislature or congressional delegation can violate the constitutional rights of the other party's voters. The Maryland lawsuit offers the court a more limited approach to dealing with the issue because it involves just one district that flipped from Republican to Democratic control after the 2011 round of redistricting. There was broad agreement that the Republican voters who sued presented what Justice Sonia Sotomayor called "pretty damning" evidence that the Democrats who controlled the state government wanted to increase the Democrats' edge in the congressional from 6-2 to 7-1. Even Chief Justice John Roberts, who has questioned lawsuits over partisan redistricting, said the redrawing of the 6th congressional district seemed to lack "any internal logic," other than to elect a Democrat. Residents of the wealthy Washington, D.C., suburb of Potomac, Maryland, were lumped in with people who live in the rural northwestern corner of the state, Roberts said. "They both have farms. But the former, hobby farms. And the others are real farms." But Roberts was among several justices, including liberal justices who seemed inclined to side with the challengers, who raised a procedural problem that could keep the court from deciding the merits of the case. The Wisconsin case also has a potential problem that could prevent a decision about partisan redistricting. GD-473/18 (20 x 4) Militant leader, bin Laden ally roams freely in Pakistan ISLAMABAD : He is crisscrossing Pakistan championing a fatwa, or Islamic religious decree, forbidding militant violence inside the country. But the mere fact that Fazlur Rehman Khalil, veteran leader of an organization designated as a terror group by the U.S., is free has experts questioning Pakistan's willingness to fight extremism, reports UNB. Khalil, once a close friend of the late al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, cofounded Harakat-ul- Mujahedeen, a group accused by India of attacking its forces in the Kashmir region and by the U.S. of training militants and carrying out attacks in Afghanistan. The group has undergone several name changes over time and is now known as Ansar-ul Ummah. But authorities have left him alone. At his home on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, the gates are protected by a burly, bushy bearded guard whose automatic rifle is always at his side. Khalil's madrassa, or religious school, named for Khalid bin Al-Waleed, one of the most prominent early Muslim commanders leading the conquest of Iraq and Syria in the 7th century, occupies a sprawling compound next door in the middle of a crowded market. In an interview with The Associated Press, Khalil denied the accusations against his group and he applauded the fatwa, which he joined other Sunni and Shiite religious scholars in writing, denouncing militant violence in Pakistan as against Islam. The fatwa, issued in January, is the first such decree issued by such a broad range of scholars in Pakistan. "Terrorism, suicide attacks, blasts, and killing of innocent people are forbidden in Pakistan, in accordance with Sharia (Islamic law)," Khalil said, dressed in a starched white traditional shalwar kameez and looking relaxed on the manicured lush green lawn of his compound. "Religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought are unanimous on the issue and are against terrorism." Afghanistan has criticized the fatwa because it is specific to Pakistan. Khalil said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani should call Islamic scholars in his country together to issue a fatwa of their own. He offered to go to Kabul to help craft the fatwa. "If Ghani does this we will support his initiative. We wish he would do it. If Afghans sit with us we will support them," he said. Since the beginning of the year Pakistan has come under relentless pressure from the United States to crack down on militants. Trump is hopeful, but some skeptical ahead of US-NK talks WASHINGTON : An enigmatic North Korean leader takes a secretive train trip to China to affirm fraternal ties and declare a commitment to denuclearization, reports UNB. It sounds like Kim Jong Un's visit this week, but his father and predecessor Kim Jong Il made similar declarations on a trip to Beijing, months before he died in 2011. Yet North Korea's nuclear weapons development only speeded up. President Donald Trump expressed optimism Wednesday after the younger Kim's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying there's "a good chance" that Kim will "do what is right for his people and for humanity." But there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that the U.S.-North Korean summit slated for May will produce the breakthrough that Washington wants. After a year of escalating tensions, Trump agreed to talks after South Korean officials relayed that Kim was committed to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons and was willing to halt nuclear and missile tests. That has tamped down fears of war that elevated as Trump and Kim traded threats and insults and North Korea demonstrated it was close to being able to strike the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile. Kim's meeting with Xi offered some reassurance to Washington that "denuclearization" will be up for negotiation if the first summit between American and North Korean leaders in seven decades of animosity takes place. But while Trump has elevated expectations of what that sit-down would achieve, North Korea has yet to spell out what it wants in return for abandoning a weapons program that Kim likely views as a guarantee for the survival of his totalitarian regime. The readout of Kim's remarks to Xi as reported by China's state news agency Xinhua strongly indicates Pyongyang is looking for significant American concessions. "The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved," Kim was quoted as saying, "if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace." To many North Korea watchers, that sounds like old wine in a new bottle. In May 2011, the elder Kim, who was making what would be his final trip to China, told then-president Hu Jintao that the North was "adhering to the goal of denuclearization." That came months after North Korea had revealed a uranium enrichment plant that gave it a second path for making fuel for atomic bombs. Abraham Denmark, a former senior U.S. defense official, said the North's latest offer to "denuclearize" still appears contingent on U.S. creating the right conditions. In the past, Pyongyang demanded that U.S. withdraw troops from the peninsula, end its security alliance with South Korea and the nuclear protection it offers its ally. "It's possible that Kim Jong Un has a different meaning in mind," said Denmark, now director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center think tank. "So far it sounds like the same old tune." Ending six years of international seclusion, Kim was spirited into Beijing by special train under tight security like his father before him. He met with Xi, seeking to repair relations that have been frayed as China has supported tough U.N. sanctions and slashed trade with its wayward ally in frustration over its refusal to stop its provocative behavior. Venezuela AG says 68 dead after riot, fire at police station VALENCIA : Venezuela's chief prosecutor reported late Wednesday that 68 people were killed by a fire that erupted inside a police station, which townspeople said followed a disturbance by detainees being held there, reports UNB. Attorney General Tarek William Saab said on his official Twitter account that four prosecutors had been named to determine what happened at the police headquarters in Valencia, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Caracas. Saab gave no other details. Local authorities had confirmed earlier only that there were fatalities, and said they were working to determine an exact number. They said they were not providing any estimates "out of respect for the families." Angry relatives who gathered outside the station said dozens of detainees had been kept in squalid conditions at the station and expressed fear that their loved ones were dead. Dozens of men and women demanding to know if their loved ones had survived clashed with police officers in riot gear. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. "I don't know if my son is dead or alive!" cried Aida Parra, who said she last saw her son a day before, when she went to deliver him food. "They haven't told me anything." A Window to Freedom, a nonprofit group that monitors conditions at Venezuela's jails, said preliminary but unconfirmed information indicated the riot began when an armed detainee shot an officer in the leg. Shortly after that a fire broke out, with flames growing quickly as the blaze spread to mattresses in the cells, it said. Rescuers apparently had to break a hole through a wall to free some of the prisoners inside. Photos shared by the group showed prisoners being taken out on stretchers, their limbs frozen in awkward positions as skin peeled off. A Window to Freedom's director, Carlos Nieto Palma, said officials should be held accountable for failing to address deteriorating conditions in police station jails. The group said overcrowding has become common throughout the country as detainees are kept long past customary brief holding periods before being sent to other larger jails before trial or freed. "It's grave and alarming," Nieto Palma said. "What happened today in Carabobo is a sign of that." Outside the police station, some relatives buried their hands in their faces as tears streamed down their cheeks. Others had to be held up with the support of friends and family as they collapsed in despair. Still others wept quietly and clutched their hands in prayer. Nearby, National Guard troops wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying rifles across their backs walked in and out of the station. Fire trucks and ambulances stood outside, and unused stretchers leaned against a wall. Opposition lawmaker Juan Miguel Matheus demanded that the progovernment leader of Carabobo state inform relatives about what had happened. "The desperation of relatives should not be played with," he said. Clashes between prisoners and guards are not uncommon in Venezuela. Inmates are frequently able to obtain weapons and drugs with the help of corrupt guards and heavily armed groups control cellblock fiefdoms.