Nation this week
An army patrol team occupied a secret training camp along with the headquarters of the armed separatist group KNF (Kuki-Chin National Front) in Thepi para area of Ruma upazila of Bandarban. Following complaints from local residents living around the KNF training camp area, a patrol team of Ruma Sena Zone left for the camp on the basis of intelligence inputs for their safety. As the team approached the training camp, the KNF men fled, according to a press release of the - Inter Service Public Relation Directorate (ISPR).
However, the army patrol team was hit by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) planted by KNF. One of the soldiers injured in the blast was rushed to Chattogram Combined Military Hospital by helicopter in a critical condition. Later, soldier Tujam (30), died while undergoing treatment at the hospital, it said. Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed expressed shock at the death of the soldier and conveyed his condolences to his family, the release also said.
The Association of Bankers, Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association decided to increase the dollar exchange rate for encashing export bills to Tk 107 and for remitters to Tk 108.5 per dollar. The decision to increase the rate was taken at a meeting of the ABB and BAFEDA on Wednesday (May 31). The new rate will have immediate effect, officials said. On April 30, the dollar rates for remittance and export proceeds were raised by Tk 1 per dollar to Tk 108 and Tk 106 respectively.
Banks were facing difficulties in settling import payments and opening letters of credit due to a severe dollar crisis on the market. In September 2022, the ABB and BAFEDA at a meeting decided to set the dollar exchange rate ceiling for remittance at Tk 108 and for encashing export bills at Tk 99. However, the dollar rate for remittances was brought down by Tk 1 to Tk 107 in November 2022.
The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been slashed by Tk 13.42. It has dropped to Tk 89.48 per kg from the previous price of Tk 102.9 for the month of June. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the new price, saying that a 12kg LPG cylinder's price has been reduced by Tk 161, reported our sister newsagency UNB. A retail consumer will get it now at Tk 1,074 instead of Tk 1,235 (including VAT). Prices of other sizes of LPG cylinders - from 5.5kg to 45kg - will go down rationally, said newly-appointed BERC chairman Md Nurul Amin in a press briefing at the BERC office.
The new prices became effective from 6pm on June 1, 2023. BERC officials said the LPG price witnessed a rise in the local market due to the decrease in the prices of Saudi CP (contract price). Bangladeshi LPG operators normally import their products from the Middle-East market on the basis of Saudi CP.
Credit rating agency Moody's Investors Services downgraded six Bangladeshi banks' long-term ratings, according to a statement on Wednesday. The move came following its decision to lower Bangladesh's long-term sovereign rating. The affected banks are BRAC Bank, The City Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Eastern Bank, NCC Bank and the Premier Bank. However, the ratings for Mercantile Bank were kept unchanged at this time.
Moody's has downgraded the long-term (LT) local-currency (LC) and foreign-currency (FC) deposit and issuer ratings of the six affected banks, according to the statement. Moody's also changed the outlooks for the seven banks to stable from 'under review for downgrade' on the long-term deposit ratings and issuer ratings. The Baseline Credit Assessments (BCAs) of all banks, except NCC Bank and The Premier Bank, have been unchanged, while NCC Bank and The Premier Bank have seen downgrades in their BCAs to b3 from b2.
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