The Financial Express

Summit, United power mulling joining Singaporean stock mkt: Nasrul

| Updated: July 12, 2018 11:52:48

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Process on to make BPC a public co

State minister for power, energy and mineral resources on Tuesday said his ministry is working on drawing the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) into the capital market.

Nasrul Hamid disclosed this while speaking as the chief guest at the Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum.

The business forum was jointly organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Singapore Business Federation at a city hotel.

At the forum, he called upon the firms of the Southeast Asian nation to invest in the power and energy sector of Bangladesh.

Explaining various opportunities in the sector available for global investors, the minister said the country's largest power and energy sector entity has decided to be listed on the share market.

"The valuations of our own assets are quite big. The biggest company in Bangladesh is BPC and its turnover has crossed US$ 6.0 billion. We're trying to bring this company into the capital market," he told the forum.

Without giving further details, he said two local private sector companies -- Summit and United -- are preparing themselves to be listed on the Singaporean capital market.

Describing the nine-year-long "challenging" journey of power and energy sector, he said the country's power generation capacity has risen to over 17,000 megawatts (MW) from 3,000 MW since 2009, thanks to freeing up the industry.

For establishing more plants, the ministry has already acquired 7,000 acres of land at Moheskhali in Cox's Bazar to build the energy hub there, he said.

"The Singaporean firms are very much welcome. Service innovation is another area where they (Singaporeans) can help us with their innovating practices," he said.

He said many people kept asking for reasons visiting the small country like Singapore but the critics could not imagine the volume of investment Singaporean investors have in their mind for Bangladesh.

"We need to side with our eastern friends, which is one of our main objectives," he added.

Executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Kazi M Aminul Islam referred to three areas that can help the country achieve economic stability even in the event of global financial downturn.

The areas are firm political will, new generation of energetic business community and continuous improvement of business climate with making large investment in physical infrastructure, he said. "We're doing our best to make it a best investment destination. Singaporean investors should grab it and help the economy grow like Singapore," he added.

Citing positive reports of global rating agencies regarding Bangladesh, FBCCI president Md. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the country has many potential sectors like clothing, leather goods, fisheries and agro products.

Besides, the nation of 160 million consumers offers a "lucrative" place for investment and Singaporean investors should grab the opportunities to harness both fiscal and non-fiscal benefits, Mr. Islam said.

Chairman of Singapore Business Forum Teo Siong Seng hailed the bilateral relationship between the countries alongside Bangladesh's recent socioeconomic progress.

The bilateral trade deficit was US$ 2.11 billion in favour of Singapore as of financial year of 2016-2017.

Singapore is also one of the major FDI (foreign direct investment) sources for Bangladesh, he said.

FBCCI senior vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim moderated the function.

President of Bangladesh Business Chamber of Singapore (BDCham) M Shahiduzzaman, head of global banking of Standard Chartered Bank Enamul Huque and vice chairman of Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Prasoon Mukharjee also spoke at the event.

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