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Nasir Glass exports rise on Indian foothold

Post Time:Feb 09,2009Classify:Company NewsView:466

Nasir Glass Industries Limited (NGIL) exported more than Tk 20 crore worth of glass in 2008, a chunk of which went to the northeastern states of India.

The country's largest glassmaker that started commercial operations in September 2005 had explored the new markets over the past two years.

The company exported glass worth about Tk 13 crore in 2007, according to NGIL and bank officials.

“Ninety percent of the company's exports go to the Indian market,” said Touhidul Alam Khan, executive vice president and head of syndication and structured finance unit of Prime Bank.

The bank deals with the company export documents.

Both Bangladesh's export basket and markets are limited to a few products and countries. Many say that it is the collective failure of both businessmen and the government to diversify export products and destinations.

Glass has been added to the list of few products -- jute, garments, battery, cement -- that are generally exported to India.

Bangladesh's exports to India are a mere $350 million against imports worth $3.5 billion from the next-door neighbour.

“We also export to Nepal, Bhutan, South Africa and Kenya, in addition to the north eastern states of India,” said Abu Sayed, general manager (commercial and banking) of NGIL.

“Now the company is trying to explore new export markets including the United States and the oil rich Middle Eastern countries," added Sayed.

NGIL was set up with Tk 200 crore in investment, equipped with the state of the art technology and machinery.

Prime Bank lent Tk 100 crore as a syndicated term loan over a period of six years. Some 14 financial institutions participated in the largest syndicated arrangement in 2003.

In just three years of production, NGIL sales turnover stood at Tk 182 crore in 2008, which was Tk 157 crore in 2007, according to company statistics.

The company manufactures float glass, reflective glass, tempered glass, coated glass, mirrors, clear and coloured glass.

Besides NGIL, PHP Group also started commercial production of float glass at about the same time. Two other companies Osmania, owned by the government and MEB by Ilais Brothers, a private business house in Chittagong, were in operation earlier.

Currently, all these four companies produce around 350 tonnes of glass a day against their combined capacity of around 400 tonnes, according to the respective officials. NGIL produces 180-200 tonnes a day, PHP produces 100 tonnes on a single day and Osmania and MEB congregate the rest.

Bangladesh had once met 70 percent of its demand for glass by imports, at the time 2003-04. Now the sector exports after fulfilling the country's total market demand for the product. Industry people said the country is saving crores of money that was previously spent on import of the product.

According to a market study jointly conducted by a local private bank and an international research organisation in 2003, Bangladesh imported 6.51 crore square feet of glass in 2003. The local companies produced 4.14 crore square feet the same year.

Glass is produced with silica sand, dolomite, soda ash and limestone, of which, silica sand represents 70 percent, a raw material available locally.

“The company has already paid back about 70 percent of its syndicated term loan,” Touhidul Alam Khan said.

NGIL can produce as much as 20mm thick glass, while the maximum capacity of other companies is 12mm, according to NGIL's production manager.

Source: thedailystar.netAuthor: shangyi

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