Deposits in school banking accounts rise to Tk 1,100cr
Total deposits in the bank accounts owned by schoolchildren in the country increased to Tk 1,100.37 crore as of March 31, 2017 from that of Tk 1,020.79 crore as of December 31, 2016.A Bangladesh Bank official told New Age on Thursday that deposits in the school banking accounts increased in recent months as banks had recently taken a number of initiatives to facilitate opening such accounts.He said that banks were now trying to open lower-cost savings accounts like students accounts under the school banking programme that resulted in an increase in the number of schoolchildren accounts and the deposits in the accounts.The BB data showed that the number of schoolchildren bank accounts increased to 13.74 lakh as of March 31, 2017 from 12.57 lakh as of December 31, 2016.The number was 10.66 lakh as of March 31, 2016.According to the BB official, banks usually count more interest rates for their fixed deposit schemes than they do for school banking accounts.Banks are now reluctant to open FDRs as they have been facing huge excess liquidity for long due to the ongoing dull business situation in the country.
Banks asked to release foreign exchange to overseas students
Bangladesh Bank on Thursday asked the commercial banks to release in favour of overseas students foreign exchange required to make payment by the students against their health coverage, health insurance and medical insurance fee for permissible courses.The BB issued a circular to all banks asking them to follow the directive as such fees are now mandatory for visa and admission in permissible courses of the students.A BB official told New Age on Thursday that overseas students were earlier not required to pay such fees against their health coverage, health insurance and medical insurance.But, some foreign educational institutions have recently made it mandatory to make payment against such insurances.
BSEC allows IBBL, NBL, LankaBangla to float bonds
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday allowed two banks and a non-bank financial institution to float bonds worth Tk 1,400 crore in total.The capital market regulator gave the approval in a commission meeting presided over by its chairman M Khairul Hossain.As per the BSEC’s approval, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited will float non-convertible mudaraba subordinated bonds worth Tk 500 crore, National Bank will issue non-convertible second subordinated bonds worth Tk 400 crore and LankaBangla Finance will float non-convertible unsecured subordinated bonds worth Tk 500 crore.The face value of each unit of banks’ bonds will be Tk 1 crore, while the face value of LankaBanglaFinance’s bonds will be Tk 1,000 each.The bonds to be issued by Islami Bank and National Bank will be fully redeemable in seven years, while LankaBangla’s bonds will be redeemable in 3 years.
Only corporate bodies, financial institutions and funds will be allowed to subscribe the bonds through the private placement.Green Delta Insurance will work as the trustee for all the three bonds.
New banks spend more on CSR to avoid tax
New banks are found to be spending an excessive amount of money in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to avoid taxation, according to a study.For some banks, it was noticed that this spending was 205% of their previous year’s net profit.A Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management study revealed the fact at a seminar titled “An evaluation of the performance of new commercial banks” held at BIBM auditorium in the city on Thursday.The study was carried out by a four-member BIBM team led by its Associate Professor Sohail Mustafa.As per the Bangladesh Bank guidelines, banks are allowed to spend 10% of their net profit on CSR fund, but the report found that NRB Global Bank spent 205% in 2016, which was unusual.In 2015, Union Bank spent 99%, Midland Bank 92% and NRB Global Bank 35%. In 2014, NRB Global spent 49%, NRB Commercial 37% and Union Bank 15%.The report said basically, the banks went on excessive expenditure in the name of CSR with a view to getting an exemption from tax.
Health insurance regulations for students applying abroad to be relaxed
The Bangladesh Bank has decided to relax its foreign exchange regulations for students applying for studies abroad in consideration of health insurance coverage.The central bank issued a circular on Thursday where it stated that students who intend to study abroad are required to make a payment on account of health or medical insurance.Health insurance is one of the prerequisites for admission or visa procedures in most of the countries.The Bangladesh Bank will allow Authorised Dealers (ADs) to release the required foreign currency provided that a student can show the supporting documents from the concerned educational institution, the circular added.Other regulations regarding the release of foreign currency for students applying for admission or studying abroad will remain unchanged, the circular further added.
4032 students receive DBBL scholarship
Dutch-Bangla Bank Saturday awarded scholarship to 4,032 students who passed SSC and equivalent examinations in 2017 and are now studying at higher secondary level in different colleges of the country at a ceremony held at Shaheed Surhawardy Indoor Stadium in city. Finance minister Abul Maal A Muhith was present as the chief guest while the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Anisul Huq and Governor of Bangladesh Bank Fazle Kabir were present as special guests and handed over the scholarship awarding letters among the recipients. Chairman of Board of Directors of Dutch Bangla Bank Sayem Ahmed presided over the function. Speaking at the programme, finance minister Muhith said Dutch-Bangla banks created an exemplary model of corporate social responsibility by awarding underprivileged but meritorious students.
NCC Bank Limited has signed a corporate
NCC Bank Limited has signed a corporate agreement with Asgar Ali Hospital Dhaka recently. Under this agreement NCC Bank’s credit cardholders will get special discount & SmartPay EMI facilities up to 12 months @ 0% interest. In presence of A Z M Saleh, Deputy Managing Director of NCC Bank and Engr. Md. Yousuf Ali Prodhan, Senior General Manager of Asgar Ali Hospital, Khaled Afzal Rahim, Head of Cards of NCC Bank and Kabir Uddin Tusher, General Manager of Asgar Ali Hospital signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
MTB signs agreement with Sonali Life Ins
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) has recently signed an agreement with Sonali Life Insurance Company Ltd, said a statement.Under this agreement, policy holders of Sonali Life Insurance Company Ltd. can deposit their premium using customised deposit slip at any nearest MTB branch.Sonali Life Insurance Company will become fully integrated and online with MTB with all deposit transaction and notifications occurring in real time. Simultaneously policy holders can find the real time deposit information through MTB’s web-based banking service as well as SLICL’s web based services as both company systems will be integrated extensively. Sonali Life Insurance Company Policy holders who are under the privilege card program will also be issued with a co-branded debit card through which they will be eligible to earn massive discounts at more than 200 retail organizations.
Md Mehmood Husain, Managing Director & CEO
Md Mehmood Husain, Managing Director & CEO of NRB Bank Limited seen in an event where the bank inked a deal with Linnex Technologies Limited. Under the agreement, debit & credit cardholders of NRB Bank Limited will enjoy 10 per cent discount on any Linnex products at their authorised dealer’s outlet and credit cardholders will get 12 months EMI facility.
Consumer credit jumps 31pc
The banking sector posted a significant jump in consumer lending last year riding on growing purchasing power of the middle class.Consumer credit rose 31.29 percent year-on-year to Tk 29,500 crore in 2016 from Tk 22,460 crore a year ago, according to Bangladesh Bank data. The segment accounted for 4.37 percent of the total outstanding loan in the economy.“Consumer credit has been rising for several years as the purchasing power of the people has increased,” said MA Halim Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank.He said the middle class is expanding with improving living standard, which is pushing demand higher.The salary hike of government employees also accounted for the growing consumption habit, he added.Consumer financing is now more affordable as the lending rate is lower than the average interest rate, said a senior executive of a private bank.
Slow demand to cause huge potato surplus
Cold storage operators said between 15 and 20 lakh tonnes of potato will remain unsold by the end of the year because of sluggish demand for the vegetable.Farmers and traders have preserved 53 lakh tonnes of the tuber in the cold storages this year, up 32 percent year-on-year.Only 10 percent of the tuber has been marketed since cold storage operators started releasing potato, according to the Bangladesh Cold Storage Association (BCSA).“This is very frustrating and alarming,” said BCSA President Md Mosharaf Hossain, adding that the pace of marketing of potato has been slow for the last one month.
Call for more agro processing plants, cold storage
Experts and industry insiders at a city dialogue called for establishing more agro-processing plants and cold storage across the country.They said these facilities will help ensure better use of the agricultural products.”Cold storage and processing plants can be established across the country on a public-private partnership basis,” said Chaitanya Kumar Das, Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Gold prices up again
Jewellers increased prices of gold after the international market heated up.The new price for per gram 22-carat gold has been fixed at Tk 4,170, a slight increase from Tk 4,040 previously, the Bangladesh Jewellers Samity (BAJUS) said on Saturday in a statement.The statement, signed by the Samity’s general secretary Dilip Kumar Agarwala, also said that the new price comes into effect from today (Sunday).The association said per gram 21-carat gold would be sold at Tk 3,985 instead of the current price of Tk 3,875, while 18-carat per gram gold would be sold at Tk 3,500, up by Tk 100 from the previous price.The per gram traditional (Sanatani) gold price was also increased by Tk 50 to Tk 2,250.Meanwhile, the price of per gram 21-carat silver has been static at Tk 90.
Export earnings from US and UK rebound after months of fall
Country’s export earnings from the United States and the United Kingdom rebounded strongly in July, the first month of the current financial year 2017-18, after witnessing a decline in recent months.Bangladesh’s export earnings from the US and the UK grew by 18.86 per cent and 39.53 per cent respectively in July, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data.Exporters said shipment of some seasonal products at a time and good trend in export orders were the factors in the rebound of the earnings from the two major countries.Export earnings from the US, the largest export destination for Bangladesh, in July of FY18 increased to $501.24 million from $421.72 million posted in the same month of FY17, according to the EPB data.Earnings from the readymade garment export to the US market in the first month of the FY18 grew by 15.84 per cent to $447.47 million from $386.26 million in the same period of FY17.Earnings from the UK, the 3rd largest export destination for Bangladesh, rose to $346.65 million from $248.43 million. RMG export to the UK grew by 38.71 per cent to $322.36 million from $232.40 million.
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