Banks asked not to concentrate loans in few businesses
Bangladesh Bank on Sunday asked the country’s commercial banks not to concentrate their loans in a particular sector or a few corporate groups with a view to protecting the banks’ financial health. The central bank also asked private commercial banks to allow jobseekers irrespective of someone’s academic subject and educational institution to participate in the banks’ recruitment tests. The BB gave the directives at the quarterly bankers’ meeting held at the central bank headquarters in capital Dhaka. The managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks were present in the meeting, while BB governor Fazle Kabir presided over it. The Association of Bankers, Bangladesh chairman Anis A Khan told reporters after the meeting that the BB governor had asked them not to concentrate most of their loans in a particular sector and a few corporate groups. ‘He has also asked the banks to strengthen their recovery process of non-performing loans,’ Anis, also managing director of Mutual Trust Bank, said.
Bankers form anti-money laundering association
Bankers formed an association of anti-money laundering compliance officers with an aim to work closely and effectively with the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit and other regulatory authorities, the association said in a statement yesterday. The association said the move would help them in combating money laundering and terrorist financing and in efforts to extend cooperation to relevant agencies. The chief anti-money laundering compliance officers (CAMLCO) and their deputies will be representing their respective banks in the association. The association elected Faruq Mainuddin, chief anti-money laundering compliance officer of City Bank, as its chairman and Swapan Kumar Biswas, Mutual Trust Bank’s CAMLCO, as the general secretary. The association also elected vice chairmen from Janata Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, treasurer from Islami Bank Bangladesh and joint secretaries from Dhaka Bank and Bank Asia.
Agent banking sees fast growth
Banks are gradually expanding agent banking activities across the country, as such services are receiving huge response from the people in remote areas, reports BSS. According to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) quarterly (April-June) data, the number of agents has increased to 1,847 from 1,755 in the first quarter (January-March) of this year and the number of bank agent outlets has also jumped to 3,224 from 3023 during the same period. During the October-December quarter of 2016, the number of agents was 1,646 and the total outlets were 2,601. During April-June period of 2017, expatriate Bangladeshis sent BDT 8.90 billion through agent banking, up from BDT 5.72 billion in the first quarter. Terming the agent banking a great initiative of the central bank, he said a representative is the owner of an outlet who conducts banking transactions on behalf of a bank.
Bangladesh gold reserve rises fourfold in seven years
Bangladesh’s official gold reserve has risen four times in seven years since 2010 to 14 tonnes, prompting economists to discourage its external purchase now. Sources said a big purchase and recurrent seizure of the precious metal at the airports during the time resulted in a rapid increase in the size of the reserve. The official gold reserve had been recorded just 3.5 tonnes until 2009. It climbed to 13.5 tonnes the following year, 2010, and to 13.8 tonnes in 2014.
Exchange-traded fund at bourses unlikely to be launched this year
Exchange Traded Fund at the capital market is unlikely to be launched this year despite publishing of gazette notification on ETF rules by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission. Brokers said that the delay in issuing ETF could hinder the prospect of the market and the aim of its diversification. BSEC published gazette notification containing the ETF rules on June 13 this year. Asked why the bourses were delaying in issuing the ETF, the DSE managing director KAM Majedur Rahman told New Age that the management was working on the matter. He also said the policy regarding its launch might would be compiled at the end of December this year.
New managing director for SBAC
Md Golam Faruque has recently been promoted as the managing director of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank. Prior to the promotion, he was the senior additional managing director of the bank, the bank said in a statement yesterday. Faruque also served Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank as managing director and Janata Bank and Bangladesh Krishi Bank as deputy managing director.
Export earnings rise by 13.84% in July-August period
Bangladesh’s export earnings in July-August period of the current fiscal year have registered a 13.84% growth to $6.63 billion riding on the RMG sector. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) provisional data released on Sunday, in July-August of Fiscal Year 2017-18, Bangladesh earned $6.63 billion by exporting goods which is 13.84% higher compared to the same period a year ago. In July-August last year, the country’s export earnings were $5.82 billion. The figure is nearly 8% higher than that of the target of $6.14 billion set for the period. RMG sector, the highest export earner, posted a 14.05% rise to $5.52 billion, which was $4.84 billion in the same period last year. As per the EPB data, woven sector earned $2.65 billion, which is 12% higher compared to the same period last year, while Knitwear earned $2.87 billion, posting 16% growth. In August, the exports earning rose by 10.71% to $3.64 billion, which was $3.29 billion last year.
ADP spending rises in Aug
The ministries and divisions put to use 5.15 percent of their total outlay in the first two months of the fiscal year thanks to a spike in expenditure in the month of August. Last month, the ministries and divisions employed Tk 7,505 crore to take the two-month tally to Tk 8,457 crore, according to statistics from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division. At this point last fiscal year, Tk 4,756 crore was spent, which was 3.86 percent of the total allocation for the annual development programme. This year’s total allocation was Tk 164,085 crore, so both in terms of percentage and amount, the ADP implementation this year has been better. Subsequently, in a meeting yesterday with the 16 ministries, which got 85 percent of the total ADP allocation, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal commended them for their performance.
Indian minister to visit Dhaka for diesel pipelines deal
Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will soon visit Dhaka to sign an agreement with Bangladesh for diesel exports through pipelines. Dhaka has already agreed to New Delhi’s proposal for the ‘India-Bangladesh goodwill friendship pipeline’, which was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Bangladesh Premier Sk Hasina’s visit to India. The agreement is likely to be valid for 15 years with a proposition to enhance the quantity of diesel in the coming years, as Bangladesh’s energy demand rises, according to a report by www.millenniumpost.in. Meanwhile, a feasibility study for laying the ‘India-Bangladesh friendship pipeline’has been completed and an MoU has been signed for the project. The diesel will be supplied from the Numaligarh refinery, a joint venture of Bharat Petroleum, Oil India and the Assam Government. The 130-Km pipeline will be laid from Numaligarh to Parbatipur of Dinajpur district in Bangladesh.
SK Group to set up LPG terminal, petrochemical refinery
South Korea’s leading conglomerate SK Group has planned to go for a joint venture with Bangladesh’s TK Group for setting up a petrochemical refinery, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) terminal and a power plant in Maheshkhali Economic Zone-3 in Cox’s Bazar. Super Petrochemical Private Limited (SPPL) of TK Group leased a total of 300 acres of land under Dhalghata and Dakhin Dhalghata of Maheshkhali Economic Zone-3 for the projects. Executive member of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Md Harunur Rashid and SPPL managing director Mohammad Mostafa Haider signed a land lease agreement on behalf of their respective sides in Dhaka on Sunday. Abul Kalam Azad, chief coordinator, SDG affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Kazi M Aminul Islam, Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faijullah, director general of the trade wing of Korean Embassy in Dhaka Z W Kim and Roe Kango of SK Gas were present at the agreement signing ceremony.
Another Nuclear power plant in southern region: Prime Minister
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Sunday that another nuclear power plant would be set up in the southern region for which the government is working to select an island there, reports UNB. The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the Ashuganj 450 megawatt (MW) combined cycle (north) power plant, Keraniganj 108MW power plant, import of 60 MW power from Tripura and cent per cent electrification of 10 upazilas of the country through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban. Considering the growing demand of power, her government has been diversifying the source of electricity as some 160 MW of power, including the latest 60 MW, is now being imported from Indian Tripura state, Hasina said.
Bangladesh-Myanmar border trade closed as Rohingya crisis worsens
Border trade between Bangladesh and Myanmar remains closed as the traders are worried about their security after the Rohingya crisis broke out. Officials said the Bangladesh government has also suspended efforts to enhance trade with Myanmar after the crisis worsened in the neighbouring country, said officials. “We planed to increase annual trade between Bangladesh and Myanmar to Tk10,000 crore within a few years from less than Tk6,000 crore now. But we dropped the efforts after the latest persecution on the Rohingya crisis began,” said a Ministry of Commerce official. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, however, said they had no plan to cut economic ties with Myanmar. “The Maldives cut economic ties with Myanmar, but Bangladesh cannot do that. We have a wide trading link with the neighbouring country,” he said. “We import essential goods like rice and onion from Myanmar. When there is a supply crunch, for example during Ramadan, we import goods from Myanmar,” he added. Bangladeshi traders said the border trade between the two countries is now closed although fish import from Myanmar continues.
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