Agent banking booms but lending remains paltry
Lending portfolio of fast-growing agent banking remained much lower than deposits, according to a latest report, as the bankers seem tight-fisted in disbursing loans. The report on state of agent banking, prepared for the October-December 2021 period and released Sunday by the central bank, shows the loan-to-deposit ratio in the agent-banking system now just 22 per cent although it is around 74 per cent on average in traditional banking.Such lending or loan against deposit remained insignificant as most banks have yet to develop feasible infrastructures for loan disbursement and recovery through agent outlets. Managing Director and CEO of the state-owned Agrani Bank Mohammad Shams-Ul-Islam told the FE that they would take initiative to raise lending volumes through the agent-banking outlets. The bank has 400 agents across the country to operate the banking system unveiled in the country’s financial system in 2013.The number of accounts opened through agent banking reaches 14.047 million, nearly 48 per cent belonging to female customers. And 12.12 million or more than 86 per cent belong to customers in the rural areas. The number of accounts opened through agent banking had grown by nearly 9.0 per cent over the previous quarter ending September 2021.
Walton sales hit record high in March
Walton Hi-Tech Industries PLC has achieved a new milestone in the sales of its elevators, fans, LED lights, switch-sockets and other electrical appliance, says a press release. The demand and sales of the electrical appliances made by Walton are witnessing a huge growth and the company is heading to be top in this segment. It has sold out electrical appliances worth Tk 1.27 billion March under its three brands — Walton, Marcel and Safe. According to Walton, this is the highest ever sales of electrical appliances in a month. Walton registered 52 per cent sales growth on electrical appliances in 2020-21 fiscal year.
Cumilla Economic Zone gets final govt nod
The Cumilla Economic Zone (CEZ), a concern of the Meghna Group of Industries, has received the final approval from the government becoming the 12th private sector economic zone of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) on Sunday awarded the final licence to the Meghna Group, a leading business conglomerate in the country, to build the economic zone in Cumilla. The Cumilla Economic Zone is expected to go into production within 2023, with land prepared for factory construction. Many local and foreign companies have already expressed an interest in setting up factories at the industrial hub. Situated on the bank of a tributary of the Meghna River near the Dhaka-Chattagram highway, the under-construction private economic zone is the first of its kind in the fast-growing Cumilla district.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Nikkei 225||$ 26,793.46||↓192.34||↓0.71 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 96.05||↓2.21||↓2.25 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 100.62||↓2.16||↓2.10 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,944.46||↓3.08||↓0.16 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 86.2000|
|GBP 1||BDT 112.3531|
|EUR 1||BDT 93.7856|
*World Commodities & Local and Global Stock Indices data are taken from bloomberg.com<
* Exchange Rates are taken from BB website, as on latest update.<