NBFIs asked to ensure credit discipline
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday asked non-bank financial institutions to release approved loans to bank accounts owned by genuine borrowers. Some NBFIs have recently credited funds to the accounts held by other persons or entities who have not applied for the loan, flouting rules, according to a central bank notice.As per the Integrated Risk Management Guidelines for Financial Institutions-2016, the NBFIs have to disburse the loans to the borrowers’ accounts.Such a practice has already created a wide range of corruptions at some NBFIs, paving the way for scamsters to swindle a huge amount of money through fraudulent means. The lenders also will have to verify the audit reports using the document verification system (DVS) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).
IFC commits $791m for private firms
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed $791 million to support Bangladesh’s businesses amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The sum is an increase of almost 33 per cent from last year, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group said in a press release yesterday. Working capital facilities for financial institutions, mobile financial services, agribusiness, garment, telecom and e-logistics fall within the 2021 commitment, according to the IFC. Amid a challenging year with massive and ongoing social and economic disruptions caused by Covid-19, the IFC committed more than $3.8 billion in South Asia as of June 2021.The Covid-19 has laid bare the region’s existing vulnerabilities in the financial sector, disrupting businesses—particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises—and leaving many people exposed.In Bangladesh, the IFC has provided a total of $260 million in working capital to banks and liquidity support to companies since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.Further, it committed $353 million in climate finance and $490 million in IDA/FCS (International Development Association/Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations) countries in the region.While South Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, estimates suggest that climate impacts could reduce its annual gross domestic product by an average of 1.8 per cent by 2050. The region is also estimated to have an untapped climate investment potential of $3.4 trillion by 2030, the press release said.
$250M CURRENCY SWAP WITH BB: Sri Lanka gets first tranche of $50m this week
The central bank will lend $50 million to under-pressure Sri Lanka this week as part of Bangladesh’s efforts to support the Island nation suffering from a foreign exchange crisis. The credit under the first-ever loan to any country from Bangladesh will be given under the currency swap agreement inked by the BB and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on August 3.As per the deal, the BB will provide a total of $250 million to help prop up the island nation’s fast-depleting foreign reserves and ease pressure on its exchange rate.This week, the three-month Libor is 0.14 per cent and the six-month Libor is 0.18 per cent.The BB will open an account with a bank in the South Asian country to keep the sum, which will be around 49.5 billion Lankan rupees, a BB official said earlier. The amount would be used for import payments. Bangladesh’s import bill with Sri Lanka is $50-55 million a year. The swap agreement is a good deal for the BB, which has a record $45.9 billion in its coffers as of August 3.The injection of the American greenback from Bangladesh would be a great relief for Sri Lanka, which has $3.7 billion of foreign debt maturing this year. It had $2.4 billion in foreign currency reserves at the end of July, down from $4 billion in April.The country’s $4.5-billion tourism industry, one of its major foreign currency earners, was hit particularly hard, while its exports were down by about 17 per cent last year.
Stocks extend rally to set new highs
Stocks extended their rally on Tuesday with the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and market-cap setting new records as investors put fresh bets on bank and insurance issues. DSEX, the prime index of the DSE, went up by 38.24 points or 0.56 per cent to settle at 6,787 — the highest since its inception more than eight years back on January 27, 2013. The key index added 170 points in the past four straight sessions. The DSE Shariah Index (DSES) followed the suit to close at a record high at 1,469 after a fractional gain of 0.20 point. However, the DS30 index, a group of 30 prominent companies, shed 5.44 points to settle at 2,422. The market capitalisation of the DSE also hit a fresh all-time high at Tk 5,512 billion on Tuesday, surpassing the previous day’s record high of Tk 5,490 billion.The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on Thursday revised the limit of margin loan facilities based on the DSE key index – at a maximum rate of 1:0.80 when the DSEX is below 8,000.The Chittagong Stock Exchange also kept rising with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-soaring 118 points to finish at 19,768 while the Selective Categories Index – CSCX rising 73 points to close at 11,850. Of the issues traded, 162 advanced, 147 declined and 15 issues remained unchanged on the CSE.