Bank stocks drop for higher provisioning requirement
Most banking stocks dropped yesterday, fuelled by apprehensions of a reduction of profits of lenders centring a Bangladesh Bank decision directing them to keep aside extra provisioning. However, the DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), rose 20.59 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 5,147.Withnerves being rattled, stock investors were on a selling spree, said stock market analysts, adding that the BB decision would turn out to be good for the banking sector in the long run. Among the 30 listed banks, the stocks of four witnessed a rise, four remained the same, and the remaining 22 dropped on the DSE.Banking stocks normally remain at the top of the board in December because the listed lenders announce yearly profits in the following month. Banks were asked to keep from classifying borrowers this year, thus lowering provisioning needs.If banks artificially show higher profits and provide higher tax and higher dividends to shareholders, it will deteriorate their health in the coming period. In the current month, the index rose 281 points, or 5.77 per cent, riding on blue-chip and multinational stocks. Turnover, another important indicator of the stock market, stood at Tk 979 crore yesterday, down fromTk 1,003 crore the day before. Dominage Steel Building Systems topped the gainers’ list rising 9.89 per cent followed by SonaliAnsh Industries, Asia Pacific General Insurance Company, Purabi General Insurance Company, and SS Steel. Beximco was the most traded stock, worth Tk 67.82 crore, followed by Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Dominage Steel Building Systems, IFIC Bank, and SS Steel. Of a total of 358 companies to witness trade, 122 advanced, 166 declined, and 70 remained unchanged. Aman Feed shed the most, losing 10 per cent, followed by Zaheen Spinning, First Finance, Metro Spinning and Tung Hai Knitting and Dyeing.
Credit card use back to pre-pandemic levels
Spending through credit cards reached the pre-pandemic levels in October in keeping with the economic recovery, a sign that clients are embracing the plastic money sidestepping the use of cash. Total card loans held by lenders stood at Tk 1,381 crore in October, up 11 per cent from that a month earlier and 17 per cent year-on-year, showed Bangladesh Bank data. The figure, however, came down sharply in September. But credit card-holders posted the second-highest amount in transactions in October, past August’s figure and since December 2018.City Bank is the top player in the country’s credit card market. It has issued around 5 lakh cards.The number of transactions totalled 23.54 lakh in October in contrast to 21.19 lakh in September. The pandemic has given a great push to e-commerce, which has also had a positive impact on the card business, Chowdhury said. He, however, said a good number of people who lost their jobs due to the business meltdown have largely depended on credit cards, playing a positive role in expanding the use of the digital tool. The issuance of credit cards was on the increase in October when the outstanding number of banks’ credit cards stood at 16.31 lakh whereas it was 16.19 lakh a month ago.The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services requested the central bank and the finance and ICT ministries in September and October respectively to provide 3 per cent subsidy to clients and 2 per cent to merchants on the use of cards.
Beza’s OSS fees can now be paid through bKash
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) yesterday took a step to give a boost to the ease of doing business as it teamed up with bKash to fast-track the transactions that investors make at the agency’s One-Stop Service centre. The authority of the economic zones also signed a deal with Brac Bank for opening a branch at the Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar (BSMSN).The deals will ease the process for investors to pay the fees for the services taken through Beza’s One-Stop Service centre. Some more banks, including HSBC, City and Eastern, will soon start work to set up dedicated branches at the BSMSN. The Beza has been successful in bringing globally renowned investors like Sumitomo of Japan, Adani of India and Wilmar of Singapore to Bangladesh. The Beza has been bringing foreign investment to the country even during the pandemic, which clearly depicts how investment-friendly the government is, Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office. Some 10 acres will be availed by CCECC Bangladesh as per agreement. It will invest $15.97 million, equivalent to Tk 136 crore, and employ around 350 people in producing the construction items as “Mirsarai Fabrication”. Established in 1979 and headquartered in Beijing, the CCECC has long been considered one of the world’s top 255 international contractors. Its business spreads over 101 countries, and it is involved in projects in railways, highways, bridges, dredging, airport, buildings and port development and municipal works. CCECC Bangladesh was formed in September 2019 to run a similar business model. Meanwhile, eight acres have been sought byJeihong Medical Products (BD). It will invest Tk 108 crore, equivalent to $12.72 million, to manufacture non-woven PPE products such as isolation gowns, scrub suits, lab jackets, disposable caps, shoe covers, and boot covers.
ONE Bank mourns demise of Mr. Asoke Das Gupta
ONE Bank Family deeply condoled the sad demise of Mr. Asoke Das Gupta, Vice Chairman of ONE Bank Limited. He breathed his last on Sunday, around 2:30 p.m., due to old age complications. Mr. Ashok Das Gupta was one of the most renowned businessmen in Bangladesh. He was the Chief Executive of IMTREX, Managing Director of Uniroyal Trade Ltd. as well as Chairman of Uniroyal Securities Ltd. and Ocunova Eye Hospital.
BKB gets new chairman
Mr. MdNasiruzzaman, former secretary to the agriculture ministry, yesterday joined Bangladesh Krishi Bank as its chairman. He was the chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, according to a statement. Nasiruzzaman has served in the government’s finance and economic divisions and religious affairs ministry. He obtained his graduation degree in social welfare from the University of Dhaka.
Mr. Zaid Bakht reappointed Agrani Bank chairman
Economist Mr. Zaid Bakht has recently been reappointed chairman of state-owned Agrani Bank.He started off a career in research as a staff economist with the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in 1971 and retired as its research director in 2014. Bakht obtained a graduate degree in economics from the University of Dhaka. Later, he attained an MSc and PhD in economics from Cornell University.