Banks can give max. 30pc div for 2020
The banking companies would be able to declare maximum 30 per cent dividend, including 15 per cent cash, for the year ended on December 31, 2020. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has set the limit for the banks which have at least 15 per cent or more reserve capital, including 2.5 per cent capital conservation buffer against the risk-weighted assets. The banks will also have to maintain necessary provisioning and have the ability to meet other expenses, according to a circular issued on Sunday. Against the backdrop of the adverse impact of Covid pandemic, it said, the financial health of the banks as well as return on investment for the shareholders were considered while preparing the policy. The banks having a reserve capital from at least 13.5 per cent to 15 per cent would be able to declare maximum 25 per cent dividend, including 12.5 per cent cash, subject to meeting other requirements including provisioning against risk-weighted assets. With having a reserve capital of at least 11.875 per cent, the banks would be able to declare maximum 15 per cent dividend, including 7.5 per cent cash, subject to approval of the central bank. The banks with a reserve capital from 11.875 per cent to 12.5 per cent would be able to declare 10 per cent dividend, including 5.0 per cent cash. The banks having reserve capital from 10.625 per cent to 11.875 per cent will be able to declare at best 5.0 per cent stock dividend subject to approval by the central bank.
WB gives another $40m to help expand e-procurement coverage
The World Bank yesterday approved $40 million to help Bangladesh increase the coverage of electronic government procurement (e-GP) with new features to respond to the Covid-19 challenges. This is an additional financing to the Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP), which the multilateral lender approved in 2017 to improve public procurement performance. The World Bank committed to provide $55 million for the project, which aims to restructure the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) and institutionalize e-GP as well as enhancing digitisation of public procurement. The multilateral lender said it has been supporting the government to improve public procurement since 2002. With the World Bank’s help, the government rolled out e-GP in four procuring entities. In FY 2019-20, $17.5 billion worth of procurement contracts, representing about 62 per cent of public procurement expenditure in the country, were processed through the e-GP system. During the pandemic, e-GP enabled over 1,300 public organisations to process all procurement activities online following national competitive procurement methods.
Stocks plunge 2.5pc on panic sales
The key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) nosedived more than 2.53 per cent yesterday due to pressure stemming from panic sales by general investors. The DSEX fell 142 points to 5,504.78, the lowest in one and a half months. Turnover, an important indicator of the stock market, rose 8.13 per cent to Tk 771 crore. Mercantile Insurance Company topped the gainers’ list, rising 4.22 per cent followed by Prime Insurance Company, Intech, Beacon Pharmaceuticals, and Takaful Islami Insurance. Beximco topped the turnover list with trade worth Tk 124 crore, followed by British American Tobacco Bangladesh, LankaBangla Finance, Robi Axiata, and Beximco Pharmaceuticals. CAPM IBBL Islamic Mutual Fund shed the most, dropping 9.61 per cent, followed by Mir Akhter Hossain, Shinepukur Ceramics, Appollo Ispat Complex, and Beximco. The port city bourse also dropped. The CASPI, the general index of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, fell 414 points, or 2.53 per cent, to 15,916. Of the stocks, 30 rose, 151 dropped and 43 remained the same.
Interest rate spread widens
The interest rate spread widened further in December last as the banks cut the deposit rates deeper than that of the lending rates, bankers have said. The weighted average spread between the lending and deposit rates rose to 3.07 per cent in December 2020 from 2.98 per cent a month ago. It was 2.94 per cent in October last year. Senior bankers predicted further fall in interest rates on fresh deposits in the coming months if the upward trend of excess liquidity in the banking system continues. The banks’ excess cash hit an all-time high of Tk 2.04 trillion in December last due to lower private sector credit growth, caused by supply chain disruptions amid the Covid pandemic, they explained. The growth in credit flow to the private sector came down to 8.37 per cent in December 2020 on a year-on-year basis from 9.20 per cent in July last year. The weighted average interest rate on deposits fell to 4.54 per cent in December last from 4.64 per cent in the previous month while the lending rate came down to 7.61 per cent from 7.62 per cent, according to Bangladesh Bank’s (BB) latest statistics. The average spread of the state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) was 2.13 per cent in December last while the private commercial banks (PCBs) 3.14 per cent, foreign commercial banks (FCBs) 5.90 per cent and specialised banks (SBs) 1.87 per cent. In April 2020, the spread dropped significantly to 2.92 per cent from 4.07 per cent in March following implementation of the single-digit interest rate in the banking sector.
Rahel Ahmed joins Nagad as CEO
Rahel Ahmed has joined Nagad, the digital financial service arm of the Bangladesh Post Office, as the chief executive officer (CEO). Prior to joining the country’s one of the top digital financial services, Ahmed was the managing director and the CEO of Prime Bank Ltd. He served the private commercial bank for three years as the top brass of the management team. He was also the deputy managing director and deputy CEO of the bank and had played a key role in the digitalisation of the bank. He has had more than two decades of experience in the banking industry at home and abroad. He earned kudos for pioneering a collateral-free loan in the information and communication technology industry in Bangladesh.
CSE gets new director
Mr. Syed Mohammed Tanvir joined Chittagong Stock Exchange Ltd. as an Independent Director. The Board in its meeting held on today confirmed his appointment. Earlier, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) approved the nomination of Mr. Tanvir. Mr. Tanvir is a distinguished businessman. He is the Managing Director of Pacific Jeans Group, Director of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Vice President of Zonal Committee of BEPZIA.