Cenbank races for IMF’s $3b reserve goal by June
The Bangladesh Bank needs to rebuild more than $3 billion foreign exchange reserve in four months by June as per performance criteria set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get the second tranche of the $4.7 billion loan package – a task made difficult by the fact that the country’s financial accounts have gone negative first time in recent history. The IMF set the floor on net reserves at $24.46 billion for June – when the lender will conduct the first review of the performance criteria of the central bank. The net reserve will have to be calculated according to the new formula prescribed by the IMF. According to the central bank data, Bangladesh now has a $20 billion-plus net reserve if the new formula is applied. This net reserve amount is readily available for intervention in the foreign exchange market and can cover imports for three months if monthly import bills remain within $6 billion. A country is considered in a comfort zone if it has enough forex reserves to cover imports for the next three months. However, the Bangladesh Bank committed to the Washington-based lender that it will improve its net reserve to four months’ of prospective imports by FY26 through prudent aggregate demand management policies, increased exchange rate flexibility, and structural reforms to bolster competitiveness, according to the IMF country report on loan approval for Bangladesh.
Agent banking changes rural socioeconomic landscape
Agent banking continues changing rural socioeconomic landscape with formal credit inflow, deposit netting and injection of inward remittance marking a remarkable increase in the heretofore backwoods. Since access to finance is one of the key challenges facing financial inclusion, lending through agent banking is explicitly beneficial to rural customers. Banking on this facility of easy access to the stakeholders, the operations of agent banking recorded a remarkable growth in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022. As of December 2022, the lending through agent banking rose by 92.77 per cent year on year to reach Tk 103 billion. The volume of loans disbursed until December 2021 was Tk 53.47 billion. And around 65 per cent of the lending went to the rural areas where the scope of availing formal credits was thin even several years ago, according to quarterly report on agent banking by the Bangladesh Bank (BB), released Monday. In terms of deposit, the volume of deposits grew by 24.14 per cent to stand at Tk 301 billion in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year when the figure was Tk 243 billion. The concept of agent banking plays a vital role in bringing inward remittances from the expatriate Bangladeshi workers as the data showed around 40-percent increase at the end of December 2022 when agent- banking networks channeled inward remittance worth Tk 1.15 trillion (Tk 1149 billion). In December 2021, the figure was over Tk 823 billion.
Premier Bank gets two new AMDs
Premier Bank has recently promoted two deputy managing directors to the post of additional managing directors. One of the officials, Shamsuddin Chowdhury, was the manager of Motijheel Branch of the bank, said a press release. Chowdhury joined Premier Bank in 2006. He started his career at National Bank in 1985 and later worked for First Security Islami Bank. The second promotee, Md Shahid Hassan Mallik, was the head of Narayanganj Branch and Zonal Head of the bank. Mallik joined Premier Bank in 2002. He started his banking career at Al Baraka Bank Bangladesh in 1990.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|↓ 697.10||↓2.06 %|
|FTSE100||$7,977.75 || ↓36.56 ||↓0.46%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$76.05||↓0.31||↓0.41%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$82.74||↓0.31||↓0.37%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 104.4100||BDT 105.7500|
*World Commodities & Local and Global Stock Indices data are taken from bloomberg.com<
* Exchange Rates are taken from BB website, as on latest update.<