Amazing growth in bank deposits
The deposit growth in the country’s banking sector increased by a record 13 per cent to approximately Tk 12.5 trillion in October last year, even as interest rate is at historic low, the central bank data shows. The latest data of the Bangladesh Bank said time deposit expanded to over Tk 11.1 trillion in October, while the demand deposit to Tk 1.3 trillion. The deposit growth was registered in October, 2019 was 12.2 per cent. This surge took place at a time when the interest rate on deposits remained significantly low after the government’s implementation of single-digit interest rate. Bankers said that this rise is due to the adequate liquidity in the money market, driven by stimulus packages. They said this may facilitate lending, although the demand for lending remained poor as the fallout of COVID-19, which has been hitting the economy since March 2020. Meanwhile, the interest on the fixed deposit ranges from 4.0 to 5.0 per cent while the savings interest rate is between 2.0 to 3.0 per cent. On the other hand, economists argued that this type of surge in the banking system is due to the stimulus package as the central bank has been implementing many strategies for boosting liquidity in the money market.
BB moves to boost cashless transactions
Bangladesh Bank yesterday rolled out an interoperable QR code as a part of its efforts to boost cashless transactions across the country, particularly in rural areas. The uniform digital payment method named ‘Bangla QR’, will help clients pay their bills for purchased goods and services through any mobile banking application, mobile financial service (MFS) or payment service provider (PSP). Transaction through MFS rose 41 per cent year-on-year to Tk 53,259 crore in October last year. The issuance of credit cards stood at 16.31 lakh as of October, up 8.73 per cent year-on-year, when debit cards grew 8.70 per cent to 2.10 crore. The new digital payment method will quickly gain popularity in the remote area as the central bank relaxed the rules for opening personal retail accounts for micro and underprivileged businesses on November 16. Clients will be encouraged to use the QR code as well. Bangladesh Bank had earlier introduced personal retail accounts for micro and underprivileged businesses, which will give a boost to Bangla QR in the rural areas. In most of the cases, the small businesses are unable to set up PoS due to the cost of a terminal, which ranges from Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000 per unit. Bank Asia has already opened 12,000 personal retail accounts in the rural areas which will be brought under the new payment system within this month. Clients will pay a maximum Tk 20,000 per transaction for their purchased goods and service.
DSE turnover plunges from record high
Turnover at the Dhaka Stock Exchange plunged by 38 per cent or Tk 969 crore to Tk 1,577 crore yesterday thanks to the wait-and-see approach adopted by institutional investors, according to market players. The development comes just a day after turnover registered a decade high at Tk 2,546 crore. However, DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka bourse, rose 30 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 5,640 at the same time. AFC Agro Biotech topped the gainers’ list with a 9.94 per cent rise followed by Robi Axiata, Fu-Wang Ceramic, GBB Power and Khan Brothers PP Woven Bag. Green Delta Mutual Fund shed the most, falling 8.51 per cent, followed by Nitol Insurance, Peoples Insurance, Alltex Industries, and Takaful Islami Insurance. Beximco topped the turnover list with Tk 153 crore followed by Beximco Pharmaceuticals, LankaBangla Finance, Robi Axiata and IFIC Bank. At the DSE, 120 securities gained value, 171 declined, and 70 remained unchanged. The port city bourse also rose yesterday. CASPI, the general index of the Chattogram stock exchange, rose 38 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 16,294. Among the 269 traded companies, 95 advanced, 134 fell and 40 remained the same.
World Bank revises up GDP growth projection
The World Bank has revised its GDP growth projection upwards for Bangladesh to 2 per cent for the last fiscal year, although the figure is still far lower than the government’s estimate. In June, the Washington-based lender had said that Bangladesh’s economy would grow by 1.6 per cent in FY20 as the coronavirus pandemic battered the country. It had also forecast the economy to expand by 1 per cent in the current fiscal year. Yesterday, the lender said in Bangladesh, which had been one of the fastest-growing emerging market and developing economies prior to the pandemic, growth was estimated to have decelerated to 2 per cent in the last fiscal year. It also revised the growth forecast upwards for the next fiscal year to 1.6 per cent, according to the Global Economic Prospects Update. The government may revise down its GDP growth target to 7.4 per cent for the current fiscal year, as suggested in the documents of the Eighth Five-Year Plan, from 8.2 per cent set in June.