Bangladesh Bank lifts minimum deposit rate, hikes lending rate up to 12pc
The Bangladesh Bank on Sunday withdrew the minimum deposit rate for banks and allowed lending rate on consumers’ credit up to 12 per cent in its monetary policy announced for the second half of financial year 2022-23. Earlier, the minimum deposit rate was the average of three months’ inflation rate, and the consumer credit refers to personal loan, and loan on car, real estate, education, etc. The BB in its cautiously accommodative MPS also raised its policy rate by 25 basis points to contain inflationary and exchange rate pressure. The central bank unveiled the monetary policy statement for the January-June period at a press conference held in its head office in the capital. Considering a suitable economic condition, the nine per cent lending rate cap will be removed, according to the statement. The relaxation of the lending rate and the removal of the deposit rate may help grow the overall deposit rate, it said. In April 2020, the central bank imposed the lending rate cap at 9 per cent. It also levied the minimum deposit rate in August 2021. The overall inflation soared to 9.52 per cent in August, the highest in a decade, which dropped to 9.1 per cent in September, 8.91 per cent in October, 8.85 per cent in November and 8.71 in December 2022. In the latest MPS, the repo rate at which the central bank of a country lends money to commercial banks was raised to 6 per cent from 5.75 per cent, reverse repo rate to 4.25 per cent from 4 per cent and special repo rate to 9 per cent from 8.75 per cent on the day. The Bangladesh Bank, however, increased domestic credit growth target to 18.5 per cent while the private sector credit growth target was kept unchanged at 14.1 per cent.
BB looks to promote digital banking
The Bangladesh Bank plans to promote digital banking to encourage the broad adoption of financial products and services as it looks to accelerate financial inclusion, thus moving the country towards a cashless society. The central bank has made a significant effort to develop a modern digital payment system over the last decade. The digitalization of the banking sector, the popularization of mobile financial services (MFS) and agent banking, the rise of online-based banking services, the introduction of payment systems operators (PSOs) and payment service providers (PSPs), and the full interoperability of the financial sector, specifically the introduction of interoperable digital transaction platform “Binimoy” are some of the critical initiatives to impact the onboarding and transaction behavior of end-users.
New era begins as Ctg port sees bigger ships berth
A vessel with 10 metres draught berthed at a jetty of the Chattogram port for the first time yesterday, a major leap forward as the movement of larger ships is expected to cut costs and save time. Port users hope that the increased draught limit would enable the transportation of more cargoes and containers by a single vessel and help ease congestion at the seaport, which handles around 90 per cent of Bangladesh’s $135 billion annual trade. “It is very good news,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Owing to the lower draught in the Karnaphuli channel, relatively larger ships could not enter the channel as of yesterday. Now they will be able to come with higher loads.