Liquidity glut could fuel inflation: BB
The surplus liquidity in the banking system might fuel inflationary pressure in the country in the near future, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) has said in its just-published annual report for the fiscal year 2019-20. Excess liquidity stemming from the stimulus packages may engender inflationary bubbles in the periods ahead, hence strong vigilance would be required. The BB’s observations came against the backdrop of rising trend in excess liquidity in the country’s banking sector in recent months following lower private sector credit growth. Banks’ excess cash hit all-time high of nearly Tk 2.0 trillion in November last following lower private sector credit growth, caused by supply chain disruptions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to bankers and experts. Expansionary monetary policy coupled with the implementation of the government’s stimulus packages have driven up liquidity in the banking system, they explained. They expressed the fear of inflationary pressure if the excess liquidity is used for unproductive or less-productive sectors. BB, however, is hopeful about tolerable inflation level, thanks to adequate domestic food grains production as well as the fall in international commodity and fuel prices. Considering these, the central bank has projected an average inflation range of 5.0-5.9 per cent for the current fiscal year, near to the government’s target of 5.4. Meanwhile, the country’s 12-month average inflation as measured by consumer-price index (CPI) rose to 5.69 per cent in December 2020 from 5.59 a year before. It was 5.73 per cent in November 2020. Regarding economic activities, the central bank said there have been signs of improvement with regard to health issues and economic recovery. However, the subsequent spells of the pandemic are still feared to pose serious risks to the economy, it warned. On the external front, global recession, oil price volatility, and trade wars may slow down the domestic recovery, according to the report. Although the target appears to be ambitious, it is achievable considering that the Covid-19 related situation will improve and the economy will rebound strongly following a V-shaped recovery path, aided by the successful and timely implementation of the stimulus packages, the central bank noted. The government has so far announced a total of 23 stimulus packages worth Tk 1.24 trillion to offset the shock of Covid-19 pandemic in various sectors of the country.
Payra port logs Tk 253cr in revenue so far
Some 106 oceangoing ships arrived at the Payra port since its inception, generating a revenue of Tk 253 crore for the government as of December 2020. The port authorities shared the information with Planning Minister MA Mannan during his visit to the port area. The minister inspected the progress of work of the first terminal under construction at the port, Ramnabad channel dredging activities and the progress of rehabilitation projects for the families affected by the land acquisition for the port. Commodore Humayun Kallol, chairman of Payra Port Authority, briefed the minister about the various development activities of the port and the progress of the ongoing activities. Special facilities will also be provided in this port for investors. Later that day, the minister also visited the Kuakata beach. The national assembly passed the ‘Pigeon Seaport Authority Act, 2013’ on November 3, 2013 and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction work on November 1, 2013. Meanwhile, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury inaugurated the dredging activities on January 17 to maintain a depth of 6.3 metre in the Rabnabad channel.
ICMAB holds discussion on AI and blockchain in capital market
A discussion meeting titled ‘Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Applications in Capital Market’ was organised by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) on Tuesday. Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Prof. Dr. Shibli Rubaiyat-ul Islam was present as the chief guest. AKM Delwer Hussain FCMA, President of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) was the special guest on the occasion. Dr. Hajik Mohammad, Managing Director, Stellar Consulting Group (Singapore), Fintech Expert / Trainer, iFintel Business Intelligence (Malaysia) was the resource person. Chief guest Professor Shibli Rubaiyat-ul Islam said that CMA profession is very important for our economic development.
IDLC invests Tk 40m as part of VC Fund I in Intelligent Machines
IDLC Venture Capital Fund I is investing Tk 40 million in Intelligent Machines Limited (IM), an AI (Artificial Intelligence)-first deep-tech startup that provides solutions to Enterprise Clients. This investment is part of IDLC VC (Venture Capital) Fund- I which is managed by IDLC Asset Management Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary by IDLC Finance Limited. Launched in March 2020, IDLC VC Fund I is a Tk 450 million Venture Capital Fund that invests in technology-based and high-growth startups in Bangladesh. The country has seen the emergence of a Startup Culture beginning in 2012, and inspired by that IDLC took the courageous step to launch the first-ever VC Fund in the country. As a nation, we are cultivating the digital revolution. This investment is also not any exception, and we are delighted to be part of this. We will not be limiting ourselves to capital investment but extend guidance to the tech entrepreneurs too.” The current funding round will support their expansion in the Enterprise AI sector, where they have been serving an eminent range of clients such as bKash, BAT, Unilever, Arla Foods, Telenor Myanmar, and IDLC Finance. While speaking about the investment, Mohammad Oli Ahad, Founder and CEO of IM said, “We are greatly encouraged with this powerful association. Partnering with a highly respected team like IDLC who has led some of the pioneering industry standards in their fields would help us not only in immediate journey but also strengthening our process assets and organization culture.
Ruhul Amin new EC Chairman of NRB Bank
Khandakar Ruhul Amin has been elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee of NRB Bank Limited at a meeting of the board of directors of the bank held recently. He is also the Chairman of Sonaimuri Upazila Parishad of Noakhali District. Mr. Amin is a versatile and seasoned business professional with extensive knowledge and networking capacity to revolutionize business decision-making in the international trade, commerce and restaurant industry. He is a proficient businessman involved with local and overseas companies in Bangladesh and USA over the 25 years.