BB makes lending easier to foreign companies
Banks and non-bank financial institutions have been allowed to give out local currency loans to foreign companies against overseas guarantees without taking prior approval from the central bank. The central bank eased the rule yesterday given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a notice. The new rule will be in force until June 30, 2021. The rule relaxation aims at facilitating easy access to loans against external guarantees, a central bank official said. No fees will be payable against the guarantees. The central bank would have to be informed immediately in case of encashment of guarantees due to the payment default by borrowers. Permission from the central bank will be required in case of payment abroad of the amount encashed by lenders..
Tk 18.31b cash incentives for exporters
The government has released a sum of Tk 18.31 billion in favour of the Bangladesh Bank for the payment of cash incentives/subsidy to local exporters, officials said. It is the first instalment of cash incentives/subsidy for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal year (FY), 2020-21. Of the amount, Tk 1.25 billion will go to the jute sector while Tk 17.06 billion to other sectors, according to the finance division. A special 1.0 per cent cash incentive support fund for the readymade garment (RMG) industry has also been included in the 1st instalment, according to a letter of the ministry of finance (MoF) to the central bank. The government has yet to announce the rates of cash incentive/subsidy for the current fiscal. In the last fiscal, the government provided cash incentive/subsidy facility to exporters in 37 categories, including 1.0 per cent special incentive support for apparel items. An official of the finance ministry said the instalment fund has been released in favour of the central bank. The Office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) will issue debit authority over the released fund.
Four specialised tech centres in EZs soon
Commerce ministry is set to establish four specialised technology centres (TCs) in economic zones (EZs) with an eye to boosting export earnings through adopting new technologies. Under a project, it will establish three state-of-the-art TCs at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar in Chattogram and a specialised design and technology centre at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur.BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury and BHTPA managing director Hosne Ara Begum, among others, also joined the ceremony chaired by commerce secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin. As per the agreement, the EC4J project has received an allocation of 10 acres of land at the Shilpa Nagar and 4.04 acres at the Hi-Tech City. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Munshi said the initiative will help Bangladesh attain its economic goals as there is no alternative but to adopt new technologies. He recognised the need for expanding different export-oriented sectors in addition to apparel to sustain the current economic growth.The government is bringing in a wide range of reforms to enhance the country’s position in the ease-of-doing business index prepared by the World Bank.
Stocks post modest gain for second day
Stocks posted a marginal gain for the second straight session on Tuesday as bargain hunters continued to show their appetite on major sectors’ issues at the lowest possible prices. The market opened on positive note and remained upbeat throughout the session amid ongoing virus scare and amid floor price mechanism. At the end of the session, DSEX, the key index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, went up by 15.64 points or 0.38 per cent to settle at 4,085. Two other indices also edged higher. The DS30 index, comprising blue chips, advanced 7.40 points to finish at 1,372 and the DSE Shariah Index rose 4.28 points to close at 948. The Chittagong Stock Exchange also ended higher with its All Shares Price Index (CASPI)-advancing 44 points to close at 11,621 and the Selective Categories Index – CSCX -gaining 28 points to finish at 7,044.Of the issues traded, 75 gained, 27 declined and 101 remained unchanged on the CSE. The port city bourse traded 2.19 million shares and mutual fund units with turnover value of Tk 59 million.
D Money signs deal with LankaBangla Finance for digital payment collection
D Money Bangladesh Limited and LankaBangla Finance Limited recently signed an agreement for digital payment collection. Under the agreement, D Money users can make payment of LankaBangla credit card bills and DPS through the Dmoney App.
Dhaka Bank to change the age-old banking structure
Dhaka Bank Limited (DBL) has planned to introduce diversified financial technology (FinTech) based-services to ensure uninterrupted banking services for their customers, the bank’s top executive has said. “We’re committed and focused on making our bases stronger in order to stave-off any crisis as well as to ensure uninterrupted banking services through introducing diversified FinTech- based services for our valued customers,” Emranul Huq, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of DBL disclosed while sharing his future business strategies in an exclusive interview with the Financial Express (FE) recently.”Cash withdrawal tendency has created an immense pressure on the overall liquidity condition of the banks mainly due to the slowdown in the recovery along with lower deposit growth. If this situation is covered accordingly, our banking sector will be able to handle the situation,” the CEO said while replying to a query Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has so far announced a total of 19 stimulus packages worth Tk 1.03 trillion to offset the shock of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on various sectors of the country.The board of directors of DBL promoted Mr. Huq as the MD & CEO with effect from February 22, 2020. Prior to this role, he was serving the second generation PCB as the Additional Managing Director & Chief Business Officer. Mr. Huq started his career with Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI) in Dhaka as Management Trainee in 1986.The senior banker predicted that the banks and other financial institutions might face liquidity pressure in the near future mainly due to lower cash flow in the recent months. The Bangladesh Bank (BB) had already relaxed its policy asking the banks to suspend adverse classification of any loans till September 30 from the status of January 01, 2020 to facilitate business activities that have been adversely affected by coronavirus outbreak.The Dhaka Bank received 9th IFC Trade Award 2019 as a Best Issuing Bank in South Asia for best utilisation and performance of the Global Trade Finance Programme limit maintained with IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group.
Prime Bank, Computer Samity join hands to finance SMEs in ICT sector
Bangladesh’s ICT sector will play an important role in diversifying the country’s export basket in the coming days, according to Salman F Rahman, the prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser.In regards to the IT industry, Rahman said that around 95 per cent of the country’s IT entrepreneurs fall under the SME category. According the prime minister’s adviser, Bangladesh Bank will announce another Tk 2,000 crore package, from which BCS members in the SME sector can avail loans. However, Rahman urged the BCS to ensure that its members do not fail to continue their businesses or become defaulters in the process.He also said the move will be a big boost for the country’s booming ICT/ITES industry as eligible BCS members can now avail collateral-free loans of up to Tk 50 lakh alongside other tailor-made financing solutions. BCS President Munir said that the IT sector has created around 60,000 opportunities for direct employment and is trying to develop skilled manpower.
The future of lending is here. And it is thanks to City Bank and bKash.
City Bank and bKash are possibly on to revolutionising the lending landscape in Bangladesh after the two yesterday announced rolling out digital lending on a pilot basis. A select group of bKash users will now be able to get a loan of up to Tk 10,000 collateral-free on an instant. To take a loan, banks require consumers to visit a branch, open an account first and then start the cumbersome process of applying for the loan. And there is no surety that the loan would be sanctioned.The digital loan project of City Bank exemplifies how banks can bring new and creative services to improve the lives of the common people, said Kamal Quadir, chief executive officer of bKash. It broadens the scope of financial inclusion by using bKash’s platform and leveraging its robust customer base, he said.Users will have to give consent to sharing their KYC information that they have already made available to bKash with City Bank. After successfully entering the bKash PIN, the loan amount will be instantly disbursed into the user’s bKash account. Ant Group, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payments arm, will be the technology partner undertaking credit assessment on potential borrowers for this project. The company, which has a 20 per cent stake in bKash, offers advanced AI-based credit assessment facilities for digital loans offered in different countries, including China, India and the Philippines. An automated credit scoring system will give an instant decision on whether a user of bKash has qualified for the loan. The system will read the previous financial bKash transactions — deposits, withdrawals, mobile recharge and so on — carried out by a user of the mobile financial service provider. This means City Bank will give loans to client based on their past financial track record with bKash.