More low-cost loans for women borrowers Female borrowers
would get at least 25 per cent of the stimulus fund dedicated to the farmers, underprivileged women, professionals, and micro-enterprises, said the central bank yesterday. The Tk 3,000-crore fund was rolled out in April last year as part of the Bangladesh Bank’s efforts to keep the micro-businesses afloat during the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.Although a major portion of the stimulus fund has already been disbursed to women-owned businesses, the central bank has included the provision to emphasise lending to female entrepreneurs, a BB official said. The instruction came into effect immediately, according to a notice of the BB yesterday. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) with certificates from the Microcredit Regulatory Authority can give out loans. Under the package, the BB initially provides the fund to banks at 1 per cent interest. Banks lend to MFIs at 3.5 per cent interest.Banks have so far disbursed 63 per cent of the stimulus package through MFIs. Small businesses like roadside tea sellers can get loans. The highest amount of the loan would be Tk 75,000. If more than five persons own the small businesses, the loan ceiling will go up to Tk 3 lakh. The repayment period is one year.
Dhaka Bank arranges $40m in foreign financing
Dhaka Bank has mobilised foreign funds amounting to $40 million at a cheap interest rate for Chandpur Power Generations. Two banks based in Germany — Commerzbank AG and AKA Ausfuhrkredit-GesellschaftmbH — provided the fund to Dhaka Bank, after which the lender disbursed the funds to the power company. The fund, covered by global credit guarantee company Euler Hermes, is the first ever loan for Dhaka Bank under the export credit agency (ECA).The ECA acts as an intermediary between governments and exporters to issue guarantees for financing. Dhaka Bank signed an agreement with the two German banks on June 7 to avail the fund. The move enabled Dhaka Bank to expand its footprint in the international financial market and widen its spectrum of operation in structured financing, according to EmranulHuq, the bank’s managing director.Chandpur Power Generations is a 115 MW heavy fuel oil based power plant which is now under implementation in Chandpur. The project will be an IPP (independent power producer) for 15 years.
Mercantile Bank signs MoU with BEZA
Mercantile Bank Limited signed a MoU with Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) on Wednesday at BEZA head office in the city. Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of BEZA presided over the programme while Md. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, Managing Director & CEO of Mercantile Bank, was the special guest. Mohammad Hasan Arif, General Manager of BEZA and AdilRaihan, DMD of Mercantile Bank, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations. Under the agreement, Mercantile Bank will participate in tree plantation at Mirsarai Economic Zone Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibShilpa Nagar as Corporate Social Responsibilities of the bank.
After soybean, mustard oil to become dearer
The 5 per cent regulatory duty imposed on the import of rapeseed may cause the price of mustard oil to shoot up and go beyond the purchasing power of consumers, millers said. The hike will affect the consumers at a time when low and middle-income people are already struggling to afford soybean oil, whose price has gone up five times in the last five months, and other essential items.While placing the budget for 2021-22 in parliament on June 3, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal imposed the regulatory duty on the import of rapeseed or mustard seed. The import duty on oil cake, a feed that is produced during the extraction of mustard and sunflower oil, has been cut, a move that will hurt the domestic industry, said millers.Every year, 2.5 lakh to 3 lakh tonnes of mustard seed are imported, and about 1 lakh tonne of oilseed is produced locally. One kilogramme of oil can be obtained from every 2.5 kg mustard seed. Currently, the annual demand for mustard oil stands at 1.5 lakh tonnes.The Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association hiked the price of branded canned soybean oil to Tk 153 per litre because of the rising prices in the international markets. The new price, which is more than 42 per cent higher than a year ago, came into effect on May 2. The price of loose soybean oil was set at Tk 129 per litre, up from 43 per cent a year earlier.They also produce poultry and fish feed during the extraction of mustard oil. The domestic industry creates jobs for about 5,000 people, millers say. Mohammad Jahangir Alam, an agriculture economist, said the proposed regulatory duty on mustard import might increase the price of mustard oil a bit.