BB to let banks, NBFIs pay higher dividends
Bangladesh Bank is going to allow banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) to provide higher dividends to shareholders than what their respective ceilings were set at. Coming at a meeting with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) at the securities commission building chaired by BSEC Chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam, the decision would be made public through a circular soon. The BSEC informed of it through a press release yesterday. The central bank recently issued two separate circulars saying that the banks were allowed to provide 30 per cent dividend while the NBFIs 15 per cent. Now the central bank will allow banks to provide up to 35 per cent while the listed NBFIs over 15 per cent if they have the ability, according to the latest decision. Both regulators will take necessary steps to encourage banks to form a special fund of Tk 200 crore in order to invest in the stock market. On February 10, the banking regulator rolled out the package that allows banks to set up a Tk 200 crore fund by taking it from Bangladesh Bank through a repurchase agreement against treasury bills and bonds they own. Till now, 26 banks have formed funds of around Tk 2,900 crore utilising the Bangladesh Bank incentive. Of the funds, around Tk 1,037 crore has already been invested.
Agrani Bank sole supplier of forex for Padma bridge
State lenders in Bangladesh are sometimes in the news for all the wrong reasons. But they also carry the weight of the fast-expanding economy. Agrani Bank Ltd is one such example. The bank is the sole supplier of foreign currencies to the Padma bridge project and made payments of $1.2 billion to international contractors and consultancy firms as of December last year. It came up with the greenbacks from its own earnings over the last seven years. It did not have to buy any foreign currency from the reserve of the Bangladesh Bank to finance one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country, said Agrani Bank officials. The bank will pay a further $700 million in foreign currency by this June. The rest of the payments will gradually be made until June 2022. The government pays back Agrani in local currency for the dollars. After several deadline extensions and cost escalations, the Padma bridge project, which the government looks to complete by June 2022, requires $2.4 billion in foreign currency. The total cost for the 6.15km bridge is Tk 30,193 crore, or $3.56 billion. Of this, $2.4 billion needs to be paid in foreign currency and the rest in the local currency, according to the Bridges Division, the implementing authority of the project. The forex reserve of the country stood at $42.98 billion on March 10, up 33 per cent from $32.42 billion year-on-year. Starting with $6.26 million in 2013, Agrani Bank has so far paid out $1.2 billion. Last year, it contributed $126 million, according to the bank’s data.
NRB Bank gets new DMD
NRB Bank has appointed a new deputy managing director.The appointee, Md Abdul Wadud, was previously serving in the same post at The City Bank, says a press release. He started off his career as a management trainee at Eastern Bank in 1996 and joined City Bank in 2011 as head of credit risk management.
Bengal Commercial Bank signs deal with CIB
Bengal Commercial Bank Ltd. signed an agreement with Credit Information Bureau (CIB) of Bangladesh Bank on Monday, says a press release. Under the agreement the Bank will have access to the CIB Online System (CIBOS) for searching the credit status of clients from the Database of CIB.
BTRC to set up QoS benchmarking system
The Bangladesh Tele-Communication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is set to install a state-of-the-art benchmarking system to strengthen the commission’s capacity to monitor service quality of its licensees. The commission invited an international tender last week for supply, installation and commissioning of the quality of service (QoS) benchmarking system. The BTRC, on January 21, started conducting a six-month drive test in 300 upazilas across the country to measure the quality of services of the mobile operators. According to the BTRC policy, an operator’s call success rate should be 97 percent or more, call drop should be less than 2.0 percent, and call setup time should be completed within seven seconds. Besides, the minimum speed of 3G data should be 2.0 Megabits per second (Mbps) and that of 4G data should be 7.0 Mbps. The regulator came up with the decision to install QoS benchmarking system against the backdrop of severe problems related with call drop and poor mobile services in the country, as it received around 6,00,000 complaints in 2020.