BB raises policy rate for first time in a decade
The Bangladesh Bank yesterday raised its key interest rate for the first time in a decade and devalued the local currency for the seventh time this year against the dollar as part of its moves to tackle inflationary forces and restore stability in the foreign exchange market. The BB interest or policy rate, which is termed the repurchase agreement (repo), is a pivotal benchmark interest rate followed by commercial banks to set the interest rates on both loans and deposits. Hiking the repo rate means the taka will be costlier, which will subsequently help contain inflation. Yesterday, the BB raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 5 per cent, the first hike since January 5, 2012. The BB notice announcing the hike in the policy rate came hours after it depreciated the exchange rate of the taka by 1.25 per cent to Tk 89 per US dollar. It stood at Tk 85.80 per dollar on December 30 and Tk 84.80 on May 29 last year. Although the BB fixed the BC (bills for collection) rate—at which banks sell dollars to importers—at Tk 88, banks are charging importers up to Tk 97. The central bank yesterday revised upwards the BC selling rate to Tk 89.15 a dollar. Besides, banks have been asked to offer a maximum of Tk 88.15 to exporters while purchasing their export bills.
Dhaka Bank signs deal with JK Group
Dhaka Bank Limited signed an agreement recently at the bank’s head office for providing cash management services to JK Group. Emranul Huq, Managing Director & CEO, Dhaka Bank Limited, and Md. Jahangir Alam Khan, Managing Director, JK Group, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Mohammad Abu Jafar, Additional Managing Director, Dhaka Bank Ltd. Md. Mostaque Ahmed, Deputy Managing Director & CEMO, Dhaka Bank Limited, Akhlaqur Rahman, SEVP & Head of Corporate Banking Division, Dhaka Bank Limited, Mustafa Husain, SEVP & Manager, Gulshan Branch, Dhaka Bank Limited, Md. Tanvir Khan, Director, JK Group, and Md. Masum Khan, General Manager (Finance & Accounts), JK Group were also present, among others, at the signing ceremony.
HSBC launches instant fund transfer solution
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Bangladesh has recently launched an instant, real-time payment collection solution developed with support from the Bangladesh Bank’s National Payments Switch of Bangladesh (NPSB). The NPSB is an electronic platform operating with a view to attain real-time interoperability among scheduled banks. The solution will enable corporate and retail customers to instantly receive funds from other banks participating locally with NPSB-enabled internet banking fund transfers.