Govt to use forex reserves for development projects
The government has decided to use the country’s ballooning foreign exchange reserves to implement development projects. The government would pick those projects for the foreign currency loans that would have a high rate of return so that it can repay the loans also in the foreign currencies, Kamal said. In September, the central bank submitted a concept paper to the finance ministry on using the foreign exchange reserve. As per Bangladesh Bank Order 1972, there is no scope to use the reserve in any projects, the central bank informed the ministry. The central bank gave out foreign currency loans to Biman Bangladesh Airlines through state lender Sonali Bank last year to procure aircraft. The government gave the guarantee to mitigate the financial risk for the lender. The guarantee means the government will pay back the loan to the state lender if the national flag carrier fails to return the amount on time. The outstanding loans given by the central bank to the national flag carrier now stand at $580 million. In recent months, the reserve has reached a new high on the back of remittance, dwindling import payments and budgetary support and loans from the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. The countries whose foreign exchange reserve is not sufficient have hardly invested the fund at home and abroad for long terms. Two years ago, the cabinet gave the go-ahead to establish a wealth fund with money from the reserves, which would be used as government investment in long-term projects. The funds to the tune of $5 billion were supposed to be used for investments in seven sectors, including power, energy and infrastructure. But the initiative came to a halt due to fluctuations of the reserve at that time. In 1990, the Norwegian parliament passed legislation to support this, creating the fund and the first money was deposited there in 1996. The fund, whose market value stood at $1,148 billion as of 2019, has been invested only abroad. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi in 1976 to operate sovereign wealth fund. It manages a global investment portfolio that is diversified across more than two dozen asset classes and sub-categories.
Dhaka Bank has signed an agreement recently for providing cash management and payroll services to Cross World Power
Dhaka Bank has signed an agreement recently for providing cash management and payroll services to Cross World Power Limited at Dhaka Bank Corporate Office. Mr. Emranul Huq, Managing Director and CEO of Dhaka Bank Ltd, and Mr. Syed Raziur Rahman Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer of Cross World Power Limited, signed and exchanged the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
BD Finance to launch innovative products
Bangladesh Finance and Investment Company Ltd or BD Finance is planning to introduce innovative and customized lending and deposit options to pull together NBFI-designed funding and lending base, top executive of the non-bank financial institution said. To materialize the plan, the NBFI is planning to bring worth Tk 2.0 billion subordinate or zero coupon bond in the market for three to five years. BD Finance started its journey in 1999 with the prime objective of delivering financial services across the different segments of clienteles and business as part of its humble endeavor to contribute meaningfully to the cause of socio-economic development of the country. The Company obtained permission from Bangladesh Bank to operate as financial institution under the Financial Institutions Act 1993 on December 22, 1999 and got listed in Dhaka Stock Exchange on September 06, 2007 and Chittagong Stock Exchange on August 28, 2007. The shareholding structure of BD Finance consists of reputed corporate houses, leading industrialists and general public. BD Finance is giving minimum 10 per cent dividend on year on year andit gave 12 per cent cash dividend in 2019 even in this difficult time. BD Finance has one of the lowest NPL which is close to 4 per cent and will decrease at the end of year 2020, according to official source. The consolidated operating income of the NBFI has increased by 39 per cent in H1 2020 where operating expenses decreased by 23 per cent compared to the same period of H1 2019 which indicates higher operational efficiency.
26 awarded for Walton Digital Campaign branding
Walton, the leading multinational electronics company in Bangladesh, has awarded 26 individuals and organisations for their outstanding branding activities under its ongoing Digital Campaign Season-8 across the country, said a press release. Walton is conducting the campaign to boost its digital registration initiative in order to provide online-based swift and best after-sales service. Under the Digital Campaign Season-8, customers of Walton fridge, washing machine and microwave oven are getting up to 500 per cent sure cash vouchers or lots of free products like fridge, television, air conditioner, blender etc. On the occasion, the ‘Best Branding Award and Best Area Manager Award-2020’ ceremony was held at the Walton corporate office in the city recently.
Norway interested to help harness blue economy
Norwegian ambassador to Bangladesh Espen Rikter-Svendsen expressed on Sunday interests to provide his country’s technical support to harness the potential of the blue economy at the Bay of Bengal. Norway has a long experience in exploring maritime resources and Bangladesh can be immensely benefited by applying Norwegian experiences, said the ambassador during his meeting with industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at the ministry of industries (MoI) in the city. They discussed issues of mutual interests and cooperation between the two countries in different sectors for the benefits of the two nations.
HSBC observes customer service week
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Bangladesh celebrated International Customer Service Week from October 5 to 8. To wrap up the week of celebrations and also discuss the changed landscape of customer service in presence of industry experts, the lender yesterday organised a webinar on “The transformed landscape of Customer Service to thrive in the New Normal”. The bank’s selected customers shared their experience of banking with HSBC at the event. The customer service week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. The bank is taking forward its customer experience initiative under the campaign “Exceeding Expectations Everyday” and has embedded it as a way of life for every element that the bank offers for its customers, the bank said in a statement. Customer experience is at the centre of what we offer at HSBC. Starting from designing our products and propositions to serving those to our customers, customer experience is an essential element that we consider.
Brac Bank wins award for female-focused lending
Brac Bank has recently been named as the Access to Finance Champion by the Financial Alliance for Women. This is for the fourth consecutive time the bank won the award. The announcement came in a 2020 Alliance Summit held recently through a digital platform, according to statement. The Financial Alliance for Women is a leading network of financial organisations in 135 countries dedicated to championing the untapped female economy. Brac Bank was awarded for continuously evolving its products and services under “TARA” to expand its reach to female customers.