Prime Bank has written off BDT 3.0 billoin embezzled by Bismillah Group in order to clean up its balance sheet. “We are not worried about Bismillah Group as the loan of the client was cleaned up from the balance sheet. In the meantime, the legal process to recover the money is also ongoing,” said Ahmed Kamal Khan Chowdhury, managing director of Prime Bank. He spoke at a media briefing at Hotel Purbani in Dhaka organized to mark 22nd founding anniversary of the bank. Golam Rabbani, deputy managing director of the bank, said some other banks were also the victims of the Bismillah Group scam but only Prime Bank’s loan was secured by collateral. Bismillah Group, which used to make terry towels for the export market, embezzled BDT 11.0 billion from five local banks with the help of bank officials between June 2011 and July 2012. The five banks intended to sell the properties Bismillah Group had used as the security to secure the loans.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) meets 20 banks on loan recovery today
Bangladesh Bank has summoned 20 banks to a meeting today to discuss their lower loan recovery performance against their defaulted and written-off loans. A BB official told New Age on Sunday that the central bank had earlier issued a number of letters to the banks to speed up their loan recovery program, but they had not taken proper measures to reduce their defaulted and written-off loans. Under the circumstances, the central bank will arrange a meeting today with managing directors of 20 banks at the central bank headquarters in the capital. BB deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury will preside over the meeting. The 20 banks are Janata Bank, Rupali Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, AB Bank, Dutch Bangla Bank, National Credit and Commerce Bank, Jamuna Bank, Premier Bank, EXIM Bank, The Farmers Bank, The City Bank, Al Arafah Islami Bank, Uttara Bank, Bank Asia, State Bank of India, Woori Bank, Bangladesh Commerce Bank, ICB Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Ceylon. The central bank has selected the 20 banks considering their poor loan recovery performance between September 2015 and June 2016.
School students to get stipend money through bkash
Stipend for the students of secondary schools will be disbursed through mobile financial service provider bKash in partnership with state-owned Agrani Bank Ltd to bring transparency and swiftness in the process. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid inaugurated on Sunday the scheme at a program organized by bKash at International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) auditorium in the city. The project was taken under Secondary Education Sector Investment Program (SESIP) initiated by the Education Minister and funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
PKB gets Tk 500m more from Wage Earners’ Welfare Board
The Wage Earners’ Welfare Board (WEWB) provided Sunday Probashi Kallyan Bank (PKB) with Tk 500 million more to raise its paid-up capital for turning it into a scheduled bank. But the state-owned specialised bank still needs Tk 2.5 billion more to make it a full-fledged commercial bank. However, the Finance Division is expecting to provide the bank with Tk 2.5 billion from the coffer shortly to meet emergencies. According to the central bank regulations, a commercial bank must have Tk 4.0 billion as paid-up capital.
The government has decided to turn the Probashi Kalyan Bank as a schedule bank soon to enhance the banking services to the country’s migrant workers, expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam said on Sunday. Speaking at a function at the ministry, he said there was no bar to make the PKB as schedule bank as all criteria were fulfilled in this regard. Terming the remittance senders as golden sons of soil, the minister said PKB branches would be setup to all districts so that the migrants could avail the facilities from the bank. Nurul Islam urged the PKB officials to be more sincere to make the bank profitable so that it could survive for long time. Source:http://www.newagebd.net/article/13593/govt-to-turn-pkb-as-schedule-bank-soon-minister
ONE Bank gives scholarships to meritorious students
ONE Bank Limited, one of the leading private commercial banks in Bangladesh, awarded scholarships to the poor but meritorious students of various educational institutions of Poradaha and other areas of Kushtia district at a programme at the Jessore Zilla School Auditorium in Jessore on Saturday
Government sets growth target at 7.4%; World Bank sets it at 6.8%
The economic growth target for fiscal 2017-18 has been set at 7.4%, as the government looks to leverage the low inflation rate and the strong momentum generated this year from the political calm. The World Bank, however, disputed Muhith’s proclamation. The Washington-based multilateral lender yesterday said the Bangladesh economy will grow at 6.8% in fiscal 2016-17 and 6.4% the following year. Earlier, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund said the economic growth this year would be below 7.0%. At yesterday’s meeting, the inflation target for next fiscal year was set at 5.4%, down from current year’s target of 5.8%. As of February, inflation stood at 5.3%.
Next budget deficit may widen to 5.4% of GDP: Finance Minister
The deficit in the coming fiscal budget may widen to 5.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Sunday. However, experts predicted higher bank borrowing if the deficit widens. In the current financial year (FY), 2016-17, the budget deficit was estimated at 5.0%. However, the minister did not elaborate the reasons for setting the budget deficit so high. According to finance ministry officials, the deficit usually stands at around 5.0% of GDP — a years-long practice in budgeting. For the current fiscal year the deficit amount has been fixed at BDT 974.5 billion, which may go up to BDT 1.4 trillion in the next fiscal.
Apparel shipment to non-traditional markets declines in first quarter
Apparel shipment to potential nontraditional markets declined sharply in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, in a blow to the country’s effort to diversify exports base, officials said. Exports to Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Korea dropped by 27.0%, 17.0%, 16.9% and 14.9% respectively in July-March period of 2016-17 fiscal compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to official data. Shipment to Australia and India declined by more than 7.0%, while exports to Japan and Turkey witnessed a meagre growth of 2.1% and 0.3% respectively in the same period. The nontraditional emerging markets for apparels are Australia, Japan, China, Chile, Brazil, Japan, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia, Korea, India and Turkey.
Government mulls to cut ITCs’ bandwidth import dependency
With the aim of slash import dependency of International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) operators, the government has started the process to sell the bandwidth of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) in a competitive price. The Posts and Telecommunications Division (PTD) has taken the move as the country already connected with its second submarine cable to ensure redundancy. The ITCs are unable to collect state-own BSCCL’s bandwidth due to some limitations. State minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim on Sunday said, ‘Initiative has been taken so the ITC operators could buy more bandwidth from BSCCL at a competitive price.’ Meanwhile, letter has been sent to BSCCL and the telecom regulator regarding the issue, she added. Now, six ITC operators have been doing business in Bangladesh after collecting bandwidth from neighboring India since over four years. As per the rules of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), currently the ITC operators could only buy highest 10.0% bandwidth from the BSCCL against their total demand.
Russia eyes JV in shipbuilding; Gazprom intends to build LNG terminal
Bangladesh and Russia have discussed the possibility of joint-venture initiatives in shipbuilding industry for the production of medium-sized vessels and fishing trawlers. The issue came up for discussion when Mr Ali met governor of Leningrad Oblast Alexander Drozdenko on Saturday at the governor mansion in St. Petersburg, report agencies. Meanwhile, Russia has urged Bangladesh to boost cooperation in production and distribution of LNG supply, terminal construction, and installation of pipelines. The call came when foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali visited on Friday the headquarters of the Russian hydrocarbon giant Gazrom, which is involved in extraction, production, transportation and sale of natural gas after his official bilateral talks in Moscow.
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