Provision against unclassified credit card loans relaxed
The central bank has lowered the ceiling of general provision against all unclassified credit card loans to 2% from 5%. Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard on Sunday for all scheduled banks across the country. The circular will come into force with an immediate effect. According to the circular, with a view to promoting cashless secured transaction and considering the cost of operation of credit card business, the above instruction regarding general provision against unclassified credit card loans under consumer financing has been revised. Banks will be required to maintain 2% general provision against all unclassified credit card loans under consumer financing, added the circular. Earlier, banks used to maintain 5% general provision against unclassified credit card loans under consumer financing.
Banks run Tk 61.92 billion provisioning shortfall in H1
Overall shortfall in provision against both classified and unclassified loans in the country’s banking system swelled over 13 per cent or by Tk 7.22 billion in the first half (H1) of this calendar year. By official count the provisioning shortfalls rose to Tk 61.92 billion as on June 30 from Tk 54.70 billion as on December 31, 2016. In the first quarter (Q1) of the ongoing calendar year, the banks ran Tk 52.32 billion short of the mandatory security funds they ought to maintain under the running banking law. The banks ran short of the provisions following a portion of rescheduled credits having entered into non-performing territory along with conditional rescheduling of loans, according to officials. Only six banks out of 57 have failed to keep requisite provisions against loans, particularly classified ones, according to the official figures. Of them, three are state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) and the rest private commercial banks (PCBs). The SoCBs are now in ‘see-saw’ position on their financial performances, another BB official said while explaining the current trends in the SoCBs’ financial health.
More new notes to be available from Aug 27
The central bank will make more new notes available from August 27 to help meet the public demand ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. People will be able to exchange their old notes with new ones from the Bangladesh Bank counter until August 31, the last day for banking transaction before the three-day Eid vacation. Branch offices of 14 commercial banks will also exchange Tk 5 to Tk 100 notes, according to a circular of the central bank yesterday. An individual will not be allowed to exchange new notes for more than once, said the circular. But coins of different denominations will remain available at the counter. The branches in the capital which have been assigned to supply the new notes include National Bank’s Jatrabari branch, Agrani Bank’s Elephant Road branch, Social Islami Bank’s Panthapath branch, Bank Asia’s Dhanmondi branch, and Dhaka Bank’s Uttara branch.
Export earnings from US drops in last fiscal
Export earnings from the US witnessed a 6.01 per cent fall during last fiscal (2016-17) compared to the previous fiscal year (2015-16). The fall in export earnings are due to inadequate performance of the RMG sector, reports UNB. Bangladesh exports to the USA summed up to $ 5,846.64 million during the last fiscal (2016-17) compared to $ 6,220.65 million during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2015-16).The amount represents 16.78 per cent of the country’s total export earnings during the period. According to the statistics compiled recently by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the major exports to the US market during the last fiscal year were woven garment ($ 3,901.94 million), knitwear ($ 1,302.06 million), home textiles ($ 188.30 million) and cap ($ 136.48 million). The export earnings of Bangladesh in the last fiscal year (2016-17) totaled $ 34,835.09 million against the strategic target of $37,000 million which is also 5.85 percent short of the strategic target.
Trade deficit hits six-year high
Trade deficit hit USD 9.47 billion in fiscal 2016-17 — the highest in six years — with the central bank projecting it to cross the USD 11.0 billion mark this year. Since fiscal 2012-13, trade deficit has been hovering around USD 6 billion, but in fiscal 2016-17, it made a 47% year-on-year jump on the back of a wide mismatch between export and import growth. Last fiscal year, exports grew only 1.73% and imports 9.0%, according to data from the central bank. With the widening trade deficit and declining remittance, the current account balance dipped into the negative territory. The deficit reached USD 1.48 billion last fiscal year in contrast to a surplus of USD 4.3 billion a year earlier. The overall surplus shrank to USD 3.2 billion last fiscal year, which was USD 5.03 billion a year earlier.
‘Last chance’ for merchant banks, brokerage companies
Merchant banks and brokerage firms have been offered ‘last chance’ to come out of the problem of negative equity calculated in margin accounts within timeframe extended till December, 2018. The officials of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Sunday said the lenders who will fail to adjust negative equity setting individual plan will not be allowed to avail facilities including credit from refinancing scheme. “The lenders either will have to turn negative equity into positive one or will have to write off their loans provided to clients within timeframe,” said a most senior official of the securities regulator. According to BSEC officials, the aggregate amount of negative equity has stood at around BDT 70 billion in margin accounts maintained by merchant banks and stock brokerage firms.
Govt fixes prices of rawhide
The government yesterday fixed the price per square foot of cattle rawhide at Tk 50-55 in Dhaka while that of he-goat at Tk 40-45 for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. That of cattle outside Dhaka was fixed at Tk 40-45 and of she-goat at Tk 15-17. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed announced the rates for the sacrificial animals at a post-meeting media briefing at his secretariat in Dhaka. Leather and leather goods such as footwear have turned into major export items for Bangladesh in recent years due to rising demand for fashionable goods by Western customers seeking competitive prices. Leather and leather goods are now the second highest export earning products after readymade garment items. Only leather and leather goods, after the apparel sector, could earn more than $1 billion over the last four consecutive years. Leather and leather goods exports amounted to $1.23 billion in fiscal 2016-17, registering 6.29 percent year-on-year growth, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. Italy, the UK, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, the US and Canada are the big markets for the sector. In recent years, the exporters have been doing well in Japan, India, Nepal and Australian markets. Bangladesh now exports only 0.5 percent of the global leather and leather goods market worth $215 billion, according to industry insiders.
Robi charged Tk 3cr for delayed payment of merger fees
The telecom regulator has slapped Robi with a Tk 3 crore late fee for delayed payment of merger fees and spectrum adjustment charges for its much discussed union with Airtel. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission yesterday issued a letter in this regard and asked the mobile phone operator to submit the fees within 15 days, a senior official of the commission said. The decision to impose a 15 percent fine for the delay in paying the dues was taken at a regular commission meeting on Wednesday. Robi has so far paid the merger-related dues to the commission, due to which the commission on July 19 issued the order of merger of licence against the entity, the BTRC official said.
Alliance not to extend tenure beyond 2018
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a consortium of North American brands and buyers, has assured the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association that the platform would not extend its tenure in Bangladesh beyond 2018. The Alliance’s assurance came after months of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’s declaration that it would extend its tenure in Bangladesh for three more years. The Accord is a platform of European brands and buyers. Alliance and Accord have been working to improve workplace safety situation in the Bangladesh readymade garment sector.
Global port operators queue up for contract
Five big global marine and inland terminal operators are queuing up for the contract to build Bangladesh’s maiden specialised maritime terminal in Chittagong. A local company is also an aspirant for the terminal project to be implemented on public-private partnership (PPP) model at Laldiar Char, situated adjacent to the Karnaphuli river estuary. The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) owns the Char. The international port operators submitted their request for qualifications (RfQ) in an open bidding that was closed Sunday. The terminal is expected to be built in an around two-and-a-half-kilometre area on the north bank of the Karnaphuli river. Chittagong International Airport is near the designated area.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$ 48.54||↑0.03||↑0.06%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$ 52.71||↓0.01||↓0.02%|
|Gold Spot*||$ 1,286.01||↑1.88||↑0.15%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 81.18*|
|GBP 1||BDT 104.51*|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.42*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.27*|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.