Banks asked to keep adequate cash at ATMs during Eid vacation
Bangladesh Bank on Sunday asked commercial banks to keep adequate cash in their automated teller machines so that their clients can withdraw money round the clock during Eid-ul-Azha holidays. The three-day Eid holidays will begin on September 1. If any ATM faces technical problem during the vacation, the bank concerned will have to resolve the issue immediately, according to a central bank directive issued to the managing directors of all commercial banks. The banks will have to deploy enough security guards at their ATMs to ensure security of the booths. The banks will have to ensure the functioning of point of sale service for their clients during the vacation so that they (clients) can settle their transactions through credit and debit cards. The BB asked the banks to take an awareness programme for their clients and merchants to tackle any fraudulent activities through the PoS system.
No profits from savings certificates for gratuity fundholders
People with savings certificates will most likely not profit from the Savings Certificate Policy 2017 if they are already benefiting from gratuity funds. The Ministry of Finance had directed the Internal Resources Division to form a committee to reduce the abnormality that has arisen over Sanchaypatra Rules 1977 and Income Tax Law 1994. The seven-member committee, headed by the director general of the Department of National Savings, recommended that those who have gratuity fund deposits should not receive profits from savings certificates. The committee found that five institutions including banks, financial institutions and an NGO has been depositing their gratuity funds in the Department of National Savings for five years to benefit from savings certificates. Over the past five years, the five in questions have deposited Tk40.1 crore in earnings, and was set to earn Tk15.9 crore in profits. The committee recommended the latter profit be denied to the depositors. Earlier, the government had announced plans to set up investment limits for potential buyers of national savings certificates, in addition to a two-tier profit rate. Buyers could also be required to disclose the sources of their funds to the Department of National Savings. The government is also planning to borrow massively from savings instruments. Big investors, especially corporate houses, industrial entrepreneurs and business groups who have bought savings certificates in unusually large volumes are being identified for further business.
Farm loan release rises by 49pc in July
Farm loan disbursement posted a 49.05-per cent growth in July, the first month of this fiscal year (2017-18), compared with that in the same month of FY 2016-17. Banks disbursed Tk 1,574.04 crore in farm loans in July of FY18 against Tk 1,056 crore distributed in the same month of FY17, according to the latest Bangladesh Bank data. Majority of the banks have been showing an increased interest in disbursing farm loans for long against the backdrop of holding huge surplus liquidity amid dull business situation in the country, a BB official told New Age on Sunday. Nine commercial banks, however, disbursed no farm loan against their annual targets of loan disbursement to the farmers in the first month of this fiscal year. The banks are Bank Al-Falah, Citibank NA. Commercial Bank of Ceylon, National Bank of Pakistan, State Bank of India, Woori Bank, Modhumoti Bank, NRB Bank and Shimanto Bank.
HSBC arranges $46m for Viyellatex
HSBC Bangladesh has arranged $46 million in low-cost foreign currency for local apparel exporter Viyellatex, which would spend the money on a new spinning mill. The bank yesterday said, this was the country’s first private sector agreement with Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV, Switzerland’s export credit agency. The financing was arranged for Viyellatex Spinning to support the purchase of goods, equipment and technology from suppliers based in Switzerland, Japan, India, Germany and the UK. Viyellatex Group is providing the rest of the $75 million (nearly Tk 600 crore) being invested in the spinning mill project. “Interest rate of the loan is much lower than other US dollar loans in the international market,” Viyellatex Group Chairman KM Rezaul Hasanat told The Daily Star. The financing also involves extensive and close cooperation between HSBC and Proparco, a French financial institution focused on funding sustainable development projects, according to a statement.
BIBM: 50 banks disbursed only 0.5% credit as green funds in 2016
More than 50 commercial banks of the country have disbursed only 0.5% of their total credit as green financing or sustainable banking in 2016, according to a study of the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM). The study report titled “Fund Transfer Pricing of Commercial Banks: Status and Measures for Implementing in Banks of Bangladesh,” was presented in Dhaka on Sunday. The report said only seven banks prepared the sustainable financing report following the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) guideline and submitted it to the Bangladesh Bank. BIBM Associate Professor Mohammad Alamgir presented the report which said around 58% of the banks follow no guideline when it comes to fund transfer pricing. “Some 58% of the banks are found to have not been following no guidelines in fund transfer between banks while 96% of them do the job through the age-old system and only 4% use fund transfer curve through online calculator,” the report said. It also said 62% of the banks transfer pricing manually while 85% banks perform it with the help of a committee. “Only seven banks follow the GRI guidelines, some 34 banks do not follow and the rest of the banks follow the guidelines partially,” the report said. Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan attended the function as the chief guest.
Eid economy heating up
From Friday, Md Yusuf has put up machetes and various knives on display in front of his tiny blacksmith store at Karwan Bazar. These are not the usual items that Yusuf sells. They have been added to tap into the surge in demand for meat-processing paraphernalia every year ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals in Bangladesh. “All year round we wait for this occasion to come,” said the 40-year-old blacksmith, adding that he rakes up half of his annual sales during the time of this festivity. The blacksmith’s excitement is shared by the entire cottage industry surrounding Eid-ul-Azha, when the economy gets a boost from cattle purchase and transport of festivalgoers. “This is an important event from a macroeconomic perspective,” said Zahid Hussain, lead economist of the World Bank’s Dhaka office. The size of the Eid-ul-Azha economy is believed to be about Tk 35,000 crore, of which Tk 30,000 crore alone comes from cattle sales. The festival also brings a bonanza for bus and launch operators as well as for commodity traders. The event also fuels a demand for refrigerators and freezers, according to electronics marketers.
LNG import to minimize gas shortage: Tofail
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said country will not face any gas shortage once the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import from Qatar is started. “The import will begin after the construction of LNG terminal in 2018,” he said after having a meeting with Qatar Ambassador in Dhaka Ahmed Mohamed Al-Dehimi at his ministry office. Qatar is one of the leading LNG exporting nations and Bangladesh has already signed MoU with the country for importing LNG to meet gas shortage.
Intraco to set up 30MW solar power plant
Intraco Solar Power Ltd (ISPL) yesterday signed agreements with two government agencies to set up a solar power plant and supply 30 megawatts of electricity to the national grid from next year. One agreement on the purchase of the electricity was signed with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) while another on constructing the power plant with the Power Division at Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka. The government will procure power on a “no electricity no payment basis” for up to 20 years at $0.16 per kilowatt hour, says a statement of ISPL, a concern of Intraco Group. ISPL is constructing the power plant in Gangachhara, which is 17 kilometres away from Rangpur town. The company hopes to start supplying the electricity within 13 months. Process is underway to select engineering, procurement and construction contractors from companies in countries such as Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, India and China. Infrastructure Development Company and local banks will bankroll the project. Intraco Group Managing Director Mohammed Riyadh Ali, Secretary to BPDB Mina Masud Uzzaman and Joint Secretary for Development at the Power Division Sheikh Faezul Amin signed the deals.
Cleaner production can cut energy use by 25pc: DCCI
Bangladesh will be able to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent and wastage of resources by 15 percent if a cleaner and efficient production system is introduced in the industrial sector, leaders of Dhaka chamber said yesterday. As the cost of energy will increase in the future, Bangladesh has to be energy efficient to remain competitive, said Akber Hakim, a director of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), while presenting the keynote at a discussion. The discussion on “resource efficient cleaner production and its benefits for metal industries” was organised by the DCCI and Metabuild Bangladesh, a European Union-funded project, at the chamber’s office. Hakim said there is a scarcity of primary energy in Bangladesh although the country needs it in multiple industries such as textile, garment, metal, cement, plastic goods, ceramic, fertiliser and power generation. Efficient use of energy helps businesses become more competitive, encouraging optimum cost of doing business and ensuring energy security, he said.
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