The buyers’ credit in the country’s business sector increased by 17.8% to USD 4.45 billion as of June 30, 2016 from USD 3.78 billion as of June 30, 2015 as the local importers are allowed to take the foreign loans with a lower rate of interest. Bangladesh Bank officials and an economist said that the increased trend in the buyers’ credit would create a risky situation in the financial sector as it would become a burden for the country. Besides, the country has to pay a large amount of interest to the foreign banks and offshore banking units of Bangladeshi banks against the buyers’ credit taken by the local importers. According to the BB rules, the importers are now allowed to take buyers’ credit to import capital machinery and industrial raw materials. The importers usually take the external credit within the range of 5.0% interest rate. The BB data showed that the buyers’ credit increased almost in every month in last one year as it stood at USD 4.22 billion in May, USD 3.89 billion in April, USD 3.81 billion in March, USD 3.70 billion in February, USD 3.80 billion in January of 2016, USD 3.85 billion in December, USD 3.73 billion in November, USD 3.76 billion in October, USD 3.63 billion in September, USD 3.56 billion in August and USD 3.55 billion in July of 2015. The overdue position in the buyers’ credit in last three months stood at USD 10.22 million in June, USD 9.04 million in May and USD 10.11 million in April.
BSEC hands over BDT 610.0 million to public exchequer
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on Wednesday handed over BDT 610.4 million to the public exchequer as government share of beneficiary account maintenance fee for the fiscal year 2015-16. The commission got the money from the Central Depository Bangladesh Ltd (CDBL), says a press release. Commission chairman Dr M Khairul Hossain handed over the money through three challans to finance minister AMA Muhith at latter’s secretariat office.
Citi named best bank for transaction services in Asia
Citi on Wednesday announced that it has been named “Best Bank for Transaction Services” in Asia by Euromoney magazine in the 25th edition of their Awards for Excellence program. In their citation for the award, Euromoney commended Citi for its “enthusiastic tide of innovation and ideas”. It singled out the Treasury and Trade Solutions’ innovation lab in Singapore for demonstrating that “its brainy ideas can hit critical mass” and pointed out that “the staid world of cash and trade is enlivened now by discussions of robotics, predictive analytics, distributed ledger technologies and digital identity solutions”. Euromoney also highlighted that Citi is doing the basics right – “Greenwich surveys put Citi in front for domestic and international cash management in the region, while from a bottom-line perspective an impressive level of cross-selling success has helped the transaction services business hit nine consecutive quarters of year-on-year revenue growth, and 10 of margin growth.” Some of the other achievements highlighted by Euromoney include the CitiDirect BE mobile solution, which saw $425 billion transactions in Asia and $130 billion in India, as well as the liquidity management team growing cross-border structures by 180% year-on-year during the review period.
UCB, bKash sign agreement on collection and payment service
United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) recently signed an agreement with bKash Limited at the Corporate Office of UCB, Dhaka. Under this agreement, UCB will facilitate bKash for their Dristributor’s collection and payment service through UCB branch network under supervision of Corporate Cash Management & Marketing Division of UCB and transmit real time collection information to bKash through online link. Additional Managing Director of UCB M. Shahidul Islam and Chief Financial Officer of bKash Moinuddin Mohammed Rahgir signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
MTB, Well Group sign deal on Payroll banking solution
Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. (MTB) has signed an agreement with Well Group for Payroll Banking solution for the employees of Well Group at MTB Centre in city’s Gulshan Avenue recently. Syed Rafiqul Haq, Deputy Managing Director & Chief Business Officer of Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. (MTB) and Syed Nurul Islam, Chief Executive Officer of Well Group signed the deal on behalf of their organisation. Md. Ikbal Hossan, Assistant General Manager, Accounts & Finance, Abdur Rahman Mahbub, Manager, Corporate Communication of Well Group, Tarek Reaz Khan, Head of SME & Retail Banking, Irfan Islam, Head of Privilege Banking, Sultana Shikder Ahona, Head of Payroll Banking of MTB, and other officials of the both the organisations were also present at the occasion.
According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2016 released last month by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Bangladesh global market share in clothing rose to 5.9% in 2015, which was 5.1% in the previous year. China’s market share stood at 39.3% topping the list, which was 38.6% in 2014. The global market size of the RMG products is around USD 450.0 billion However, there are threats for Bangladesh as its competitors like Vietnam and India are getting more share and posting better growth in export earnings. Vietnam is the third largest market share holder, of which the market share stood at 4.8% in 2015 from 4.0% in the previous year. India and Turkey are also seen to jump to 4.1% and 3.4% from 3.7% and 3.5% respectively. Trade analysts and RMG manufacturers termed it positive indication for the future of apparel industry. They attributed safety improvement after the Rana Plaza incident, government incentives for export to non-traditional markets and also relaxation of rules of origin by the European Union to the rise of the market share. Bangladesh needs over 13.0% growth for achieving the USD 50.0 billion export target. In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh earned USD 28.0 billion with over 10.0% growth.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited is set to export medicines to the United States from today as part of its initiative to focus its presence in many emerging and developing markets in the world. Marking the occasion, BPL is set to organize a function in Le Meridian Hotel, said a press release Wednesday. The company is one of the largest exporters of pharmaceuticals in the country and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are certified by global regulatory bodies of Australia, European Union, Gulf nations, Brazil, and others.
Cabinet committee on public purchase yesterday approved the Power Division proposal to set up three more power plants, including two solar power. The government expected to purchase total 505MW from three power plants—300MW from combined cycle power plant to be set up in Khulna, 200MW solar power plant in Rangpur and another 5MW in Gaibandha. Beximco Power company Limited and Chinese firm TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis Company Ltd will develop combined cycle power plant at a cost of BDT 2,370.14 crore. China based ‘Consortium of Hardy Electric International and Zimusu International” will construct solar power plant and another by Eiki Shoji Company Ltd & Sun Solar Power Plant Ltd.
Bangladesh extends 250MW power import deal with India
The power-starved Bangladesh has extended 250MW power purchase agreement with India by another six months. The deal expires this month. The cabinet committee on public purchase, presided over by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, approved the Bangladesh Power Development Board’s proposal for extension of three years deal yesterday. After the meeting, additional cabinet Secretary Mostafizur Rahman briefed reporters on the cabinet’s decision. He said the new tariff rate has been proposed at BDT6.21 per unit electricity. Under the existing contract with the Power Trading Corporation (PTC) of India, Bangladesh currently imports electricity at BDT6.3 per unit. Since October 2013, India has been supplying electricity to Bangladesh. Earlier, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said Bangladesh planned to import 2,000MW of electricity from India. At present, Bangladesh is importing a total of 750MW electricity, including above 250MW, from India.
Drug Administration cancels 13 companies’ licenses
Licenses of 13 pharmaceutical companies have already been cancelled while the production processes of seven have been halted on charge of making fakes in the name of lifesaving medicines. And the process of “recalling all the drugs of the 20 companies and antibiotics of 14 companies is going on”, the Drug Administration informed a parliamentary watchdog body Wednesday. Of the seven companies stayed put, the licenses of five could not be cancelled due to writ petitions pending with the High Court. “Permission of 14 companies to produce all types of antibiotics has been cancelled,” the government agency administering the pharmaceutical sector reported to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health Ministry. The actions are being taken under a crackdown following recommendations of an expert committee constituted to look into allegations of faking medicines by some of the mushrooming pharmaceutical firms.
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