No need for new banks
Setting up three more new banks will not bring any good for the banking sector as the existing ones are already weighed down by large volume of non-performing loans, said a former finance minister yesterday. M Syeduzzaman said: “57 banks are too many considering the size of the economy. So, there is no need to allow any more new bank.” He spoke at the inaugural of a two-day conference organised by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka. Syeduzzaman said the central bank’s supervision and monitoring system on the banking sector is not well enough which has contributed to the increased trend of default loans. The ratio of non-performing loans in the state-run banks is much higher than that of private commercial banks because of the former’s weak business performance, he said. “We should pay more attention to the banking sector with a view to strengthening its financial health,” said the former finance secretary.
BB to bend certain compliance rules for offshore banking
The central bank plans to bend certain compliance rules for offshore- banking unit (OBU) operations of select local banks in a policy in the making. With this end in view, the Bangladesh Bank in a meeting Wednesday took note of the opinions from leaders of the Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB). “We’ve heard the concerns and suggestions of the ABB before issuing the OBU guidelines,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE after the meeting held at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka. Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) SK Sur Chowdhury presided over the discussion meeting. A five-member delegation of the ABB, a forum of banks’ chief executives, was led by its Chairman Anis A Khan. The BB official also said the central bank would scrutinise the concerns and suggestions coming from the bankers, who operate their offshore- banking units or OBUs like foreign banks operating in Bangladesh.
EXIM Bank launches Apps-based eWallet Banking Service
XIM Bank has formally launched mobile Apps-based eWallet Banking Service to generate more transactions reducing their customers’ time and energy. While conducting transactions with the EXIM Bank, the Apps users will also be able to transfer funds into the accounts opened with other banks. Dr. Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, managing director of EXIM Bank, Wednesday formally launched mobile Apps based banking service at the bank’s head office in the capital Dhaka. The managing director also launched EXIM Shefa, a monthly mudaraba savings scheme account service, to ensure medical treatment services for general people in critical time. Apps Banking is an application that resides on a smart phone, under which clients operate their bank accounts round the clock.
Standard Chartered wins The Banker award
Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh has been awarded the prestigious “Bank of the Year 2017 for Bangladesh” by The Banker, according to a statement. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, received the award on behalf of the bank, at The Banker Awards 2017 gala ceremony held recently in London. This is the sixth time Standard Chartered Bangladesh won this award since 2010.
Only 27pc of female access MFS
The number of female mobile financial service users in the country is almost half of the figure of male MFS users, a market study report of International Finance Corporation revealed on Wednesday. The report said only 27 per cent of women in the country accessed mobile financing at least once in the past as compared to the use by 53 per cent of men. Despite a significant growth in registered female users over the last four years, only 6 per cent of women have registered accounts while 19 per cent of men have registered mobile finance accounts, it added. The report was launched on Wednesday from a knowledge sharing event on ‘Closing the Gender Gap in Mobile Financial Inclusion’ at a city hotel in Dhaka, organised by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
Source : http://www.newagebd.net/article/29898/only-27pc-of-female-access-mfs
Thrust on building financial ecosystem
Experts have stressed the need for building a financial ecosystem which will provide one stop banking solutions for the first time in Bangladesh. They said the ecosystem based on the current challenges on the financial sectors will solve the fundamental issues and help massive expansion of financial services to rural area. The opinions came in a road-show, arranged by M2M Group in The Westin Hotel Dhaka recently. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, MP, was the chief guest while Hosne Ara Begum, ndc, Managing Director, Hi-Tech Park Authority, Government of Bangladesh was the special guest. Top functionaries of 45 private and public banks in Bangladesh, local prominent businessmen and high government officials attended. M2M Group is bringing state of the art technology partnership with Technomedia Limited and Vibrant Bangladesh to build a financial ecosystem which will provide one stop banking solutions for the first time in Bangladesh, said a statement.
BD economy may grow 7.1pc, but risks remain
Bangladesh economy may grow by 7.1 per cent this fiscal year, says a UN agency forecast that little lowers government projection. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) unveiled the projection in its flagship report titled ‘Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2017’. The year-end update of the report was released Wednesday in Bangkok. It, however, listed a set of risks, including the Rohingya crisis, which could come out as upsets in the prospects for growth. “Bangladesh ended fiscal year 2017 exceeding earlier forecasts as well,” the report said. “Despite a slowdown in exports and remittance inflows, it grew by 7.2 per cent in fiscal year 2017, which is its best performance in a decade, supported by the manufacturing, services and agricultural sectors,” it added.
Bangladesh readies deals to involve India
Bangladesh has agreed in principle to allow India to supply non-nuclear components, including turbines, for Rooppur nuclear power plant and manpower for its construction. Two contracts –– one involving Bangladesh, Russia and India and the other between Russia and India –– are likely to be signed by December in this regard, said officials. The contract documents have already been finalised and would be signed soon, science and technology minister Yeafesh Osman told New Age on Tuesday. The bilateral contract between Russia and India would allow India to supply some components, like turbines, for the power plant while the trilateral agreement would enable Russia and Bangladesh to obtain third-party services from India, he said. ‘We are mainly interested in India’s experience in constructing and regulating nuclear power plants built on Russian technology,’ he added. The non-nuclear components include a set of components –– coolants, turbines, generators –– for converting heat energy into electric energy, officials said.
Businesses, mainly RMG, enjoy Tk 34,880cr duty benefit in FY17
Export-oriented industries enjoyed tax exemption worth Tk 34,880 crore in import of raw materials in last fiscal year of 2016-2017 under the bonded warehouse benefit offered by the National Board of Revenue. The amount is more than 77 per cent of total customs duty of Tk 45,193 crore collected in the year. Readymade garment industries availed the highest — 96 per cent or Tk 33,612 crore — in exemption in taxes and duties through duty-free import of raw materials in the year. Under the bonded warehouse facility, 100 per cent export-oriented industries enjoy duty-free raw materials import on condition that they will export finished goods produced using the raw materials. Tax exemption at the import stage to the industries rose by 129 per cent in last nine years since the FY 2008-2009 when the total value of exemption was Tk 15,224 crore, according to available data of the revenue board.
Female employees on the decline
The number of female employees fell 13.10 percent to 5.07 million in Bangladesh last year compared to 2013 mainly because of closure of subcontracting businesses in the garment sector, according to a new survey. The study of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) showed there were 5.51 million female employees in 2013. Four years ago, 32.8 percent females were employed but their number declined to 28.5 percent in 2016, according to the survey, which was presented at the BIDS Research Almanac 2017 at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. One of the major factors behind the declining trend of women employment was the closure of subcontracting in the garment sector after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013, said Md Iqbal Hossain, research associate of the BIDS. Other reasons are withdrawal of temporary jobs, especially in urban areas, with the rise of family income. For example, a female worker willing to work at a lower grade in a factory quits when the income of the increases, Hossain said.
Government to import 150,000 tons of rice, 50,000 tons of wheat
The government is going to import 150,000 more tons of parboiled rice and 50,000 tons of wheat through international tender to meet the food shortage in the country, according to sources. The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved the purchase proposal by the Ministry of Food in a meeting on Wednesday, chaired by Finance minister AMA Muhith. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Division Additional Secretary Mostafizur Rahman said the rice would be imported from an Indian farm at the cost of $440 per ton, which would cost the Bangladesh government around Tk547.80 crore. According to the proposal, Indian state-owned farm National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd will supply the rice to Bangladesh under government-to-government purchase scheme. The farm will send 15,000 tons of rice in first instalment, within 60 days of opening the letter of credit, he added.
Face regulatory action unless bank guarantee renewed
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has warned that it would encash performance bank guarantees of different telecommunication service providers and take legal actions against the licensees if they fail to renewal or reissue their PBGs. On November 30, 2017, the telecom regulator issued a notification in this regard, asking all of its licensees to renew or reissue their PBGs before one month of their (PBGs) expiry. The notification issued by its director MA Taleb Hossain specifically addressed all the international gateway, interconnection exchanges, broadband wireless access, nationwide telecommunication transmission networks, vehicle tracking, internet protocol telephony and internet service providers. Submitting PBG to the BTRC is a must for an entity under the licencing guidelines and conditions, it said.
Mobile phones help build business networks: survey
A survey has found that the use of mobile phones in rural areas has enabled households to build smooth business networks across the country, enhancing their income. The mobile phone improves income by facilitating marketing of products, eliminating travel costs and saving time, according to a research paper for which the survey was conducted. It was presented at a session of an annual event of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) at Lakeshore Hotel in the capital yesterday. Monzur Hossain, senior research fellow at BIDS, presented the paper on “Mobile phones, households welfare and women’s empowerment: evidence from rural off-grid regions of Bangladesh”, at a session of BIDS Research Almanac 2017. MA Baqui Khalily, former executive director of the Institute of Microfinance, chaired the session. Mobile phones also enhanced women empowerment forming a channel for income generation, said Hossain.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||6,266.30||↓ 20.45||↓ 0.33%|
|DJIA||24,140.91||↓ 39.73||↓ 0.16%|
|FTSE100||7,348.03||↑ 20.53||↑ 0.28%|
|Nikkei 225||22,457.74||↑ 280.70||↑ 1.27%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 56.13||↑ 0.17||↑ 0.30%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 61.43||↑ 0.21||↑ 0.34%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,263.79||↑ 0.42||↑ 0.03%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.53|
|GBP 1||BDT 110.45|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.38|
|INR 1||BDT 1.28|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.