Banks’ written-off loans soar further to BDT 423.0 billion
Written-off loans bloated by nearly 3.0% or BDT 11.2 billion in the first six months of the current calendar year as banks tried to clean their balance sheets by reducing loads of default loans. The cumulative amount of loans written off by the banks rose to BDT 423.2 billion as on June 30, 2016 from BDT 412.0 billion on December 2015. The volume was BDT 376.5 billion a year before, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. On the other hand, the amount of written-off loans increased by more than 2.0% or BDT 9.2 billion to BDT 423.2 billion during the second quarter (Q2) of the current calendar year from BDT 414.0 billion in the preceding quarter. Talking to the FE over the snowballing of the dud money, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the rising trend in writing off loans indicates lack of due diligence during the sanctioning of the credits. During the April-June 2016 period, the amount of written-off loans by six state-owned commercial banks (SoCBs) rose to BDT 220.5 billion from BDT 220.3 billion as on December 31 last. It was BDT 220.4 billion in the Q1 of this calendar year. However, a total of BDT 189.4 billion was written off by 39 private commercial banks (PCBs) during the period under review against BDT 179.1 billion six months ago. It was BDT 180.4 billion as on March 31 last.
Almost half of the 294 branches of nine newly-established scheduled banks are loss-making as the defaulted loans at the banks continue rising. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, 141 branches of the nine banks plunged into the loss-making situation as of June 30, 2016. Officials of the BB and a new bank said the branches of the banks became loss-making due to rising defaulted loans at the fourth generation banks. The nine new banks are also lagging behind the banks of the previous three generations as their deposit mobilization and credit disbursement are lower than that of the older banks. The BB data showed that the number of loss-making branches of Union Bank stood at 28 against the bank’s total 49 branches as of June 30, 2016, that of NRB Global Bank at 16 against 27, that of NRB Bank at 14 against 20, that of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank at 19 against 47, that of NRB Commercial Bank at 11 against 42, that of Meghna Bank at 13 against 27, that of Midland Bank at nine against 20, that of Modhumoti Bank at 10 against 19 and that of The Farmers Bank at 21 against 43. Defaulted loans in the newly-established banks increased by 1,161.4% to BDT 5.6 billion as of September 30, 2016 from BDT 444.4 million as of December 31, 2015 as the banks disbursed loans aggressively violating central bank rules, a BB official told New Age on Sunday.
Govt banks heavily on savings tools, cuts bank borrowing
The government has deeply downsized by nearly Tk 54 billion its targeted bank borrowing for the current fiscal year amid tremendous fund flow from the national savings schemes which are rather costlier. Also, this switch stands somewhat contradictory to government’s stipulated budgetary policy on raising funds through borrowing from the country’s banking system. The government in its latest revision has set a new target for borrowing from the banking system at Tk 335.5 billion, down by nearly Tk 54 billion from the original estimation laid down in the budget documents.
The government now sets sights high on US$ 1.0 trillion investment for elevating Bangladesh to a developed nation. To this end, an international projection will be arranged in Dhaka this month. Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) will organise the seminar titled ‘New Economic Thinking for Bangladesh: 2030 and Beyond’ on December 21, sources in the business circles said. Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the event. There will be five sessions apart from the opening and concluding plenary.
The registration of domestic investment proposals continues to be sluggish though foreign and joint-venture proposals show a substantial rise. The development according to officials and some trade body leaders, belies the anticipated slowdown after the deadly Gulshan café attack. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) data show the registration of foreign and joint-venture investment proposals on an increase to US$5.564 billion in the first nine months of the current calendar year.
People concerned were of the opinion that the July militant attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery café in the diplomatic zone could not cast any negative impact immediately on foreign-investment inflow since such incident nowadays has become a global phenomenon, not isolated one.
The manpower export to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to start soon, said Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation of the United Arab Emirates Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash in Dhaka on Saturday, reports BSS. During the meeting, the two ministers discussed various issues of bilateral and multilateral interest with especial focus on human resources development, foreign ministry sources said. Referring to the recent visit of a technical team to Bangladesh, the UAE minister said that they are satisfied at the recent initiatives taken by Bangladesh to prepare its human resources through improving training facilities. Ali thanked the UAE minister to visit Bangladesh at a very important time during the GFMD. The foreign minister hoped both the two brotherly countries would further collaborate to expand the bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
The total number of registered taxpayers crossed the 25 lakh-mark, exceeding the National Board of Revenue’s fiscal 2016-17 target six months ahead of time. The number, which accounts for just 1.5 percent of the total population of 16 crore, was reached last week and was disclosed at a seminar yesterday on the importance of value-added tax to attain the targets for 2021 and 2041.
At least 20 Malaysian companies expressed interest to invest in various sector of Bangladesh in the coming days. “We are closely working with them for further partnership,” President of Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) President Md Alamgir Jalil told reporters on Saturday while sharing the outcome of the recently held investment summit in Kuala Lumpur, reports UNB. Malaysian High Commissioner in Dhaka Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, former BMCCI President and Chairman of Bangladesh Trade and Investment Summit 2016 organising committee Syed Nurul Islam, BMCCI Vice President Syed Almas Kabir, Secretary General Shabbir Ahmed Khan, Treasurer MA Bakar, and former President Syed Moazzam Hossain also spoke at the press conference.
BSRM, KISC plan USD 1.0 billion investment in Mirsarai Economic Zone
Bangladesh Steel Re-Rolling Mills (BSRM) and Chinese company Kunming Iron and Steel Holding Company Limited (KISC) plan to jointly invest USD1 billion to Mirsarai Economic Zone (MEZ) in Chittagong in next five years. The companies made the disclosure during a meeting with Bangladesh Export Zones Authority (BEZA) officials yesterday, said a BEZA press release. The meeting was held at the BEZA office. They discussed various issues on the sector. According to the press release, both the companies have already started feasibility study in line with their plan which was undertaken for producing around 1.8m tons of steel from the proposed steel mill to be established in the MEZ. Meanwhile, BEZA is working to develop MEZ as a planned industrial city as part of its target to set up 100 economic zones by next 15 years which will generate new jobs for around 10m people along with an additional export of USD40bn.
Chittagong port may hike service charges within June
The government is likely to introduce new service tariff rates for the Chittagong port within June next year, officials said. The potential hike could be as high as 50-100% from the existing rates, which was introduced in the mid-1980s, he said. The present tariff rates in the Chittagong port are much lower than those of ports in neighboring countries, he added. There are 60 tariff heads in the port. Only five out of 60 were revised in the fiscal year 2007-08 and the rest of the items remained unchanged over the period, according to the ministry data. The decision on revising tariff structure of the port is intended to make the port’s fees and charges up-to-date, a high official of the ministry said. Some five items have been withdrawn from the existing list as those are obsolete, while seven news heads are likely to be include in the list in the light of present day reality, he said.
Chinese entrepreneurs may invest in BD pharma sector
The Chinese entrepreneurs have expressed their interest to invest in pharmaceutical sector considering its potential and existing investment-friendly climate in Bangladesh, said a top business leader of the country. “The Chinese entrepreneurs see Bangladesh as a country for investment. They have expressed interest to invest in the pharmaceutical sector,” President of FBCCI Abdul Matlub Ahmad told the FE. He said the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) of Shaanxi sub-council signed a deal on November 8, 2016 for investment in the sector.
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