Can Bangladesh Bank tackle another cyber attack?
In the biggest cyber attack on the banking sector of the country, $101 million was stolen from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve on February 4, 2016. Although the transfer of $20 million from the total was successfully blocked, $81 million disappeared into the Philippine casino industry. In light of the attack, questions have been raised over whether the banking sector of Bangladesh can deal with another cyber assault in the future. Two years since the incident, these questions are yet to be answered. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, a general manager level official of the central bank said it was now well prepared to tackle cyber theft attempts. “We have been building an integrated system prepared by a joint team of Bangladesh Bank, Buet, and two foreign institutions. The work is in the final stage and it will be installed very soon,” he said. Echoing the official, other sources at the central bank said that a Tk200 crore project to strengthen its cyber security system was already in the works.
Government suspends auctions of T-bills, bonds for Feb amid liquidity glut
The government has suspended auctions of both treasury bills (T-bills) and bonds for the month of February to ensure proper cash management, officials said. Bangladesh Bank (BB) has already communicated the government’s decision on suspension of the auctions with the commercial banks. The latest move came against the backdrop of holding adequate liquidity by the government at present, senior official at the BB explained. Currently, the government is holding around BDT 40 billion in excess liquidity in its accounts. Almost the same level implementation of projects under Annual Development Programme (ADP) and higher sales of savings instruments tipped the excess liquidity balance and helped the government lessen its borrowing from the banking system, another BB official explained. The government ministries and agencies spent BDT 443.31 billion or 27.02% of the total development budget of BDT 1.64 trillion during the July-December period of the current fiscal year (FY 2017-18), according to official figures. In July-December period of the current FY, the government’s net borrowing through savings instruments was more than 79% of the entire fiscal year’s target of BDT 301.50 billion. Senior bankers, however, did not see any major impact on such auction suspension, saying that it might help keep the market stable.
BD capital mkt lacks environ to raise long-term debt
An International Finance Corporation (IFC) diagnostic mission has recently found the Bangladesh capital market environment not conducive to the issuance of debt instruments or mobilisation of debt to help local businesses with long-term finance. The mission that visited the country in December last said long-term debt issuance is subject to higher issuance cost and rigorous regulatory due diligence. “(The) inadequacy of the accumulated equity capital and very constrained space for long-term debts outside the banking network are huge impediments to growth in private as well as public sector investments in key sectors including infrastructure, industrial manufacturing and housing,” the IFC said. It reiterated that it will work on issuing offshore Taka bond and green bonds to help Bangladeshi businesses get long-term finance outside the banking sector.
SJIBL gets new DMD
Mr. Mustaque Ahmed was promoted to Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited (SJIBL) recently. Prior to his promotion Mr. Mustaque Ahmed was the Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) & Head of Internal Control & Compliance Division of the Bank. He received his B.com (Hon’s) & M.com degree in Management from University of Dhaka. Mr. Mustaque Ahmed started his banking career in 1985 as Probationary Officer in United Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL).
Jamuna Bank Foundation arranges CSR events
Jamuna Bank Foundation organised treatment services including eye and diabetes and a programme to distribute blankets at Chhatak Barat Govt. Primary School, Mirzabari, Kashinathpur, Shathea, Pabna recently. Al-Haj Nur Mohammed, Chairman, Jamuna Bank Foundation was present as the chief guest on the occasion. Shafiqul Alam, Managing Director and CEO of Jamuna Bank presided over the programme. Mirza Elias Uddin Ahmed, Additional Managing Director of Jamuna Bank Limited was present as special guest in the event.
Southeast Bank wins SAFA Award for best presented annual reports
Southeast Bank Limited (SEBL) has been awarded First Runner Up Award under the category of Private Sector Banks and Joint Second Runner Up under the category of SAARC Anniversary Award for Corporate Governance for “Best Presented Annual Report 2016” by South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA). SAFA exclusively analyzed the Bank’s Annual Report-2016 and bestowed the prestigious awards on the Bank for its outstanding performance, encouraging financial results and indicators, sufficient disclosures for all stockholders and its commitment to achieving further excellence in corporate governance and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
NBR to hire firm for info on money laundering
The National Board of Revenue is set to hire a global accounting firm to gather information on illegal fund transfers from Bangladesh, said its Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan yesterday. Bhuiyan, however, declined to disclose the name of the firm. “Let us sign an understanding agreement with the firm first,” he said, adding that the firm has operations in Bangladesh. The disclosure came at a preliminary agreement signing ceremony between the NBR and the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), the central bank arm responsible for analysing suspicious transactions and information related to money laundering and terrorist financing. Under the deal, the NBR and the BFIU will exchange information regarding money laundering and terrorism financing to fight illegal activities. The agreement comes at a time when huge amounts of funds are believed to be siphoned out of the country through illegal means such as trade mis-invoicing.
Govt takes Tk 1.65b project to plug seeds shortage
The government has taken a long-term initiative involving Tk 1.65 billion to eradicate deficit of quality seeds to boost up the country’s crop production and lessen import dependency. As part of the five-yearlong move, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) will ensure adequate supply of pulses, oil and spice seeds through creating small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at all 4,500 unions of the country. MoA will start implementing the project from the upcoming fiscal year, 2018-19, through Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). MoA additional secretary Mosharraf Hossain at a workshop on the project on Sunday said it will help raise agri production by 15-30 per cent with inclusion of apiculture (bee-keeping), which could also ensure environment-friendly farming practices.
Dhaka trade fair logs Tk 88cr in sales
The month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair came to an end yesterday after a five-day extension following requests of businesses, registering $19.46 million in spot orders which is $8.71 million higher than that last year. The 587 stalls, including 50 for foreign companies, saw the sale of goods worth Tk 87.83 crore, said the organisers — the Ministry of Commerce and Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). In his concluding speech on the fair premises in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the government has been preparing 35 acres of land in Purbachal for domestic and international fairs to be run year-round. “I hope the new fair centre can be inaugurated by the end of 2020,” he said.
MJL Bangladesh reveals mixed Q2 earnings
MJL Bangladesh revealed mixed revenue earnings of its different units for the second quarter of 2017-18. The revenue of the company’s trading unit rose 6.80 percent year-on-year to Tk 101.7 crore while its oil tanker unit saw a 79.04 percent fall in revenue, as it remained laid up for two months for maintenance. The company’s manufacturing unit’s earnings grew 8.71 percent year-on-year to Tk 106.7 crore. The drop in revenue of oil tanker weakened both profit after tax and earnings per share of the company by 32.56 percent to reach Tk 28.7 crore and Tk 0.95 respectively in the period, said Sabbir Ahmed, head of finance and planning at MJL Bangladesh. The dent was partially neutralised by an 83 percent revenue growth of Omera Petroleum Ltd, moving the consolidated earnings per share close to the previous reporting period, he said at a programme to unveil the earnings at a hotel in Dhaka on February 1.
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