Government plans to bail out Farmers Bank
The government plans to inject capital into Farmers Bank through Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) and state-owned Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali banks in order to save the private commercial lender from failing. The five lenders will buy shares worth BDT 11.00 billion of the fourth-generation bank, which had been given the license on political consideration and is now struggling to survive amid a huge cash crunch caused by loan irregularities. The Finance Minister said that a bank cannot be allowed to fail. A meeting of the board of ICB was scheduled to be held on Tuesday where the investment issue was to be discussed.
BD to sue Philippine bank to recover stolen reserves: Muhith
Bangladesh will file case against Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) of the Philippines as a last resort to recover the former’s stolen reserves, the finance minister said Wednesday. “Yes, the case will be filed in New York. Fed will join us as a party in the case,” AMA Muhith told newsmen after a meeting of the cabinet committee on public procurement at the Secretariat, as the lion’s share of the money, stolen by trans-national cybercriminals from Bangladesh’s account in the US Federal Reserve bank, couldn’t yet been retrieved. He said some lawyers are discussing the ways of filing case in a New York court. Mr Muhith, replying to a query, however, said again that the report on the probe conducted by a committee headed by former central bank governor Dr Mohammed Farashuddin on the reserve heist would not be made public now.
BB tells banks they can implement amended law
Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday informed scheduled banks that they could now implement the amended bank company act that allowed appointment of four members of a family to the board of directors of a bank and extension of the tenure of a director up to nine years. In a circular, the central bank’s Banking Regulation and Policy Department also advised the banks to place the Bank Company Act (Amendment) 2018 before the next board meeting to make its members informed. The amendment came into force on January 28 when an official gazette notification was issued after the parliament on January 16 passed the changes to the law allowing tightening of family grip over the board of a bank. The amendment has allowed four members of a family to the board and extended the tenure of a director up to nine years. Previously, only two members of a family could become directors of a bank and the tenure of a director was six years.
Foreign investors want to buy 25pc stake in DSE
Three separate consortiums from China and India have showed interest in acquiring 45 crore shares or 25 percent ownership of the Dhaka Stock Exchange and becoming a strategic partner of the premier bourse. The DSE has a total of 180 crore shares, the face value of each is Tk 10. A consortium of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange proposed buying 45 crore shares — which is 25 percent of DSE’s shares — at Tk 22 each. They will also provide technical support of $37 million, which is about Tk 300 crore. But the Chinese investors also demanded a seat at the DSE board. The National Stock Exchange of India proposed Tk 15 for each share of the DSE through two different consortiums, one in partnership with the American Nasdaq and another with the private equity fund Frontier Fund Bangladesh. All three proposals were placed at the DSE’s board meeting held on Tuesday at its headquarters.
January foreign equity flows unusually high: Over $61m flows to and from BD capital market
Net foreign equity flows to and from Bangladesh’s capital market this past January were “abnormally high” at over US$ 61 million compared to corresponding 2017 period. The foreign investments, especially in the last two weeks of January, totalled $37.33 million although the first week of the month began with a modest investment of $3.3 million. These data were prepared exclusively for the Financial Express (FE) by Massachusetts-based EPFR Global that tracks fund movement across the world. The data also show that the January 2018 investment by foreigners high in at least 13 months beginning from December 2016. This is also much high when compared with previous month of December at a time when there was “possibly” profit taking by them or fund withdrawal as the net fund flow in December last demonstrated a minus figure amounting to nearly $1.0 million. Security analysts, especially fund managers who deal with such foreign portfolios, told the FE that the foreign investors usually buy while the market stays downward in terms of stock prices.
New DMD for Bank Asia
Md Sazzad Hossain has recently been promoted to the post of deputy managing director of Bank Asia. Prior to the new role, he was the senior executive vice president and head of internal control and compliance division of the bank, the bank said in a press release yesterday. Hossain joined the bank as vice president in 2003. He started his banking career with Pubali Bank as a probationary officer in 1987. Hossain also served Eastern Bank and NCC Bank.
IPDC Finance to issue rights
The board of directors of IPDC Finance has decided to raise the paid-up capital by issuing rights shares, according to an official disclosure on Wednesday. The non-bank financial institution decided to issue one rights share against existing two shares of BDT 13 each, including a premium of BDT 3.0. However, the rights issue is subject to approval of shareholders, Bangladesh Securities & Exchange Commission (BSEC) and complying with the requirements embodied in relevant laws and regulatory authorities concerned, the disclosure said. The board has recommended that the authorised capital will be increased to BDT 20 billion from existing BDT 4.0 billion, subject to approval of shareholders in the ensuing extraordinary general meeting (EGM). The board of directors of the company has also recommended 20% stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2017.
Paramount to build 200MW plant
Paramount BTrac Energy Consortium is going to set up a 200-megawatt power plant in Sirajganj. The cabinet committee on purchase approved the associated Power Division proposal yesterday. The proposal says the government would purchase electricity at Tk 19.96 per kW/h from the diesel-based power plant. The tenure of the plant will be five years. The sponsor company will purchase the land and construct the transmission line and sub-station at its own cost. If the power plant is built on Power Development Board’s (PDB) land, the company has to pay PDB Tk 1.92 lakh for every acre per year. If commercial operations do not begin by the schedule, it would provide compensation at $200 per megawatt for each day.
NBR honours Walton with ‘Highest VAT Payer Award’
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) honoured Walton with “Highest VAT Payer Award’’ in the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF2018) on Monday. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith handed the award to Walton Director SM Mahbubul Alam at a programme held at the conference room of the NBR Head office at Segun Baghicha in the capital. Prime Minister’s Economic Adviser Mashiur Rahman and NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan were also present in the occasion. Walton received the ‘’Highest VAT Payer Award’’ in the DITF for total of 13 times till now.
Grameenphone fined BDT 26.7 million for illegal towers in border areas
The telecom regulator has decided to impose a fine of BDT 26.70 million on Grameenphone for establishing several mobile phone towers in border areas without its approval. GP has been accused of setting up 17 towers within three kilometres of the zero line between January 2014 and December 2016. Subsequently, the commission also decided not to impose any fine on the operators for towers set up before 2013 and the fine would be applicable for towers installed after January 2014. GP operates about 354 towers in the border areas and shares another 13 towers with other operators. The regulator found Banglalink and Airtel, which has recently merged with Robi, guilty of the same offence in 2013. Officials said Robi, the second-largest operator, has also set up some towers in border areas without permission and the issue was also placed before the commission. A decision on Robi will come shortly.
NBR asks Robi to pay Tk 924.5cr in VAT
National Board of Revenue has demanded Tk 924.50 crore in value-added taxes from mobile operator Robi asking it to pay the amount immediately. Large Taxpayers Unit (VAT) of the NBR on Tuesday issued five final demand notices to the operator saying that the company evaded the amount in various ways and avoided payment to the government exchequer from January 2013 to December 2016.
DMTCL submits Tk 7.09b project bid to start design
The government will start detailed design of a fresh metro-rail line between Airport and Kamalapur, as the agency concerned has sought approval of a project in this regard, officials said on Wednesday. Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges (MoRTB) officials said the state-run Dhaka Mass Transport Company Limited (DMTCL) has framed a Tk 7.09 billion-cost project for preparing detailed design and related engineering services of the MRT Line-1.
BD to see lower rice output this year
Rice production in Bangladesh in 2017-18 is forecast down slightly from a year ago, according to a Feb. 6 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). This year’s output of 32.65 million tonnes is predicted lower than the 2016-17 total of 34.57 million tonnes due to heavy rains during a key grain maturing stage.
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