Investments with Islamic Banking soar 19%
Investments with the Islamic banking accounts have increased by 19.03 per cent in the October-December quarter of 2017, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. “The Islamic banking segment continued to show rapid expansion in terms of growth of assets, deposits, investments and number of account holders,” a Bangladesh Bank (BB) senior official told BSS on Sunday. According to the latest BB data, total investments (loans in conventional sense) in Islamic banking sector stood at over Tk 2.011 trillion at the end of October-December 2017 quarter, up 4.07 per cent from the previous quarter. During the October-December period of 2017, total deposits in the banking industry stood at over Tk 2.142 trillion, up 5.03 per cent from the previous quarter and 14.15 per cent from the corresponding quarter of 2016. The Investment-Deposit Ratio (credit-deposit ratio in conventional sense) reached 0.94 in October-December quarter, which was 0.95 in the previous quarter of 2017 and 0.90 at the end of December 2016. The total remittances mobilised by the Islamic banking sector stood at Tk 110.70 billion at the end of October-December quarter, up 12.06 per cent from the previous quarter and 20.73 per cent from the same quarter of the previous year. The number of branches of Islamic banking sector, including Islamic branches or windows of conventional commercial banks, stood at 1,168 at the end of the October-December quarter, which was 1,126 during the previous quarter and 1,050 during the same quarter of 2016.
Agrani Bank’s efforts pay off
Only 7 percent of the fresh loans given by Agrani Bank in the last three years had defaulted as the government’s move to appoint more competent persons to steer the state bank seems to be bearing fruit. In the last three years, Tk 8,500 crore of fresh loans were given, of which only Tk 490 crore had defaulted, said Agrani Bank Chairman Zaid Bakht. Between 2015 and 2017, the total outstanding loans were Tk 6,500 crore. The credit goes to the government, the Bangladesh Bank and Agrani itself, all of whom had taken some corrective measures, Bakht said at the state bank’s annual conference on Saturday.
From excess to crisis: Where is the private banks’ Tk 45,000 crore liquidity?
A year ago, the banking sector was awash with excess liquidity of around Tk1,27,000 crore, while it stood at around Tk 82,000 crore at the end of January this year, which means around Tk45,000 crore has been disbursed during the period. According to the Bangladesh Bank data, the surplus money has been channeled through the private commercial banks and they are now running out of money for lending. Now, the question is why the banks have been facing liquidity crunch within a few months from a position of liquidity excess? Economists, bankers and experts blamed aggressive lending against lower deposit, money laundering under the cover of import, hike in dollar price, adjusting the new advance deposit ratio (ADR), withdrawal of deposits, and failure in default loans recovery for the crisis.
Pubali Bank re-appoints MD & CEO
Md. Abdul Halim Chowdhury has been re-appointed as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Pubali Bank Limited for 3 years. He has been serving as Managing Director & CEO since December 7, 2014, said a statement. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Chowdhury was AMD of the Bank. He joined in Pubali Bank Ltd. as Principal Officer in 1988.
New DMD for Union Capital
Chowdhury Manzoor Liaquat has recently been appointed as deputy managing director of Union Capital Ltd, a multiproduct financial institution. Prior to the appointment, Liaquat was senior executive vice president of Bank Asia, Union Capital said in a statement yesterday. He started his career as a probationary officer of AB Bank.
MTB signs PFI agreement with Bangladesh Bank
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) has signed a Participatory Financial Institutions (PFI) agreement with Bangladesh Bank (BB) recently under JICA-assisted ‘Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project BDP86’. Anis A. Khan, Managing Director & CEO, MTB and Md. Rezaul Islam, GM, Foreign Exchange Investment Department, Bangladesh Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Fazle Kabir, Governor of Bangladesh Bank was present on the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Azizur Rahman Khan, Mahbub Hossain get BB Award 2017
Dr Azizur Rahman Khan and Dr Mahbub Hossain (posthumous) have jointly received the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Award 2017 in recognition of their contribution to the economy. Mr Khan is Professor Emeritus of University of California, USA, and Mr Hossain was former executive director of Brac. Finance Minister A M A Muhith handed over the awards at a ceremony, held at Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) in the capital on Sunday. Each of the award recipients has got a gold medal, a crest and Tk 0.2 million cash. Ms Parvin Hossain, wife of Dr Hossain, received the award on behalf of him. A four-member jury board, led by BB Governor Fazle Kabir, selected the recipients. The BB governor, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, and BIBM Director General Dr Toufic Ahmad Choudhury, among others, were present at the award-giving ceremony.
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) likely to reconfirm share sales to Chinese group today
The Dhaka Stock Exchange board at a meeting today is likely to reconfirm its selection of a Chinese consortium for selling 25% of its stake unless the government intervenes. DSE shareholder director said that there is no way to back down from their earlier position and they expect that the commission will protect the interest of our members and investors. The DSE board on February 6 approved the offer submitted by the consortium of Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange to sell the stake to make it the bourse’s strategic partner. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has been pressurizing the DSE to select the second-highest bidder, India’s National Stock Exchange-led group. • Meanwhile, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Friday raised concern following media reports on subsequent move by the regulatory body to select the second-highest bidder as strategic partner of the country’s premier bourse. The TIB also asked to blacklist the Indian bidder as they were lobbying and pressing to win the deal despite the losing in the bid.
DSE likely to reconfirm share sales to Chinese group today
The Dhaka Stock Exchange board at a meeting today is likely to reconfirm its selection of a Chinese consortium for selling 25 per cent of its stake unless the government intervenes, DSE sources said. The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has been pressurising the DSE to select the second-highest bidder, India’s National Stock Exchange-led group, they said.
Japan eyes big projects
Under a new government-to-government initiative, more than a dozen Japanese companies have shown interest in investing in eight infrastructure projects, including a second Padma bridge and another metro rail. More than one Japanese company has expressed interest in each project and sought detailed information on those, said several officials of Bangladesh’s Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA).
UK lifts ban on direct Dhaka-London freight flight
The UK Sunday withdrew the ban it had imposed on direct Dhaka-London freight flights two years back on security grounds, excepting Biman trips for now. In the wake of some untoward happenings, the UK government had imposed the restrictions citing poor security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka.
Insurers dodged Tk345 crore tax using five means
Eight insurance companies have allegedly avoided around Tk345 crore in Value Added Tax (VAT) in four years, according to officials at the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) for VAT under the National Board of Revenue (NBR). The insurers evaded the tax between 2013 and 2016 in these five ways – presenting low insurance tariff, reporting false tariff codes, issuing partial coverage against single bonds, and dodging VAT on agent commission and reinsurance commission.
NBR: Insurers resorting to new ways of VAT evasion
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is alleging that many insurance companies are using new ways to avoid value-added tax (VAT), according to sources at the board. NBR’s Large Taxpayers Unit for VAT (LTU-VAT) recently found tax evasions totaling Tk4.37 crore by seven insurance companies in four years in an internal audit.
Bangladesh enters 4G era today
Mobile phone users will be able to experience the fastest data service from today (Monday) following the handover of 4G/LTE license by the telecom regulator in the evening. Private mobile phone operators – Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink – are set to introduce the service immediately after receiving the license. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman said they will hand over the 4G/LTE licenses to the operators in a ceremony in the city Monday evening. Earlier, BTRC declared Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and state-owned Teletalk as eligible for the 4G/LTE license following their plea. The regulator held 4G spectrum auction on February 13 and provided spectrum technology neutrality which the operators had been requesting since long. BTRC had put up 46.4 Megahertz (MHz) of spectrum for sale in the auction. After the auction, now the market leader Grameenphone has totaled 37 MHz of which 7.4 MHz in 900 band, 15.6 MHz in 1800 band and 10 MHz in 2100 band to serve 65.32 million subscribers while Banglalink owns a totaled 30.6 MHz — 5 MHz in 900 band, 15.6 MHz in 1800 MHz and 10 MHz in 2100 band to serve 32.38 million customers. Robi which merged with Airtel has totaled 36.4 MHz spectrum in three different bands – 9 MHz in 900 band, 17.4 MHz in 1800 band and 10 MHz in 2100 band to serve 42.9 million customers.
Grameenphone introduces two 4G smartphones
Grameenphone has introduced two 4G-enabled smartphones in Bangladesh, which will be available in the market from tomorrow, on the eve of the launch of 4G services, a press statement announced. 4G services would be launched as soon as Grameenphone receives the licence. The co-branded smartphones were introduced at a ceremony at a city hotel in the capital yesterday (Sunday). Speaking at the ceremony, Grameenphone’s chief executive officer (CEO) Michael Foley said, “Our 4G journey starts when we have the licence in hand, and so does the journey for many of our valued customers. It is our intention to provide the best 4G experience for our customers on the most affordable handsets. GP strives to give its customers the best experience on the best technology and product.” Describing the essentiality of 4G services, he said, “4G services can be a game changer for many data users, and for customers to get the best experience on our network, they will need to have the right smartphone in their hands.” Grameenphone deputy CEO and chief marketing officer (CMO) Yasir Azman said, “In the last two years, we have introduced seven 3G smartphones in four phases, which have made access to 3G data services affordable. We intend to do the same today with our first co-branded 4G smartphones.”
Doubling tax-GDP ratio essential to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Bangladesh ought to double its tax-GDP ratio from the current 10% or miss the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a leading economist forewarned, citing some recent target failures. Noting that the Delta Plan has set the Tax/GDP ratio at 19.4% to be achieved by fiscal year 2031, Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) said that the given that recent failure of the government in realizing revenue targets and in reforming the tax systems or tax administration, that would be a daunting task. The country needs significant reform in domestic resource-mobilization mechanism if to achieve the SDGs — the universal 2015-30 development matrix designed for all nations. Mentioning that in-between fiscal years 2006 and 2016 gross investment had only risen from 26% to 29.4% of GDP, he also added that investment has remained low and that cannot help the country to achieve SDGs.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,950.76||↓ 99.44||↓ 1.64%|
|DJIA||25,219.38||↑ 19.01||↑ 0.08%|
|FTSE100||7,294.70||↑ 59.89||↑ 0.83%|
|Nikkei 225||22,009.01||↑ 288.76||↑ 1.33%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 62.38||↑ 0.7||↑ 1.13%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$65.29||↑ 0.45||↑ 0.69%|
|Gold Spot|| $1,350.31||↑ 3.35||↑ 0.25%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.05|
|GBP 1||BDT 116.64|
|EUR 1||BDT 103.20|
|INR 1||BDT 1.29|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.