Important Business News Extracts – February 23 2017
Banks brimming with liquidity
Country’s scheduled banks stayed overstuffed with liquidity as their liquid assets increased 6.0 per cent to cross Tk 2.78 trillion as of November 2016 compared to June. By official count, the June figure was Tk 2.62 trillion. The volume of banks’ liquid assets was Tk 1.24 trillion higher than required. The requisite amount in November 2016 was Tk 1.54 trillion, according to an economic review prepared by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) for the October-November 2016 period. “The aggregate excess liquidity in the country’s banking system stood at Tk 1.24 trillion as of November in 2016,” says the MCCI review report made available Wednesday. Of the total, excess liquidity of the state-owned banks was Tk 655.19 billion while of private banks other than Islamic ones stood at Tk 342.23 billion. Privately-owned Islamic banks had Tk 101.51 billion, foreign banks 140.23 billion, specialised banks Tk 10 million. Citing Bangladesh Bank data, the chamber said of the total liquid assets of scheduled banks as of end of November 2016, some 3.89 per cent was held in the form of cash in tills and balances with Sonali Bank, 20.50 per cent in the form of CRR, 2.89 per cent in the form of excess reserves, 2.26 per cent in the form of balances with Bangladesh Bank in foreign currency and the remaining 70.46 per cent in the form of unencumbered approved securities. The private-sector credits registered a growth of 15.01 per cent during the period between November 2015 and November 2016, compared to the lower growth of 13.72 per cent during the period between November 2014 and November 2015. Public-sector credits, on the other hand, recorded a negative growth of 1.55 per cent at the end of November 2016, compared to the decrease of 3.54 per cent at the end of November 2015.
Cooperatives want BB nod to disburse agri, SME loans
The cooperative societies have sought permission to disburse farm and SME loans through participation agreements with scheduled banks as they are now facing huge liquidity crisis. The department of cooperatives raised the issue on Wednesday in a coordination meeting among the financial market regulators – the Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, IDRA, the Microcredit Regulatory Authority, the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, and the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. BB Governor Fazle Kabir presided over the meeting at the central bank head office in the capital. BB deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury after the meeting told reporters that the central bank had advised the Department of Cooperatives to place a formal proposal in this regard before the central bank. The central bank will think positively about the issue after receiving the proposal from the Department of Cooperatives, he said. According to the working paper of the meeting, the Department of Cooperatives said that the cooperative societies were earlier allowed to receive deposits from people who were not members of the societies.
IMF calls for framework to streamline Islamic banking
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for establishing a policy framework and environment that promote financial stability and sound development of Islamic banking. The guidelines, released by the IMF headquarters in Washington, noted that it was particularly to develop such a framework in countries where Islamic banking has become systemically important. On February 3, the IMF Executive Board held its first formal discussion on Islamic banking and adopted a set of proposals on the role that the Fund should play in this area. The IMF noted Islamic banking continues to grow rapidly, in size and complexity, contributing to financial deepening and inclusion in many countries but this growth also poses a challenge to supervisory authorities and central banks. While accounting for a small share of global financial assets, Islamic banking has established a presence in more than 60 countries and has become systemically important in 14 jurisdictions. Islamic banking involves operations, balance sheet structures, and risks that differ from their conventional banking counterparts.
The Dhaka bourse closed in upbeat vibe for the second session on Wednesday amid growing confidence of investors. Market insiders said the buyers’ attention was attracted mostly by issues from fuel and power, financial institution and textile sectors, taking the market turnover one month higher. AT Capital Partners, an asset management company, said, “The market continued its gaining streak for the second consecutive session with increased turnover value.” On the day, the session began with an upbeat note and the key index added 25 points within first 20 minutes. After that DSEX kept moving sideways throughout the day within a tight range of 12 points observing minor intra-day profit taking. The benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) touched the day’s peak 5,634 points twice and eventually closed at 5,625.8 points, gaining 20.84 points or 0.37 per cent over the previous day. LankaBangla Securities, a stockbroker, said, “Index opened with a positive attitude with reaching its peak at 5,634-level. Index remained somewhat stable except minor fluctuation until closing at 5,625.84-level.”
Capital mkt still inconsistent with GDP growth: Experts
Though the country’s economy has showed positive growth during the last six years, the capital market of the country could not be consistent with the GDP growth of economy. Currently the market capital is only 19 percent to GDP, which has been decreased since 2010 showing a poor contribution comparing with the other Asian countries. According to the data of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the growth of GDP in 2009-2010 fiscal was 5.57 percent which increased to 6.46 percent in 2010-11, 6.52 percent in 2011-12, 6.01 percent in 2012-13, 6.06 percent in 2012-13, 6.55 percent in 2013-14 and the growth of GDP was 7.05 percent in 2015-16 fiscal. Against the consistent growth of country’s GDP, the size of capital market has not widened that much. The market capital to GDP ratio was 37 percent in 2010 and decreased to 33.23 percent in 2011, 26.27 percent in 2012, 25.51 percent in 2013, 24.13 percent in 2014, 20.88 percent in 2015 and 19.25 in 2016.
A premier chamber forecasts a further spike in inflation spurred by the global market upturn while the official statistical agency already showed higher January rates. The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) made the prediction in view of rises in both food-and non-food commodity prices on the international market, in a turnaround from a prolonged slump. However, the trade body didn’t mention how long the upturn could last. The MCCI, Dhaka has made the projection in its latest review of the economic situation in Bangladesh for the October-December period. Similarly, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) also revealed January 2017 point-to-point rate of inflation at 5.15 per cent, against 5.03 per cent of December 2016. The food inflation increased to 6.53 per cent in January from 5.38 per cent in December while the non-food inflation came down to 3.10 per cent in the month from 4.49 per cent in the previous month.
The government is going to downsize the budget of the Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) by 5.87 per cent to Tk 1,04,200 crore from the original Tk 1,10,700 crore due to tardy project assistance demand, according to sources in the planning ministry. However, the ADP-implementing entities demanded Tk 5,000 crore more than the original allocation of the government portion. Of the proposed revised outlay, Tk 7,12,000 crore will be provided from the government exchequer, while the remaining sum of Tk 33,000 crore will come from project assistance. However, the total outlay of the RADP, including the self-financed projects of autonomous bodies and corporations, will be Tk 1,12,752.30 crore. The amount is going to be finalised at the extension meeting of the Planning Commission to be held today. Regarding the RADP, planning secretary Md Ziaul Islam told The Independent that the exact figure will be finalised in the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) likely to be held in March.
NBR unit seeks to freeze accounts of Titas, Bakhrabad over arrears
A field office of the National Board of Revenue has sought permission to freeze the bank accounts of Titas Gas and Bakhrabad Gas to realise arrears of Tk 2,164 crore. But the NBR said it wants to resolve the issue through discussion instead of taking such extreme measures. Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company owes Tk 1,973 crore in VAT and supplementary duty and Bakhrabad Gas Distribution Company Tk 191 crore. The NBR’s field office — Large Taxpayers Unit for value added tax — claims Titas did not pass on the VAT and SD collected from clients between April 2014 and December 2014 to the national coffer and that of Bakhrabad from April 2014 to January 2015. A 15 percent VAT along with SD is applicable on distribution of gas to clients ranging from industries, electricity, fertiliser, CNG, commercial and households. The gas distribution companies have to collect the tax from consumers. Although Titas deposited the VAT collected from industries between April 2014 and December 2015, it did not pass on the SD from industries along with the VAT and SD from other sectors. Bakhrabad Gas was guilty of the same, LTU officials said. The two state agencies have been asked to paying the arrears as per law, but they responded saying they did not owe anything as they had paid the SD and VAT applicable at the production stage to Petrobangla, a government-owned oil and gas corporation.
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