BB to issue fresh directives for implementing ALM guidelines
Commercial banks are expected to get a latest directive for implementing the asset-liability management (ALM) guidelines strictly to duck possible liquidity pressure in an emerging lopsided-market scenario. Officials said the dos from the central bank could come at a bankers’ meeting convened at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters in Dhaka for today (Wednesday), incidentally in the wake of some major problems facing the banking sector. Governor of the central bank Fazle Kabir will preside over the consultation session with the bankers. The BB move is preceded by a rising trend in credit growth compared with deposit in the recent months as depositors feel discouraged from putting money in banks for lower interest rates.
Banking sector tops the list
The banking sector topped the annual turnover chart on the premier bourse in 2017 replacing engineering, power and textile sectors riding on increased participation by general investors and sponsor-directors as well. In the just-concluded year, the banks listed with Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) featured a total turnover of above Tk 492 billion and captured 22.68 per cent of the annual market turnover. The engineering, fuel & power and textile sectors topped annual turnover chart during 2013-2016 period. After four years, the banking sector again topped the annual turnover chart in 2017 following the rally of listed banks mainly observed since June, 2017. Mohammad Ali, chief operating officer at Dhaka Bank Securities, said lower interest rate and banks’ better dividend yield inspired investors to take position in the shares of banks. “The dividend yield ranged between 8.0 per cent and 9.0 per cent, while dividend yield of other sectors ranged between 3.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent. That’s why investors had preference to the shares of banks,” Ali said.
Loan write-offs soar
Banks wrote off Tk 452 crore in the three months to June last year, up by over 18 times from Tk 24.76 crore in the previous three months. Of the 12 banks that took the facility to clean up their balance sheets, City Bank topped the chart with Tk 207 crore followed by Dutch-Bangla Bank’s Tk 108 crore and Eastern Bank’s Tk 101 crore, according to Bangladesh Bank data released recently. With the latest update, total written-off loans between January 2003 and June 2017 stood at Tk 45,527 crore. Of the amount, 78 percent remained outstanding, meaning that banks’ efforts to recover the loans did not pay off. State-owned banks have written-off Tk 22,435 crore loans and private banks Tk 21,674 crore as of June last year.Two state-run specialised banks—Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank—have written-off Tk 555 crore and foreign commercial banks Tk 863 crore.
December inflation falls marginally
Inflation in December of this fiscal dropped to 5.83 per cent, month on month, by official count although the cost of living climbed as per an independent survey. Meanwhile, the rate of point-to-point inflation has also been on a downturn over the last few months of the fiscal year, recorded below 6.0 per cent, despite a rising trend in the cost of daily living. The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Tuesday said the cost of living (CoL) in the capital city, Dhaka, rose by 8.44 per cent in the just-past year, 2017, because of a spike in prices of rice and vegetables, house rents, electricity, gas as well as other services. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) data, unveiled Tuesday, showed the point-to-point inflation slightly down by 0.08 percentage points last month compared to 5.91 per cent recorded in November.
Janata and BASIC Bank earn operating profit of Tk 11.71b and Tk 430m respectively
The Janata Bank Limited earned an operating profit of Tk 11.71 billion in 2017, the highest in four years. The amount was 16.63 per cent higher than that of 2016, according to a statement of the state-owned bank. Following the guidelines of the bank’s board of directors strictly has led to such a significant rise in the operating profit, said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Md Abdus Salam Azad in the statement.
Rupali Bank re-launches its first logo of 1972
State-owned commercial bank, Rupali Bank Limited (RBL) has reintroduced its first logo of 1972. The Chairman of the RBL Board of Directors, Monzur Hossain and Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Md Ataur Rahman Prodhan unveiled the logo Tuesday at a ceremony, held at the bank’s headquarters in the city. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ataur Rahman said the logo has been reintroduced from the existing one to showcase the positive changes made in overall operations of the bank.
Al Arafah implements internal auditing system
Al Arafah Islami Bank Ltd has successfully implemented Ababil RBIAS: Risk-Based Internal Auditing System. Ababil RBIAS is a pioneering software solution for Financial Institutions which was designed and developed by Millennium Information Solution Ltd, said a statement. Ababil RBIAS works as a tool to help the banks evaluate branch and banks’ position through risk grading by collecting and processing business risk data from CBS, control risk data-based on audit observation and core risk element data defined by Bangladesh Bank. It also assists auditors in scheduling, planning, executing, reviewing and reporting in a paperless manner.
UCB signs agreement with Banglalink
United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) recently signed an agreement with Banglalink at the corporate office of the bank. Under the agreement, UCB Credit Card holders will enjoy special discount and facility on International Roaming usage. On the other hand, Banglalink roaming subscribers will get waiver on annual fee for the first year and subsequent year waiver upon continuous roaming usage. They will also enjoy unlimited complementary access to UCB Imperial Lounge at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Mr. Taufiq Hassan, Executive Vice President & Head of Retail Business of UCB & Mr. K M Zakaria, Treasury Director, Finance of Banglalink signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations.
Govt to import 3,500 MW power thru’ regional co-op
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said a total of 11,104 megawatts (MW) of power have been added to the national grid in the last nine years. He said that the government has a plan to further import 3,500 MW of power through regional cooperation by 2021 and 660-MW electricity is currently being imported from India, reports BSS. “The electricity generation capacity reached 16,046 MW and now 83 per cent people are getting power facility across the country. In the recent years, Bangladesh has experienced booming economic growth, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation as electricity supply has been increased,” the state minister said in the capital on Tuesday. He said the government built additional 85 power plants, 0.160 million (1, 60,000) km distribution lines and 2,622 circuit km transmission lines in the last nine years (2009-2017) aimed at turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041.
Now govt mulls building bigger LNG terminal
The government now intends to build a bigger-sized LNG import terminal having the capacity of 7.5 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) instead of 5.5 Mtpa to meet the demand for natural gas in future. State-run Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL) has already amended the term, seeking proposals from interested contractors for the construction of a 7.5 Mtpa capacity FSRU-based LNG re-gasification terminal at offshore of Payra in Patuakhali, a senior RPGCL official said. The selected contractor will build the LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis for 25 years instead of 15 years planned earlier, he said.
BlackBerry handsets hit Bangladesh market tomorrow
BlackBerry-branded Android handsets will be available in the local market of Bangladesh tomorrow, said a press statement. Optiemus Infracom will design, manufacture, sell, promote and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded Android smartphones, which come pre-loaded with an added layer of security and proprietary software of the Waterloo-based mobile pioneer. Optiemus Infracom will host a press conference at a hotel in the capital tomorrow. Chairman of Optiemus Ashok Kumar Gupta, Raquibul Kabir, Chairman of CPL, Senior Vice President and General Manager of mobility solutions of blackberry Alex Thurber will present at the occasion.
Dhaka City in 2017: Rise in living cost highest in 4yrs
The cost of living in the capital hit a four-year high in 2017 due to spiralling prices of rice, vegetables, electricity, gas and other services as well as rising house rent, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said yesterday. The city residents saw their living costs go up by 8.44 percent last year compared to that in the previous year, it said. The voluntary organisation urged the government to form a separate wing or division under the Prime Minister’s Office or the commerce ministry to keep prices of 12-15 essentials within the reach of the low-income and poor families. “Most of the people were deprived of the fruits of the country’s overall development because of the price hike of essentials, including rice, in 2017. Many people are suffering due to high food prices. Savings of many families are falling. An urgent remedy is necessary,” CAB President Ghulam Rahman said while presenting the CAB report on living cost in 2017 at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Rajuk’s Uttara project to have flats for low-income group
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) finally incorporated housing facility for the low-income people into its major apartment project in the capital’s Uttara area. However, the prices of these flats are beyond their affordability. Officials said the capital development authority in its latest move included small-sized apartments (850 square feet each) in the project following an instruction coming from the Prime Minister on October 31, when the DPP (Development Project Proposal) was placed at the ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) meeting. Then, officials involved in the project included 300 flats having an area of 850 sft each in Block-C of Uttara Residential Model Town, keeping the existing rate of Tk 4,800 per sft unchanged. They asked the Malaysian builder to redesign that particular part of the project. After their positive reply, Rajuk sent the new design to the Department of Architecture for vetting. According to the rate, the interested low-income people need to pay almost Tk 5.0 million with inclusion of other costs to get a flat there, which experts think would be beyond the reach of the targeted people.
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