Ensuring quality credit gets top priority in next MPS
Ensuring the quality of credit to achieve maximum economic growth by the end of this fiscal gets top priority as the central bank prepared to formulate country’s next monetary policy. Officials said the priority was suggested at an internal preparatory meeting on the monetary policy statement (MPS) at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters Sunday with BB Governor Fazle Kabir in the chair. All general managers (GMs) and officials above that station of the BB were eligible to attend the initial MPS-preparatory meeting, according to them, which got on the table the entire gamut of problems and plans on the monetary-financial and economic front. The meeting reviewed the country’s overall economic situation and suggested that the next MPS for the second half (H2) of the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 should be ‘growth-supportive’, holding inflation in check at a reasonable level.
Sales of savings tools continue to climb
Savers’ appetite for high-yielding schemes shows no sign of fading as net sales of savings certificates rose 4.19 percent year-on-year to Tk 21,172.07 crore in the first five months of the fiscal year. In the July-November period, the government’s borrowing through the savings instruments was more than 70 percent of the entire fiscal year’s target of Tk 30,150 crore, according to data from the Department of National Savings. The attraction of the savings tools is their interest rates — 11.04 to 11.76 percent — way higher than the 7 to 8 percent offered by banks on fixed deposits. In fiscal 2016-17, net sales of savings tools hit an all-time high of Tk 52,327 crore, more than 2.5 times higher than the government’s target of Tk 19,610 crore. The trend will continue this year if the government does not slash the rates, said a Bangladesh Bank official.
BB relaxes refinancing scheme terms for Islamic banks
Bangladesh Bank has extended the schedules of repayment and recovery of the re-financing fund for Shariah-based banks and non-bank financial institutions for agro-based industry, small entrepreneurs including women and cottage, micro and small industries. The central bank in a circular on Sunday revised the terms through amending the existing policy on operation of the refinancing fund which was issued by the BB in January 2016 for the Shariah-based banks and NBFIs. Refinancing facility availed from the BB is now made repayable annually, which could earlier be availed at the end of each quarter along with profit, according to the circular.
Prime Bank gets new AMD
Md. Tabarak Hossain Bhuiyan has been promoted as Additional Managing Director of Prime Bank Limited recently. Prior to his promotion, Mr. Tabarak served as the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank. During his tenure with the Bank, he worked in different capacities such as Head of HR and Marketing Division. He received the Best Performing Manager award 2012 while he was Head of Banani branch.
SJIBL elects new chairman, re-elects vice chairmen
Mr. Akkas Uddin Mollah has been unanimously elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited in it’s 259th meeting held recently at the Board room of the Bank. In the same meeting, Mr. Khandoker Sakib Ahmed and Mr. Mohammed Golam Quddus were re-elected as Vice-Chairmen of the Board of Directors of the Bank, said a statement.
Banking services a great help for DITF exhibitors, visitors
People who are keen to visit the ongoing Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) at the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, can stop worrying about carrying large amounts of money on their way as different banking services are already available at the venue. The services include deposit and withdrawal of money, opening new bank account, money transfer and even mobile phone credit recharge. Five ATM Booths have been set up in the fair premises while a number of banks also had their own pavilions. Several banks, including the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), First Security Islami Bank Limited (FSIBL) and Meghna Bank Ltd, have set up ATM booths for all to withdraw cash quickly. Presence of visitors was low in the first week as trading at the fair is yet to pick up, but the banks have been seen providing their full services.
Indian companies seek additional two months to start drilling for gas in Bay of Bengal
Two Indian state-owned oil companies have asked to extend by two months their deadline to start drilling for gas in the shallow off-shore block of the Bay of Bengal allocated to them. ONGC Videsh Limited and Oil India Limited were scheduled to start drilling from January 2018, according to a four-year-old deal signed between Bangladesh and India. However, the Indian companies applied to move the deadline back by two months to March 2018. The companies won the production sharing contract, signed with Bangladesh government and Petrobangla on February 17, 2014 to explore hydrocarbon reserves of Block-SS 04 and Block-SS 09, in the offshore bidding in 2012.
Govt mulls product diversification to make sugar mills profitable
The government has initiated a move to diversify products in the state-owned sugar mills by tapping the existing potential in order to make them profitable, officials said. The ministry of industries (MoI) has taken up several projects to this end. It has directed the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) to carry out feasibility studies on the diversification of products. “We have taken up some projects for the diversification of products in the sugar mills considering their existing potentials,” Industries Secretary Muhamamd Abdullah told the FE.
NBR to check disparity between declared and market prices
The National Board of Revenue has asked its large taxpayers unit (value-added tax) to examine the market prices of different products to verify whether there is any inconsistency between the prices declared by manufacturers and traders and the market prices of the items. The revenue board came up with the directive suspecting that many businesses declare the prices of their products lower than the prices at which the products are actually sold at the market to pay less VAT. According to the VAT law, traders have to declare the product prices that include the prices of input and the rate of value addition to the VAT offices for the purpose of VAT payment. Field-level offices of the NBR collect VAT based on the prices declared by traders. A senior NBR official said that the revenue board at a performance evaluation meeting held on December 17 last year instructed the LTU to be sure about the authenticity of the declared prices. NBR member (VAT implementation and IT) Sultan Md Iqbal presided over the meeting where LTU commissioner Md Matiur Rahman and other senior officials were present.
Square Pharma to build manufacturing plant in Kenya
Square Pharmaceuticals Limited, one of the major pharmaceuticals companies in Bangladesh, is set to build a factory in Kenya’s Athi River, a town outside Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The installation of the plant will boost Kenya’s drug manufacturing profile in East Africa, reports Business Daily, a Nairobi-based daily. Square Pharmaceuticals will commission the construction of the plant next Monday at the Export Processing Zone in Athi River in a ceremony which is slated to be attended by Kenya’s Industrialization Secretary Adan Mohamed, the report added further.
Bike sales soar 50pc
Motorbike sales soared nearly 50 percent year-on-year to 3.60 lakh units in 2017 thanks to a huge cut in supplementary duty on import of the two-wheeler’s components. The duty on import of completely knocked down units of motorcycle was slashed by 25 percentage points to 20 percent in 2016-17 to encourage local assembly. “The sales trend has so far been very good,” said Matiur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Motorcycle Assemblers and Manufacturers Association. “This was the highest ever units of motorbikes sold in the history of Bangladesh,” said Shah Muhammad Ashequr Rahman, head of finance and commercial at Bangladesh Honda Pvt Ltd. The duty benefit has helped local motorcycle assemblers cut prices of their produce by nearly 25 percent, which has ultimately boosted the industry’s sales figure, he said.
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