Banks’ interest rate spread falling
A declining trend of interest rate spread in the country’s banking sector continued until November, as the commercial banks slashed their interest rates more on lending than on deposits, officials said. The weighted average spread between lending and deposit rates offered by the banks came down to 4.40 per cent in November 2017 from 4.50 per cent in the previous month, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. The spread was 4.55 per cent in September, and 4.72 per cent in January 2017. “The banks may offer higher interest rates on deposit to collect more funds for minimising the gap between deposit and credit growths in the near future,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Sunday. The BB official’s observation came against the backdrop of rising trend in credit than that of deposit in the recent months, as depositors feel discouraged to put their money in the banks with low interest rates. The growth in deposit, on a year-on-year basis, stood at around 11 per cent in November last, while the credit growth reached 19 per cent. It happened so due to higher trade financing by the banks for settling import-payment obligations, particularly of fuel oils, consumer items, food grains and capital machinery. The weighted average rate on deposits rose to 4.90 per cent in November from 4.89 per cent in the previous month, while interest on lending dropped to 9.30 per cent from 9.39 per cent, the BB data showed. The central banker also said BB is now working to keep the spread within 4.0 per cent in the near future.
Brac Saajan Exchange to operate in EU
The Bangladesh Bank has given the go-ahead to Brac Saajan Exchange, the UK subsidiary of Brac Bank, to expand its business activities into the European Union in preparation of the Brexit. Brexit, which is the prospective withdrawal of the UK from the EU in March 2019, will restrict Brac Saajan’s market to only the UK, said Selim RF Hussain, managing director of Brac Bank. So, the exchange house will now set up a 100 percent-owned subsidiary in Portugal to run its remittance business in the EU. The development comes at a time when remittance inflow from the UK is on the decline while that from the EU is on the rise.
Bourses to delist Brac Bank bond today
Subordinated 25% Convertible Bonds of BRAC Bank will be de-listed from both the stock exchanges today (Monday) on completion of its maturity, according to information of stock exchanges. The Subordinated 25% Convertible Bonds of BRAC Bank got listed on the stock exchanges in 2011. There are two corporate bonds listed with the stock exchanges. Another corporate bond is IBBL Mudaraba Perpetual Bond.
ERA InfoTech to install Palli Sanchay’s banking software
ERA InfoTech, a joint venture of Bank Asia, Ranks ITT and ETA InfoTech LLC of Dubai, won the contract to supply and maintain the core banking software of Palli Sanchay Bank. The company will install the online banking software at all branches of Palli Sanchay Bank and will maintain the architecture for six years. The agreement was signed yesterday by Akbar Hossain, the bank’s acting managing director, and Md Serajul Islam, chief executive of ERA InfoTech, at an event held at the finance ministry. Finance Minister AMA Muhith also spoke on the occasion. Palli Sanchay Bank is the culmination of the government’s ‘One House One Farm’ project by way a special act in 2016. The bank will have a branch in each of the 492 upazilas. Data on 325 branches have already been transferred from the project to the bank, Palli Sanchay said in a statement. Work for transferring the data from another 160 branches is on way.
Bangladesh’s stock exchanges re-balance price indices
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has re-arranged DSE Broad Index (DSEX) as part of its annual re-balancing by including 19 listed companies which fulfilled the criteria of benchmark index. The premier bourse has also re-balanced its DSE30 Index, which will continue for next six months, by including three listed companies and excluding three from the existing list of DS30.
PDB wants Tk 8,120cr in govt subsidy for FY18
The state-run Power Development Board has sought a total of Tk 8,120 crore in subsidy from the government to offset its losses to be incurred in the financial year 2017-18. The loss estimated by the power board exceeded by Tk 3,420 crore than the loss estimated by the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission for the current financial year, said officials.
Germany to give 337.2m euro for energy, climate projects
Germany will provide 337.20 million euro to Bangladesh for implementing projects in different sectors, including energy and climate change. In this regard, the two countries signed three bilateral agreements on Technical Cooperation-2016, Financial Cooperation-2016 and Financial Cooperation 2016 (Saidabad-III) at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar on Sunday, reports BSS. ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and German Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Thomas Prinz signed the agreements on behalf of the two governments. Under the Financial Cooperation-2016, an amount of 216.20 million Euro will be provided as loan and contribution to IDCOL (2 projects for renewable energy); Modernisation of energy distribution-smart grid, phase 1; Climate change-adapted urban development programme, phase II, and financial contribution to attendant measures.
Berger Paints to form Tk 60cr JV with UK firm
Berger Paints Bangladesh plans to expand its business by setting up a joint venture with UK-based construction solutions provider Fosroc International with a combined investment of Tk 60 crore. The board of directors of Berger will soon sign a deal with Fosroc, according to a disclosure posted on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website yesterday. Berger will invest Tk 30 crore and hold 50 percent share in the new entity, Berger Fosroc Ltd. It will manufacture all kinds of construction materials, chemicals and related technologies. The firm will mainly work to improve the quality of construction materials with the help of state-of-the-art technologies, said Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh.
4G services by March
Mobile internet users, especially in city areas, can brace themselves for super-fast data service from March as all operators are set to roll out 4G service, said the top brass of the telecom regulator on Sunday. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission yesterday received five applications for licence to provide 4G service, which will ensure 20 Gbps speed even from mobile phone. State-run Teletalk and now out-of-service Citycell also applied for licences. All the private entities will now sit in the spectrum auction scheduled for February 13.
Ride-apps to get govt nod
The road authorities open the door to app-based transport service providers like Uber and Pathao but on two key conditions — fares cannot be more than that of taxi services and security cannot be compromised. The government will fix or re-fix the fares if there is any discontent among passengers over those, according to the proposed guideline for the ride-hailing services. The apps used by the service providers must have facilities so that both passengers and drivers can send signal to the police control room in case of emergency, it mentioned. Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has prepared a draft of the “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” and sent it to the Cabinet Division, said ministry sources. It is likely to be placed before the cabinet today for approval, they said.
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