Islami Bank had a good year: Chairman
Islami Bank Bangladesh saw its financial performance improve in the past one year, according to its Chairman Arastoo Khan. For instance, IBBL’s default loans at the end of 2017 stood at 3.56%, down from 3.74% a year earlier, he said at a press conference yesterday to disclose the bank’s financial position. In 2017, the bank’s credit growth was 13.7% against the deposit growth of 10.7%. The IBBL reached deposit of BDT 751 billion by adding more than BDT 72 billion in its deposit portfolio in 2017, according to the bank statistics. The Chaiman said that the deposit growth was satisfactory. The Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) will upgrade technology-based banking in 2018 to make financial services more accessible to the mass people. The Shariah-based leading bank will also give emphasis on small investment along with large one aiming to bring more people into its network during the ongoing calendar year. The Shariah-based bank will design its details investment plan in line with the upcoming monetary policy that is scheduled to be announced by the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, in the last week of this month, the IBBL chairman, Arastoo Khan added. On the other hand, administrative expenses came down to 5.08% in 2017 from 33.8% a year ago, according to the IBBL chairman. The country’s financial sector may face a liquidity crisis in the current year as it is an election year and the central bank would tighten money supply to rein in inflation, said the Chairman. Replying to another query, Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) said the banks will shift its investment from large to small segments gradually.
Transfer of 99.99pc shares of Meghna Energy to Heidelberg Cement: The cos get BB approval
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has approved the proposal of transferring 99.99 per cent shares of Meghna Energy Limited to Heidelberg Cement Bangladesh for a total consideration of above Tk 910.75 million, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). The BB’s approval came as part of completing the acquisition of 99.99 per cent share of Meghna Energy Limited by Heidelberg Cement, a listed company. Heidelberg Cement has acquired the Meghna Energy Limited to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply for production of the company that will save electricity cost significantly, the company said. Following the proposal of Heidelberg Cement, the BB approved remittance of above Tk 860.73 million against the said share transfer. The BB also directed the Heidelberg Cement to transfer remaining amount of above Tk 50.01 million in a block account in favor of the Heidelberg Cement Central Europe East Holdings B V, the owning company of Meghna Energy.
Central bank calls emergency meeting over eight banks’ hiring
Central bank has convened an urgent meeting over the eight nationalised banks’ recently-held combined recruitment test. Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir has called for the meeting scheduled at 11:00am on Tuesday at the bank building. Held on Friday, the recruitment examinations ended in confusion with 6,000 aspirants to take them again on January 20. Among those asked to attend the emergency meeting are the Bankers’ Selection Committee, which administers the exams, and the chief executives of 14 banks and financial institutions. Committee Member Secretary Md Mosharraf Hossain Khan, who is also a general manager of the central bank, said the meeting will discuss the issues relating to the test held on January 12.
Farmers Bank selects new chairman again
The Farmers Bank Ltd has selected Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat as its new chairman after the resignation of Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir from the post over allegations of involvement in financial scams. The board of the bank had taken the decision on Sunday in line with the central bank’s recommendation, Sarafat told The Daily Star yesterday. Alamgir along with the bank’s audit committee chairman Md Mahabubul Haque Chisty resigned from its board on November 27 last year after the central bank asked them to quit.
bKash ties up with Mutual Trust Bank for remittance transaction
bKash Limited and Mutual Trust Bank Limited on Monday jointly launched an international remittances service, enabling bKash customers to receive cash directly into their mobile money accounts. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the service at a hotel in the city as the chief guest along with General Manager of Payment Systems Department of Bangladesh Bank Lila Rashid, who was the special guest. Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer of bKash, and Anis A. Khan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MTB, were present at the launching ceremony. The newly-launched service allows Bangladeshis living across the world to use MTBL’s partner exchange houses and its affiliated money transfer operators abroad for sending cross-border remittances that can be received by bKash customers instantly-in 24 hours.
Lanka Bangla Finance inks deal with Bangladesh Bank for SME development projects
Langka Bangla Finance and Bangladesh Bank signed an agreement for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) development project. Langka Bangla Finance Managing Director (current charge) AKM Kamruzzaman, FCMA and Bangladesh Bank Financial Inclusion department General Managing Md ABul Bashar signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. SK Sur Chowdhury, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, was present as the chief guest at the program. Asian Development Bank Country Director Kylie, Langka Bangla Finance Ltd Head of SME division Kamruzzaman Khan were also present on the occasion.
NBR’s revenue collections fall BDT 126.21 billion short of target in H1 of the fiscal year
Growth in this fiscal’s government tax-revenue collection may decline substantially, economists predict, as the first-half receipts fell short of target by BDT 126.21 billion. They read a reflection of slower economic activity of the country in the tax-target shortfall during the first half (H1) of the current Fiscal Year (FY). Also, they smell a rat in the mismatch between lower revenue receipt and substantially higher imports. Tax evasion and money laundering through invoice tampering are suspected as among reasons for the imbalances. Tax-revenue collection by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) posted lower growth, 15.38%, in the July-December period compared to that of the corresponding period last year. In the first half of the FY 2016-17, the NBR had achieved 17.78% growth in tax-revenue collection.
GDP can witness 10pc growth exploring blue economy: Expert
Experts have called for accelerated moves for exploring blue economy saying it could reach the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to a staggering 10 per cent growth in one decade with Bangladesh’s now expanded maritime boundary, reports BSS. “If we can properly tap the potentials of ‘blue-economy’, then we’ll be able to raise the GDP growth to 10 per cent in the next one decade,” said Prof Mustafizur Rahman, Honorary Fellow of Center for Policy Dialogue while talking to the news agency. He also cited bright prospect in the country’s marine-resources based ‘Blue Economy’ following the settlement of maritime boundary disputes with neighboring Myanmar and India. “We need to properly extract marine resources, protect these resources and thus utilise those in a sustainable manner,” Dr Mustafizur said, adding that the marine resources feature different mineral resources including oil and gas alongside fisheries and aquatic resources.
Govt to ink $60m deal with OFID
The government is set to sign two loan agreements with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for US $60 million aiming to implement the ‘Payra Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) Project’ and the ‘South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project’, reports BSS. Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and OFID director general Suleiman J Al Herbish will sign the loan agreements on behalf of their respective sides after the inauguration of the ‘Bangladesh Dev elopement Forum (BDF), 2018’ in the capital , an ERD official told the news agency on Monday. Under the agreements, he said, the money coming from the OFID will be apportioned into $30 million of loan as additional funding for the construction of Lebukhali Bridge over the Payra River and $30 million to be used to meet an extra cost of SASEC Road Connectivity Project.
‘New gas field’ found in Bhola
Explorers have struck gas about 32km north of the Shahbazpur Gas Field in Bhola, a southern coastal district. A total of 600 billion cubic feet of gas has been found in Bheduria union, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam disclosed to reporters at the Secretariat yesterday. The discovery of the country’s 27th gas field came at a time when the government is concentrating on the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) amid dwindling reserves. The new reserve would increase Bhola’s gas reserve to 1.5 trillion cubic feet, the cabinet secretary said without specifying any details.
Yarn makers to suffer as Indian cotton traders halt shipment
The sudden cancellation of shipment of 400,000 bales of cotton by Indian traders will negatively affect yarn production of Bangladeshi firms which could deal a blow to apparel exports, industry insiders said. “It is a sad incident,” said Abdul Hai Sarker, chairman of Purbani Group, which imports 30,000 bales of cotton a year, 15 percent of which from the neighbouring country. Bangladesh imports 46 percent of its annual requirement for the natural fibre from India. Indian cotton traders have cancelled contracts involving 400,000 bales of the natural fibre after a rally in domestic prices and the rising rupee made overseas sales unattractive, Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India, told Reuters last week. Prices surged more than 15 percent in the past six weeks after pest infestations squeezed supplies in India, the world’s biggest producer of the fibre.
Bangladesh 3rd highest in veg growth
Bangladesh now grows 16.04 million (160.42 lakh) tonnes of vegetables annually in the country, according to sources at the agriculture ministry, reports UNB. During the ongoing three-day National Vegetable Fair that began on Sunday at the Krishibid Institute Bangladesh (KIB), ministry officials said, country’s weather and soil conditions are favourable for growing vegetables round the year. Over 16.2 million farmers cultivate 156 types of vegetables across the country. Terming the production growth in vegetables as a ‘silent revolution’, they added that Bangladesh also exports vegetables to over 50 countries across the globe, fetching Tk. 7.0 billion (700 crore) annually.
Mauritius to hire more Bangladeshi workers
Satisfied with the performance of Bangladeshi migrants, Mauritius said it would hire more workers from Bangladesh in different sectors. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between the two countries within a short period to speed up the recruitment, according to a statement. The decision was made at a bilateral meeting on Monday between visiting Bangladesh’s expatriates’ welfare minister Nurul Islam and Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training of Mauritius Soodesh Satkam Callichurn there. Both ministers expressed the hope that existing complexities related to manpower recruitment issues will be resolved through signing of the deal.
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