Dhaka Bank launches app-based reverse factoring transaction
Dhaka Bank Limited launched first-ever Mobile App-based Reverse Factoring transaction in Bangladesh with technical assistance by Infini Systems Pvt. Ltd. at the bank’s corporate office on Thursday, according to a statement. The bank, buyers and sellers can complete all dealings using this mobile application-based platform (Veefin). Dhaka Bank Ltd. is the first financial institution in Bangladesh to do this kind of transaction in 2017 through this automated solution.
BB likely to place proposals for new banks in next board meeting
The central bank is likely to place proposals for a couple of new banks before the next meeting of its board of directors for consideration. It is now scrutinising proposals by Bengal Bank and Peoples Bank, officials said. “We’re now examining the pros and cons of the proposals,” a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE Thursday. He said the proposals will be included as agenda for the board meeting, likely to be held by the end of this month. “It will depend on the high-ups of the BB if the board meeting to be held by the end of this month or not,” another BB official said, however. “We’re working on the proposals in line with an advice by the Ministry of Finance (MoF),” he said, without elaborating. Sources, however, said the department concerned is yet to be instructed to call the next board meeting. “There are indications that more proposals for new banks may come at the eleventh hour,” said the central banker. Amid allegations that a foreign national might have involvement in one of the two proposed banks, officials involved in the process of scrutiny explained that the people having dual citizenship could become the sponsor directors of the banks, but there is no scope for foreign nationals. Asked about the scope of allowing foreign direct investment in the new banks, the central banker replied in the negative and said that the BB is also scrutinising the issue closely.
BB plans tripartite meeting to strengthen ADR
Bangladesh Bank (BB) is planning to hold a tripartite meeting to find out ways to strengthen the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system to settle the large number of cases in the banking sector. “ADR is gradually becoming a popular process to settle the huge number of cases in the banking sector. The central bank is also providing all sorts of supports to expedite the process and making it more effective,” a BB high official said on Thursday, reports BSS. He said BB is going to organise the meeting in the next month with Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) and Bangladesh International Arbitration Center (BIAC) to make ADR more effective. In a recent meeting with managing directors of the commercial banks, the senior official said, bankers also emphasised on strengthening the ADR process to settle the claims of the Non-Performing Loan (NPL) as it is increasingly becoming a matter of concern for the banking sector. “Based on the meeting, BB is taking necessary steps to organise the tripartite meeting to make smooth the process of ADR,” he added.
Foreign funds in treasury bonds slump
Foreign investment in Bangladesh’s treasury bonds shrank astronomically in the last two fiscal years on the back of the depreciating local currency against the US dollar. In fiscal 2016-17, foreign investment in T-bonds stood at Tk 43 crore, down from Tk 429 crore a year earlier, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. And in fiscal 2014-15, it was Tk 1,452 crore. Another reason for the decline is the lower interest rate on government securities in recent years, said central bank officials and an expert. Foreign investment in the tools might decline in the coming days if the exchange rate of the taka and interest rate on T-bonds decrease further, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute. “The withdrawal of foreign investment from securities has hit the country’s foreign exchange reserves hard,” he added. The interbank exchange rate increased to Tk 80.59 in June 2017 from Tk 77.80 two years earlier, according to central bank statistics. Due to higher interest rates, sales of savings certificates continue to climb, which has forced the government not to take the low-cost borrowing from the T-bills and bonds, said a BB official. The government has cut back on taking loans from securities, which led to the declining interest rate on T-bonds, he added.
Network formed by agencies working on financial inclusion
The Financial Inclusion Network-Bangladesh (FIN-B) was launched in Dhaka on Thursday to develop, share and disseminate knowledge and expertise in financial inclusion through exchanges, collaboration and knowledge partnership in inclusive finance. Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) launched the umbrella organization at the PKSF Auditorium in Dhaka on Thursday. Financial services for everyone, especially small and medium enterprises should be increased to eliminate poverty disparities from our society. Financial inclusion is a big platform for this, Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank said at the inauguration. “This is likely to emerge as a unique platform to bring together all financial sector stakeholders including banks, MFIs, NGOs, financial institutions, local government and grassroots organizations for sharing ideas and best practices from home and abroad,” he said. Speaking as the chief guest, State Minister for Finance MA Mannan emphasized on coming forward to government and private sectors in the activities of FIN-B for the social welfare of poor and disadvantaged people. The session was chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman, InM. Dr Atiur presented the keynote paper. Dr Mustafa K Mujeri, executive director, InM briefed about FIN-B in his welcome note.
Grameen Bank on track to log its highest profit
Grameen Bank is on course for record profit in 2017 in what can be described as a pat on the back to the stewardship of the three government-appointed directors and the acting managing director. The Nobel Prize-winning organisation recorded Tk 310 crore as operating profit for 2017, up 16.54 percent year-on-year, according to Ratan Kumar Nag, acting managing director of the bank. “This is the highest operating profit achieved by Grameen Bank,” said Nag, who has been serving as the acting MD since October 2015. The record operating profit, which came on the back of increased loan disbursement, recovery and beefed-up monitoring by the head office, paved the way for the microlender to log in its highest net profit in its 35-year history. The bank may post a net profit of about Tk 220 crore for 2017, which would be an increase of 58 percent from a year earlier.
Islami Bank gets new MD
The board of directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) has nominated Md Mahbub ul Alam as its new managing director (MD). The appointment was made as the tenure of incumbent managing director Abdul Hamid Miah will come to an end on Friday. The decision was taken at a board meeting led by Arastoo Khan, chairman of the bank on Wednesday. Mahbub will take the duty after getting approval from Bangladesh Bank as per the banking law. He has been serving as the additional managing director since 2015.
School banking conference 2018, was held at Hotel Seagull
A school banking conference 2018, was held at Hotel Seagull, Cox’s Bazar recently. First Security Islami Bank Ltd was the Lead Bank of Financial Studies Programme in Educational Institutions through Lead Banking System under the supervision of Bangladesh Bank. SK Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank was present as the chief guest on the occasion and the programme was presided over by Syed Waseque Md Ali, Managing Director, First Security Islami Bank Ltd. Mohd Humayun Kabir, Executive Director, Bangladesh Bank, Chittagong & Md Saleh Uddin Chowdhury were present as special guests.
ADP spending rises 32pc
The government’s development spending rose 32.11 percent year-on-year to Tk 44,331 crore in the first six months of 2017-18 thanks to the increased use of foreign aid. Project aid utilisation increased by more than 124 percent year-on-year to Tk 19,918 crore, according to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED). In comparison, use of the government’s own funds rose by 2.79 percent. Interestingly, development spending by state-owned enterprises—a part of the country’s annual development programme (ADP)— declined by 30 percent. In the current fiscal year, the total size of the ADP was Tk 164,085 crore. Its implementation slightly declined due to decreased use of the own funds of the government and the state-owned enterprises.
BD needs to attract pvt sector investment for job creation
Bangladesh needs to attract private sector investment, SME financing both in rural and urban areas, foreign direct investment meant for job creation in the country amid jobless growth, said Asian Development Bank (ADB) vice president Wencai Zhang. Terming jobless growth a challenge, the ADB vice president said, “The country has been expanding on an average 6.3 per cent since 2008, but this time there is a need to gather momentum in private investment in special economic zones.” The ADB vice-president made the observations while speaking at a press briefing held at its Dhaka office on Thursday. He also attended the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) meeting, held in Dhaka, as one of the keynote speakers. The ADB official said resource mobilising for development works is a big challenge for the country, suggesting resources mobilisation from the private and external sectors to support infrastructures and development of other sectors. There is also need for investment in the country’s infrastructures. The ADB vice president stressed the need for human resources development, skills development and quality education for job creation.
Reform rules, cut corporate tax to 25pc to net in investment
A national policy think-tank suggests Bangladesh knock down maximum corporate tax to 25 per cent over a three-year period as part of reform to spur investment and economic growth. At the same time, the Policy Research Institute (PRI) called for simplifying and streamlining the tax laws and tax administration in line with ‘good international practices’. The points were made at ‘Bangladesh Doing Business’ roundtable held Saturday in the capital, Dhaka.
Govt relaxes rules for giving cash incentives to garment makers
The government has decided to ease the condition for getting new market exploration assistance for the readymade garment exporters by allowing them to repatriate their export earnings from any country. Recently, the finance ministry has decided to withdraw the Bangladesh Bank FE Circular 22/2011 to that effect. Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said members of the trade body have been facing problem in receiving cash incentive against their exports to new markets as the section (D) of the FE Circular 22/2011 stipulates that the repatriation of export earnings should be from the country to which the products have been exported for getting the incentive. According to BGMEA sources, Bangladesh Bank will issue a circular soon in this regard as the finance division has agreed on a draft circular that proposes allowing cash incentive against RMG exports to new markets whether the exporter repatriates earnings from the country to which goods were exported or from any other country.
Dhaka expresses interest to invest in hydroelectric projects in Nepal
Bangladesh has recently proposed to invest in hydroelectric projects in Nepal to expand its power options, reports Kathmandu Post. “In order to meet the growing demand, we are considering Nepal a big market that can fulfill our needs,” the premier Nepalese newspaper quoted Bangladeshi Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams as saying on Thursday. According to the newspaper, the Nepal government sent Bangladesh a list of seven possible projects after Bangladesh submitted a proposal to invest in Nepal’s hydropower sector over a year ago. No progress has been made since then. “After the Bangladesh government’s investment comes into Nepal’s energy sector, we hope the private sector will also step forward,” the Bangladesh envoy to Nepal said, adding that there were no hiccups or hindrances to exporting power from Nepal to Bangladesh.
Financing LNG sector to depend largely on international lending agencies
Bangladesh would have to depend largely on international lending agencies for financing the investment needs of LNG (liquefied natural gas) sector, officials said. Because, they said, sourcing of such huge amount money from the local sources like capital market, banks and financial institutions would be difficult. As a result, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) has been asked to explore fund from agencies including International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), said the officials. The LNG sector will require the fund to meet the expenditure on infrastructure as well as imports of the energy, which is expected to start from April next.
BTRC lifts minimum speed limit for 4G
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will not enforce a precondition that instructed mobile phone operators to ensure a minimum 20 megabytes per second download speed while scrutinising their 4G licence applications. The minimum speed issue will be kept in a “quality of service (QoS) directive” for telecommunication service providers and the figure will be updated from time to time. “The directive will be on the table within a short time,” Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the telecom regulator, told The Daily Star. Now 20mbps seems high but time will come when customers will get faster speed, he said. “In the QoS directive, we will set a standard speed and if operators fail to ensure it, they will face tough action,” he added. The BTRC on Sunday received five licence applications, including from state-run Teletalk and now out-of-service Citycell. The private entities are scheduled to sit in a spectrum auction on February 13.
Emirates offers special fares from Bangladesh
Emirates announced special return fares on both business and economy classes from Bangladesh to select destinations in the USA, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Customers have to buy tickets between January 16 and 29 for travel between January 19 and November 30, the airline said in a statement yesterday. Economy class fares start at $576 to Dubai, $902 to USA, $687 to Europe, $1,135 to Australia and $1,311 to Africa, while business class from $1,276 to Dubai, $2,727 to the USA, $1,914 to Europe, $3,750 to Australia and $3,256 to Africa.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 63.37||↓0.58||↓0.91%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 68.61||↓0.70||↓1.01%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,331.84||↑4.81||↑0.36%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 82.70|
|GBP 1||BDT 114.61|
|EUR 1||BDT 100.08|
|INR 1||BDT 1.30|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.