BB, NY Fed, SWIFT vow again to work together to recover stolen fund
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bangladesh Bank and SWIFT have promised again to work together to recover the entire stolen money that the country’s central bank lost in a reserve heist on February 4, 2017.The three parties held a meeting on May 21 in New York to discuss how to recover the rest amount of stolen $81 million from the perpetrators, according to a joint statement released on Monday by them (three parties).The statement, published on the New York Fed’s website, said the participants of the meeting reviewed the steps that were earlier taken in line with the previous meetings’ decision of the three parties. The three parties also discussed the new measures to remediate the event, and progress towards rebuilding the SWIFT-related infrastructure in the BB to help ensure that its correspondent banking operations function in a highly secure manner. The participants remain committed to working together to recover the entire proceeds of the crime, bring the perpetrators to justice in cooperation with law enforcement agencies. The three parties would provide support to multilateral international efforts to further protect the global financial system from these types of attacks in the future, according to the statement. A central bank official told New Age on Monday that BB deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan led the four-member Bangladesh team. A number of senior officials led by an executive vice president of New York Fed participated in the meeting while the representatives of SWIFT participated the event through a video conference.
Banks weighed down by bad loans, lack of quality manpower
Rising non-performing loans (NPL) and the dearth of quality personnel are the major challenges facing the banking sector, said a top banker. The number of banks in the country is more or less proportionate to the size of the economy, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and chief executive officer of Dhaka Bank, told The Daily Star in an interview on Monday.“But the quality manpower size did not grow.”Educational institutions and commercial institutions should work in tandem to develop quality manpower by giving students practical knowledge, he said. “Such practice is rare in Bangladesh.”As a result, students cannot perform well in a professional setting once they graduate, even with high scores. The sector is suffering severely for shortage of experienced people in the mid- and top-level positions, he said. Rahman, who has been in this line of work for three decades now, elaborated on the overall business of the banking sector. Expressing concern about the rising default loans, he said the banks’ tendency to reschedule and restructure loans to show inflated profits ultimately cost them. The loans eventually become default, raising the industry’s NPL ratio. Bangladesh Bank data shows, classified loans to total outstanding of the banking sector reached 10.53 percent at the end of March this year, up from 9.23 percent a quarter ago.“Loan rescheduling is necessary but recovery will have to be good,” said Rahman, who joined Dhaka Bank in November 2015.
Bank Asia re-elects chairman
A Rouf Chowdhury has been re-elected as the chairman of Bank Asia. The election took place at a board meeting of the bank on Monday, the bank said in a statement yesterday. Chowdhury, the main promoter of Bank Asia, is also the chairman of Rangs Group and Sea Resources Group. He is also a director of The Daily Star, an English daily of the country. He was the president of Bangladesh Basket Ball Association for four years. He has also been a member of the executive committee for Kurmitola Golf Club for over 20 years. Chowdhury is a graduate in business management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
NRB Global Bank Limited recently signed an agreement with Hotel Royal
NRB Global Bank Limited recently signed an agreement with Hotel Royal Tulip at the head office of the bank. Mohammad Shamsul Islam, deputy managing director of NRB Global Bank Limited, and Syed Yameenul Huq, director of Sales and Marketing of the hotel, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
Al-Arafah signs bill collection deal with BREB
Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited and Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) have signed an agent banking outlet bill collection agreement to collect electricity bills in agent banking outlets of the bank, said a statement. The signing ceremony was arranged in the Head Office of BREB. Md. Hossain Patowary, Director (Finance) of REB and Abed Ahmed Khan, Executive Vice President and Head of Agent Banking division of the Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Among others Md. Nazmul Haque, Controller (Finance & Accounts), Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Deputy Director (Finance) and Md. Sajedul Islam, Assistant Director (Finance) for REB and Md. Moynal Hossain, Assistant Vice President, Md. Shakhaowat Hossain, FAVP and Md. Ishtiak Hasan, FAVP of the Bank were also present on the occasion.
National Housing re-elects Latifur as chairman
Mr. Latifur Rahman has been re-elected as Chairman of National Housing Finance And Investments Limited at its 187th meeting of the board held recently for 2 years, said a statement. Rahman, an eminent businessman in the country, is the chairman and CEO of Transcom Group whose business includes beverage, electrical & electronics products, pharmaceuticals, fast food, snacks and breakfast cereals, print media and tea including, Transcom beverages, Transcom electronics, Eskayef Bangladesh, Transcom foods, Transcom distribution company, Transcom consumer product, Mediastar, Mediaworld and tea holdings, bank, leasing & insurance etc. He is sponsor Director of National Housing Finance. Rahman is member of the executive board of ICC-Paris; vice president of ICC-Bangladesh; member, governing body of BRAC, word’s largest NGO; member, Bangladesh Better Business Forum; advisory committee on WTO.
NSC sales in 11 months 240% higher than Fiscal Year 2017 target
The sale of National Savings Certificates (NSC) in the first 11 months of just-concluded Fiscal Year 2016-17 crossed the target by around 240%.According to the latest data of National Savings Department (NSD) revealed on Tuesday, from July to May of the outgoing fiscal year the government had sold savings certificates amounting to Tk46,967 crore while the target set for the fiscal year was Tk19,610 crore. In May of FY’17, the sale of savings certificates amounted to Tk4,869, a Tk1,264 crore increase, compared to the same period a year ago that sold the savings instruments worth Tk3,605 crore. In the month of May alone, the government sold NSC of Tk4,86 crore while the sales in the month of June are expected to be doubled, NSD officials apprehended. In June, a large number of people lined in front of the central bank, other commercial banks, Post Office and NSD centre to buy savings certificates after Finance Minister AMA Muhith hinted at decreasing the interest rate from the current fiscal year. Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, economists have expressed concern over the increased sales of NSC. They slammed the government for depending on NSC sale rather than borrowing from other banks. Former chief economist of Bangladesh Bank Biru Paksha Paul told the Dhaka Tribune, “If you look at the bank loan interest rate, it is almost half the amount of the savings certificates.”Now the government can take short term loan from banks at 2.86% interest rate and long-term loan at less than 7% interest rate, but it is paying between 11.04% and 11.76% interest rate on the sale of savings certificates. The government financing to the NSC sales is the most expensive financing in the Indian sub-continent, he said.
Government to review progress in offloading shares of state enterprises next week
An inter-ministerial meeting is scheduled to be held late next week to review the progress of offloading shares of 26 selected state-owned enterprises (SoEs) in the capital market. Almost all the SoEs could not make any progress in this regard so far, said an official at the finance ministry having well knowledge on the issue. The government has long been trying to get the shares offloaded on the capital market. “But the ministries and divisions concerned are extremely reluctant,” a high official of the bank and financial institutions division (BFID) told the FE.
NBR to devise strategy for boosting collection after VAT law deferment
After the suspension of the new VAT law with the provision of 15 per cent uniform rate for the next two years, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to devise a new work plan to achieve the collection target.”Yes, we’re planning to prepare a new plan for the VAT collection as the implementation of the new VAT Law has been deferred for two years,” a senior NBR official said, reports UNB. Despite widespread concerns from the business community, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 1 proposed the uniform VAT rate at 15 per cent for the next three years as part of the full implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012. Taking this VAT rate into consideration, the revenue target for the NBR for the new fiscal year (2017-18) was set at Tk 2.48 trillion (248,190 crore) while that of non-NBR tax revenue collection at Tk 86.62 billion and the target of non-tax revenue collection set at Tk 311.79 billion. Of the total revenue target of NBR, Tk 913.44 billion will come from VAT while Tk 868.67 billion from income tax and corporate tax, Tk 301.53 billion from import and export duty and Tk 382.12 billion will be generated from supplementary duty. The VAT target for the 2016-17 financial year was initially set at Tk 727.64 billion but it was revised to Tk 686.75 billion.
Bhutan to supply hydropower to Bangladesh via India soon
Leaders of India, Bhutan and Bangladesh may soon formally sign and join hands to build a 1,125 MW hydropower project in Bhutan. Bangladesh plans to invest in the 1,125 megawatt Dorjilung hydropower project in Bhutan’s Lhuentse district. The Government of Bangladesh earlier approved USD 1.0 billion for investment in Bhutan’s hydropower. The project could boost Bhutan’s plan to become a hydroelectric power juggernaut and battery for surrounding countries, because two of its neighbours have almost come close to sign off a trilateral agreement to construct this hydropower project in Dorjilung, Bhutan.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to oversee operations of Rooppur N-power plant
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will regularly send its inspection teams to look into implementation and operation of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. According to a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs, the IAEA head referred to his on-sight visit to Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant on Monday and expressed deep satisfaction over safety measures and other facilities at the plant. He also mentioned that Bangladesh is in the right direction as far as the IAEA safeguards for nuclear power plant are concerned, the release added.
4G licence holders must float shares
The telecom regulator in a draft guideline proposed that the 4G licence holders float their shares on the stock market. However, it did not mention what percentage age of shares must be floated. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission had earlier proposed the same at the time of 2G licence renewal, but it was scrapped in the final version of the guideline. The draft guideline was posted on the telecom division website yesterday for obtaining feedback from stakeholders. Of the mobile operators, only Grameenphone is listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. The operator floated 10.0% of its shares by way of an initial public offering in 2009. Robi and Banglalink considered the option on several occasions but they never got round to doing it.
Western Marine to build tank carriers for army
Officials of Western Marine Shipyard Limited on Tuesday said the company signed a deal with the Bangladesh Army for building two Landing Craft Tanks (LCTs). The country’s leading ship-building company signed the agreement on June 21 for building two units of LCT (tank carrier) at the office premises of the Directorate General of Defence Purchase (DGDP). As per the agreement, the LCTs will be delivered within 22 months at a cost of about BDT 770.0 million.
Bangladesh buyout of Chevron assets likely by outbidding China
Globally reputed consultancy Wood Mackenzie has submitted an asset-valuation report on Chevron Bangladesh to facilitate government decision on possible buyout of the US firm’s stake, officials said. It happens to be a preemptive move by government’s one energy corporation to purchase the international oil major’s operations in Bangladesh’s hydrocarbon turf. Chevron management has already negotiated the selloff of its Bangladesh operations to China. Petrobangla’s wholly owned subsidiary company, BGFCL had assigned Wood Mackenzie to the job of valuating assets of Chevron Bangladesh immediate after the April 24 announcement of the firm on its agreement to sell off its three upstream natural gas-producing fields in Bangladesh to a Chinese joint-venture company — Himalaya Energy.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Nikkei 225|| 20,032.35||↓23.45||↓0.12%|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$47.07||↑0.00||↑0.00|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$49.61||↓0.07||↓0.14%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 80.80*|
|GBP 1||BDT 104.43*|
|EUR 1||BDT 91.74*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.25*|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.