Bank interest spread widens
Overall interest-rate spread in the country’s banking sector widened further in May as commercial banks cut interests on deposits deeper than that on lending. The weighted average spread between lending and deposit rates offered by the commercial banks rose to 4.9% in May 2016 from 4.9% in the previous month, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. The spread was 4.9% in March 2016. On the other hand, the weighted average rates on deposits came down to 5.7% in May from 5.8% in the previous month while interest rates on lending dropped to 10.6% from 10. 6%. The upward trend in interest rate spread may continue until June for higher credit growth particularly in the private sector, according to the bankers. The interest situation may reverse from the month of July as the government is set to raise borrowing from the banking system significantly to adjust higher expenditure in June as well as partly to finance its budget deficit for the current fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, the private banker observed.
Corporate foreign borrowing falls: Domestic lending rate decline brings businesses back
Foreign borrowing by private corporate bodies dropped drastically during the first half of this calendar year, as they turned back to cheaper domestic credits. The local firms obtained approval for taking USD396.95 million during January- June period of the current year. The endorsed debt amount was USD1414.8 million (over 1.414 billion) during January-June 2015 period, according to Board of Investment (BoI) statistics. Many familiar with the developments say local firms are now showing interest in domestic sources of credits which are available at comparatively low rates of interest. The central bank’s official data show credits to the private sector having increased in recent times, which implies that local firms are borrowing more from local banking sources. Domestic credits recorded an increase by BDT 802.5 billion or 11.8% (y-o-y) at the end of April 2016 against the increase by BDT 604.20 billion or 9.8% at the end of April 2015, according to the Bangladesh Bank. Credit flow into to the private sector recorded a growth of 15.6% while to the public sector decreased 5.5% in April 2016 compared to the same month of the previous year.
BASIC’s newly rescheduled loans already turning bad
As much as BDT 7.0 billion out of BDT 30.0 billion loans rescheduled by BASIC Bank between 2014 and May 2016 became bad loans again, according to the bank. Bad loans squeeze a bank’s investment capacity as the lender has to keep 100% provision against the loans as per the decision of the central bank. But on the bright side, BASIC is getting responses from the defaulting borrowers in recent days after the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested two of the state-owned bank’s wilful defaulters this year. “Around 25 defaulting borrowers who owed to the bank over BDT 8.0 billion have contacted us and expressed their willingness to reschedule their loans after ACC’s crackdown,” said Alauddin A Majid, chairman of the bank. The borrowers believe they would not face ACC’s arrest if they settle their loans with the bank, he said. The ACC in March this year arrested three borrowers of BASIC Bank for their alleged involvement in loan scams. The arrestees were: Akbar Hossain, owner of Asian Shipping BD; Syed Hasibul Gani, chairman of Emerald Dress; and Foyezunnesa Nabi, managing director of Farshi International.
AB Bank to issue rights at face value
AB Bank Limited has informed that the extra ordinary general meeting (EGM) and annual general meeting (AGM) have approved to increase the paid-up capital of the bank by issuing rights share. The AB Bank will issue four rights shares against existing five shares to the existing shareholders at a price of BDT 10 per share, instead of earlier proposed BDT 12.50 per share, after effecting stock dividend for the year ended 2015.
Alliance pledges to continue apparel imports despite terror attack
The Alliance, a group of mostly of North American apparel brands and retailers, Wednesday vowed to source from Bangladeshi manufacturers despite the recent terror attacks. “Despite these unspeakable tragedies, the Alliance and our member companies will continue to stay the course– because improving safety for the millions of men and women who make a living in Bangladesh’s garment sector is a moral imperative,” Alliance country director James Moriarty told a teleconference. The conference was organized to discuss updates from the Alliance. The Alliance that includes major brands like Gap and Walmart was formed to improve the safety in the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1100 workers. “. In the first quarter of 2016, the Alliance suspended another six factories for failing to do enough to improve safety, bringing the total to 83, while 28 factories have completed all the required remedial works in line with the corrective action plans (CAP), Mr Moriarty said. And across all factories, more than one-third of the issues most critical to life safety have already been addressed, two years ahead of the deadline.
Garment exports post over 10.0% growth in FY2016
Bangladesh garment industry has generated USD 28.09 billion exports in the fiscal year 2015-16 with a 10.2% growth from the previous year, according to Export Promotion Bureau data. The growth has been attributed by exporters and analysts to political calmness during the year, increased productivity, entrepreneurs’ resilience and improvement of workers’ safety standards in factories. The data officially released yesterday showed that the earnings also exceeded the target of USD 27.4 billion set for the year. Of the total figure, the knitwear constituted USD 13.4 billion and woven products USD 14.7 billion. “Even though profit margin declined, the manufacturers didn’t stop taking work orders. So I will give the credit to them (manufacturers) for seeing an even better export growth in the country’s garment sector,” president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told. The start of manufacturing of high-end products by some entrepreneurs and the increase of workers’ productivity also contributed to achieve healthy export earnings.
Government fixes BDT 1.0 billion as Robi-Airtel merger fees
Cellular phone operators Robi and Airtel Bangladesh have to pay BDT 1.0 billion as fees for their much-talked amalgamation, reports BSS. An inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Finance Minister A M A Muhith Wednesday fixed the fees for the country’s first-ever merger in telecommunication sector. The finance division also finalized the spectrum fees at BDT 338 million for each megahertz (MHz) of 2G airwave for the next four years. On the other hand, replying to a query regarding the hearing on the merger in the High Court which is scheduled for today (Thursday), she said they have sought more time. At present, Airtel is using 15 MHz 2G spectrum and the license would expire in 2020. If Robi acquires the entire spectrum, the operator has to deposit a total of BDT 5.1 billion to the telecom regulator. An official of Robi said the operator would acquire 10 MHz of 2G spectrum from the Airtel. Turing to the spectrum pricing calculation, the official said, Airtel bought 15 MHz spectrum in 1800 band for 15 years in 2005 at BDT 3.4 billion.
World Stock and Commodities
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$45.33||+0.58||+1.30%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$46.77||+0.51||+1.10%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||18,372.12||+24.45||+0.13%|
|USD 1||BDT 78.30*|
|GBP 1||BDT 103.39*|
|EUR 1||BDT 86.95*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17*|
*Currencies and Commodities are taken from Bloomberg.