SME defaulted loans soar to BDT 214.2 billion in Jan-March
The amount of defaulted loans in the small and medium enterprise sector in the January-March period of this year increased by BDT 24.9 billion due to a dull business situation and a lack of effective loan recovery measures by scheduled banks and non-bank financial institutions. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, the defaulted SME loans stood at BDT 214.2 billion as of March 31, 2016 — 13.19% higher from BDT 189.2 billion as of December 31, 2015. A BB official told New Age on Thursday that the SME sector faced a setback in recent months due to political uncertainty and fragile law and order situation that ultimately caused the increase in the amount of the defaulted loans in the sector. The country’s overall business situation has been facing a stagnant situation for long as the entrepreneurs continue to show a reluctant attitude towards expansion of their business due to the political uncertainty, he said. The official said some banks failed to recover their disbursed loans in the first three months of the FY16 that caused the increase in the amount of the defaulted loans.
BASIC Bank still in financial pain
The financial statements of the troubled state-owned BASIC Bank do not give a “true and fair view” of the institution’s health, according to an audit report. ACNABIN, an audit firm, made the observation in its annual report on the bank for 2015. The audit report also said the bank did not follow the country’s financial reporting standards properly in preparing the statements. “This observation has made the bank’s board of directors angry on the auditor. Directors who are mostly government bureaucrats have asked the auditing firm to change its opinion, which according to them is severely adverse,” said a top official of the bank requesting not to be named. Amid this situation, the bank’s board approved the report in its annual general meeting held at its headquarters on Saturday. The board discussed the issue at the meeting and decided to seek clarifications from the audit firm, the official said. The present board took over in July 2014 after the government resolved Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu-led board that disbursed around BDT 65.0 billion loans between 2010 and June 2014, mostly on forged documents and inflated mortgages.
Anti-Corruption Commission arrests Bangladesh Bank General Manager, former Deputy Managing Director of AB Bank
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested on Sunday two persons including a general manager (GM) of Bangladesh Bank (BB) in a graft case, reports UNB. They were held for their alleged role in embezzling BDT 3.25 billion in loans from the AB Bank, a private commercial bank. An ACC team, led by its director AKM Jahid Hossain Khan, arrested BB GM Badrul Haque Khan from the capital, ACC public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told the news agency. Badrul Haque Khan was a deputy managing director at the AB Bank during embezzlement of the fund. The other person arrested in connection with the graft is Jasim Uddin, a director of Rising Steel Mills. He was arrested by another team of the ACC in Chittagong.
Monetary policy to focus on growth momentum
The central bank is set to announce the new monetary policy next week that will aim to maintain the private sector credit growth momentum. The objective of the forthcoming monetary policy is to keep pace with the government’s budgetary target of higher growth and lower inflation, said an official of the Bangladesh Bank. Economists are on board with the central bank’s stance to maintain the credit growth momentum, adding that the next monetary policy is most likely to be on the expansionary side. However, they emphasized giving the highest priority to ensuring the quality of credit. A BB official said the central bank has already held meetings with representatives of different sectors and leading economists, including former BB governors, about the forthcoming monetary policy.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to set downlink fees for foreign satellite companies
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is going to formulate guidelines and set fees and charges for using satellite downlink of the foreign satellite companies in the country to facilitate various communication services. Telecom regulator officials said the commission had recently set USD 5,000 as interim registration fees to provide downlink service on a temporary basis. They said that earlier there were no set charges for the use of satellite downlink service from the foreign companies. The communication coming from a satellite to ground is called downlink. Currently, two BTRC committees are working on formulating guidelines for using satellite downlink from foreign firms and setting fees and changes for that, the officials said. The government is scheduled to launch the country’s first satellite namely Bangabandu-1 in 2017 and has already signed an agreement with French firm Thales Arena in this regard. The BTRC officials said the downlink fees issues came into discussion when Bangladesh Radio in January had applied to use downlink of Thaicom 5 satellite to communicate with 14 of its FM stations across the country.
China to provide BDT 18.5 billion to develop telecommunication services
China will provide BDT18.5 billion for the establishment of a strong transmission system and expansion of data network to develop the overall telecommunication services across the country. Meanwhile, a project titled ‘Modernization of Telecommunication Network for Digital Connectivity’ has already been undertaken with a cost of BDT 20.5 billion. Out of total outlay of BDT 20.5 billion, rest of BDT 1.9 billion will come from the government exchequer. Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) had sent a proposal to the Posts and Telecommunication Division last year after a discussion with the Prime Minister’s office (PMO). Later on, Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Finance Ministry sent a letter to the Chinese embassy in Dhaka with a request to finance the project. Accordingly, Chinese government has selected ZTE Holding Co Ltd and ZTE Corporation to implement the project. Finally, board of directors of BTCL, highest policy making body of the organization, decided to sign a commercial contract after a long negotiation with the Chinese counterpart. According to the project proposal, this project will play a vital role in telecommunication sector to implement Vision 2021, especially to bring the telecommunication connectivity at the village level.
Deal signing on LNG terminal today
The government would finally ink the long-delayed deal on construction of the country’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal today (Monday) to pave the way for the fuel import, said officials. A senior Petrobangla official said the deal is going to be signed around six years after the floating of initial tender for building the LNG terminal in 2010. “The agreement is being concluded under the Special Act for Speedy Supply of Power and Energy 2010 as some terms and conditions were changed from the initial tender documents,” he said. State-owned Petrobangla will enter into the deal with Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd to build a floating, storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) at Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal, a senior official at the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) said Sunday.
World Stock and Commodities
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$46.01||+0.06||+0.13%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$47.84||+0.23||+0.48%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||18,516.55||+10.14||+0.05%|
|USD 1||BDT 78.38*|
|GBP 1||BDT 103.67*|
|EUR 1||BDT 86.72*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17*|
*Currencies and Commodities are taken from Bloomberg.