Non-concessional loan, suppliers’ credit to mark sharp rise
Non-concessional loans and suppliers’ credit would get a high growth to take the overall foreign credit to $7.1 billion in the new fiscal, $3 billion higher than the amount the country received in the outgoing fiscal. Officials concerned said a significant amount of the overall credit would be non-concessional loan for the implementation of costly projects including Roopur Nuclear Power Plant, Padma Bridge Rail-link and the Karnaphuli River Tunnel in 2017-18.The high growth of non- concessional loans and suppliers’ credit would risk the country’s debt sustainability, they said, adding that the government was expecting about $40 billion in such loan from Russia, China and India in the next one decade. According to projection by the Economic Relations Division, the country would receive foreign credit of $8.1 billion and $9 billion in 2018-19 and 2019-2020.The treasury and debt management wing of the finance division has launched a study to see the impact of high growth in non-concessional loans and suppliers’ credit on the country’s debt sustainability, said the officials. Economic Relations Division secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam told New Age on Monday that the country’s debt to GDP (gross-domestic product) ratio was now hovering about 35 per cent.The debt to GDP ratio at 50 per cent would be difficult to manage, he noted.The budgetary document of ERD showed that $2 billion would be taken in the new fiscal as non-concessional loan for the implementation of Roopur Nuclear Power Plant and Padma Bridge Rail-link.
RMG props credit profile as Bangladesh remittance slows
Bangladesh’s Ba3 stable sovereign credit profile is supported by the robust growth of an economy that is bolstered by garment export, says Moody’s while predicting risk of receding remittance. In its latest survey report Moody’s Investors Service said the weakening inflows of remittances from expatriate workers could hurt consumption-considered a driver of economic advances, reports bdnews24.com. The garment industry makes up about 70.0% of the country’s total merchandise exports, as measured in local currency terms, and also accounts for significant foreign investment inflows. The New York-based credit-rating agency says focus on low-value garment exports helps insulate Bangladesh from the impact of higher trade tariffs that could result from greater protectionism globally.
IMF urges Dhaka to cut reliance on savings tools
The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, has urged the Bangladesh government to reduce its reliance on National Savings Certificates, reports bdnews24.com. The financial organization said the certificates were a high-cost way to cover part of the government’s debt in a report on Bangladesh’s consultation with the IMF Executive Board on May 26. The debt burden due to Bangladesh’s National Savings Certificates has been a matter of concern for the government. Generally, the rate is 1 or 2.0% points more than the rates of interest on bank deposits. But the difference is more than 4.0% points now.
NBFIs must repay deceased depositors’ money to nominees straightaway
Non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) have to repay deposited money to the nominees or designated guardians of minor ones after depositors’ death. Currently, 33 NBFIs are running their business across the country. The central bank had issued the notification after receiving allegations that some banks were collecting undertakings from the nominees of the depositors. Currently, the depositors are allowed to include the names of more than one nominee while opening their accounts with the commercial banks.
Capital machinery imports surge 48.0% in 10 months despite sluggish business
The imports of capital machinery increased by 48.10% in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year of 2016-17, as against 12.24% growth during the same period a fiscal year ago, strengthening a suspicion of money laundering as the growth came amid dull investment situation in the country. According to Bangladesh Bank officials and an expert, the increased growth of capital machinery in the July-April period of FY17 have not matched up with the existing sluggish investment as the country’s businesspeople are still following a go-slow policy in the area of setting up new industrial units and expanding the existing ones. The imports of capital machinery and industrial raw materials usually increase simultaneously if the country’s investment sector performs nicely, a BB official told New Age on Monday. In such a situation, huge import payments for capital machinery, which did not matched up with those of raw materials, raised a suspicion that money might have been laundered in the name of import of the items (capital machinery), he said.
Micro enterprises to get BDT 3.3 billion challenge fund
The Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh, a five-year programme funded with UK aid, will invest BDT 3.33 billion or GBP 34.0 million to develop the country’s micro and small enterprises. Currently, 16 projects are underway from two rounds of the challenge fund where around GBP 2.0 million has so far been disbursed out of the total commitment of GBP 7.0 million, said Arafat Hossain, fund manager. Some 0.18 million small enterprises are expected to have access to finance and financial services by the end of the project, he said. A huge segment of the rural people still does not have access to financial services, said SK Sur Chowdhury, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank. The challenge fund would work as a good substitute for collateral, Chowdhury said.
Many companies fail to utilize IPO fund within timeframe
Failing to utilize IPO funds timely, the companies have revised the fund utilization plans at their general meetings. According to information gathered from the stock exchanges, some companies have revised their IPO fund utilization plan. The companies include Regent Textile, Generation Next Fashions, The Peninsula Chittagong, Shasha Denims and Simtex Industries. To discourage the companies’ practice of brining deviation in IPO fund utilization plan, the securities regulator has recently tagged the condition of taking prior approval of at least 51.0% public shareholders, other than sponsors and directors, in a general meeting, if they want to do so.
IPO quota for affected investors extended by 6 months
The finance ministry has extended by another six months the 20.0% quota facility in the initial public offerings for the small-scale investors who were affected by the 2010 market crash. The time extension came following a BSEC’s letter that was issued in May this year seeking another one year for the quota faculty despite the fact that the ministry earlier had said that the quota facility would not be extended further after June 30, 2017. On the other hand, some institutional investors and general investors other than the affected ones have been demanding withdrawal of the quota facility as the facility lowers their chances of getting IPO shares.
Seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region will extend duty facilities to 6,029 more goods exported by Bangladesh in line with a revised free trade agreement. Under the existing APTA, India, China and five other countries grant duty benefits to 4,648 products from Bangladesh. The revision will increase the number to 10,677. APTA is the oldest preferential trade agreement between Asia-Pacific countries, based on the Bangkok Agreement signed in 1975. The name was changed to APTA in 2005.
Vegetable exports dropped 16.8% year-on-year to USD 76.9 million in the first 11 months of fiscal 2016-17 due to a ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka to Europe. Besides, the partial ‘self-ban’ last month by the Plant Protection Wing of the Department of Agricultural Extension on export of vegetables to avoid return of consignments also had an impact on shipments. The EU, especially the UK and Italy, is a major destination for Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables because of a sizeable population of non-resident Bangladeshis.