TT-Clean: 77.1 | TK BC-Selling: 78.1
TK OD-Sight: 76.88 TK | TC-Selling: 78.1 TK

TT-Clean: 77.1 | TK BC-Selling: 78.1
TK OD-Sight: 76.88 TK | TC-Selling: 78.1 TK


TT-Clean: 77.1 | TK BC-Selling: 78.1
TK OD-Sight: 76.88 TK | TC-Selling: 78.1 TK

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Rate last updated: 02/01/2014 11:15:04 AM

Important Business News Extracts – March 05 2017

FX reserves hit record $32.56b

Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves hit a record $32.56 billion at the end of February, the central bank said on Wednesday, up nearly $840 million on the previous month. The reserves are sufficient to cover about nine months’ worth of imports and are $4.5 billion higher than a year ago. Steady garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, the key drivers of the country’s more than $200 billion economy, have helped build reserves in recent years.

Source: http://en.prothom-alo.com/economy/news/140991/FX-reserves-hit-record-32.56b

Govt body advises BB to assess capital account convertibility option

A government committee has advised Bangladesh Bank to review whether Bangladesh could adopt full capital account convertibility (CAC) allowing local businesses to make overseas investment. If the system is adopted fully, any business entity of the country would be able to convert its capital (takas) into foreign currencies and make investment abroad without taking prior approval from the authorities concerned. In Bangladesh, capital accounts are not convertible in line with the foreign exchange regulation act, but some foreign investment from the exporter retention quota is considered on a case-by-case basis. The committee, led by Banking Division additional secretary Arijit Chowdhury, made the recommendation for a review of CAC rules at a recent meeting on ‘encouraging investment of Bangladesh in Saudi Arabia’, said officials of the finance ministry. Following the meeting in November, the Banking Division sent a letter to the BB seeking its opinion on whether it would be justified to adopt full CAC opening up foreign investment by Bangladeshi businesses. The central bank is now working on the matter to give its opinion, said officials. Representatives of BB, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, foreign ministry and agencies concerned were present at the meeting. Senior BB officials, however, are sceptical about whether the country would allow full CAC at present as countries like India which has liberal foreign investment regulations are yet to go for full rupee convertibility.

Source: http://www.newagebd.net/article/10475/govt-body-advises-bb-to-assess-capital-account-convertibility-option

State banks’ rescheduled loans turn bad again

State banks’ large loans that were rescheduled nearly two years ago to support the borrowers have turned bad again. Bangladesh Bank data shows default loans increased by Tk 10,801 crore last year to take the total figure to Tk 62,172 crore as of December 31, 2016. Of the new default loans, eight state banks alone accounted for 74 percent or Tk 7,997 crore. The banks are — Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, BASIC, Bangladesh Development Bank, Krishi Bank, and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank. “A big portion of the loans that were regularised under the large loan rescheduling scheme has turned defaulted again,” said Zaid Bakht, chairman of state-owned Agrani Bank, one of the largest banks in the country in terms of the number of branches. This is a major reason behind the rise in bad loans, he said. Of the total default loan figure of Tk 62,172 crore, the eight state banks accounted for 59 percent or Tk 36,709 crore, BB data shows. Salehuddin Ahmed, former central bank governor, said the wholesale rescheduling of loans in the pretext of political instability was not right; it should have been given according to merit. “A borrower may get his loans rescheduled once, twice or thrice, but he cannot take the benefit again and again.” In 2015, banks rescheduled Tk 26,308 crore in bad loans, which was 50.1 percent higher than that in 2014, according to central bank statistics. Under pressure from influential businessmen last year, the central bank also offered a special restructuring opportunity for loans upwards of Tk 500 crore. Under the facility, loans worth Tk 16,410 crore were restructured. On average, banks rescheduled Tk 10,909 crore a year between 2010 and 2014, according to a study by Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM).

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/business/state-banks-rescheduled-loans-turn-bad-again-1371094

Islami Bank breaks rules in approving loans, BB finds

The newly-formed board of Islami Bank Bangladesh has approved loans to clients without following proper rules, according to the central bank. In some instances, the board has not paid heed to objections raised by the Bangladesh Bank observer to the bank. BB will enquire about the wrongdoings, if any, said sources at the central bank. Most of the loans under question were approved from the bank’s Chittagong region, according to BB findings. The board approved loans worth Tk 16.75 crore to two clients — JN Flour Mills and its associate organisation. The approval came at an executive meeting of the bank on February 16. The loan was disbursed from the bank’s Bahaddarhat branch in Chittagong but the factory of the client is located at Laksam in Comilla. Moreover, the loan was acquired from the Khatunganj branch of Al-Arafah Islami Bank. BB will investigate at what condition the client has agreed to transfer the loan from Khatunganj to Bahaddarhat and whether the acquisition was lawful and the money would not be diverted to unspecified sectors, according to the BB sources. The BB observer found the board has granted grace periods to clients without following due process. In some cases, the grace period was extended even without rescheduling of loans. In another incident, the Islami Bank board has approved loan for HBC Bricks, a client of its Companiganj branch in Comilla, without knowing the creditworthiness of the borrower.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/business/islami-bank-breaks-rules-approving-loans-bb-finds-1371049

Most banks ignorant about Chief Risk Officer’s role, BIBM survey reveals

Most of the country’s banks do not have a ‘consistent understanding’ of the role of their Chief Risk Officers (CROs) in ensuring better risk governance, an industry-wide survey of relevant banking personnel revealed recently. In fact, more than half of bank CROs feel that their boards do not know what their operative role is, revealed the survey conducted on Chief Risk Officers and equivalent officials of 46 banks across the country. Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) conducted the survey, the first of its kind on risk governance issues of the banking industry in Bangladesh. When asked whether the role of the CROs including their power of veto is clearly understood by their entities, only 20 per cent of the survey participants responded positively while 37 per cent replied with a ‘No’. At the same time, when asked if the operative role of the CRO is clearly understood by the Board members, only 34 per cent of the respondents said yes and 23 per cent replied negatively while 43 per cent of the respondents gave mixed reactions.

Source: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/04/63336/Most-banks-ignorant-about-CROs’-role

Budget cut by BDT 250.0 billion likely

The government may cut the annual national budget by over 7.0% or BDT 250.0 billion from an ambitious original outlay of BDT 3.4 trillion to make two ends meet. Official sources said frugal subsidy and domestic interest payments principally prompted the budget- trimming measure. But, despite having a sigh of relief following lower payments under some heads, the government still faces challenges as there may be a bigger shortfall of revenue this fiscal year to June 30 next.

Source: http://print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/04/166358

Remittance woes continue in February

Remittance continued its downward course, declining 17.6% year-on-year to about USD 936.0 million in February. During the July-February period of the fiscal year, remittance receipts slumped 17.0% to USD 8.1 billion. The central bank in its latest monetary policy blamed the low oil price for the decline in the money sent home by Bangladeshis living abroad. In 2016-17, remittance inflow has decreased every month compared to the same period a year ago. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, deputy managing director the of International Monetary Fund, who visited Bangladesh earlier this week, told The Daily Star that the weakening of remittance is a new challenge for Bangladesh. The central bank has taken a number of measures to find out the factors behind the fall in remittance through the banking channel. The central bank has also called upon Bangladesh missions abroad to remain alert so that unscrupulous quarters cannot remit money through illegal channels like hundi.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/business/remittance-woes-continue-1370224

85,038 get jobs abroad in February on Middle East demand

A record number of 85,038 workers went abroad from Bangladesh with jobs in February this year following good demand in the Middle East countries, according to the Manpower Bureau data. It is the highest monthly overseas employment figure for the period from 2011 to February in 2017. Sector insiders said after resumption of recruitment of male workers by Saudi Arabia, the country’s out-bound jobs are on the rise. The Kingdom also recruits female workers from Bangladesh for its housekeeping sector. The total figure will increase further after manpower export to Malaysia begins. At present, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain have also emerged as potential markets for Bangladeshi workers.

Source: http://print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/04/166353

Taxpayers total 2.8 million until February

The tax authority has identified more than 2.75 million taxpayers as of February last which is at least 0.25 million higher than the target set up to June 30 next. He said the tax authority has taken a number of steps to raise awareness among the people about the taxes which he believes worked as the main driver for higher number of tax payers in the country.

Source: http://print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/05/166422

Business Identification Number (BIN) issuance goes online March 15

The issuance of online business identification number (BIN) is set to begin on March 15 as part of digitisation of the country’s value-added tax system and implementation of the new VAT act from July 1. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the online BIN registration process for traders across the country. Officials of the VAT Online Project of the National Board of Revenue said that all existing BIN holders must have to obtain new BINs, commonly known as VAT registration number, by June 30 to continue their business operation from the first day of the next fiscal year 2017-2018. The government may block the use of the existing 11-digit BINs for import, export, opening letters of credit, obtaining bank loans and import-export licences, land registration, participating in tenders and supply of goods once the new VAT and Supplementary Duty-Act 2012 comes into effect from July 1.

Source: http://www.newagebd.net/article/10476/bin-issuance-goes-online-march-15

43,000 new BO accounts in 5 months

The number of beneficiary owners’ accounts has increased by 43,000 in last five months amid a surge in the stock prices at the country’s bourses. Opening a BO account with the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited through a depository participant, which is usually a stockbroker or a merchant bank, is a must for trading shares at the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. The number of BO accounts rose to 29,55,413 as on March 2 this year from 29,12,384 as on October 1 last year.

Source: http://www.newagebd.net/article/10396/43000-new-bo-accounts-in-5-months

Poultry operators eye global market

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are taking preparations to start exporting chicken-based food products from 2020, operators said yesterday. “We have started our preparations to export processed poultry products. We have immense opportunities to cater for the global halal market,” said Shamsul Arefin Khaled, president of the World’s Poultry Science Association-Bangladesh Branch (WPSA-BB), at the closing ceremony of the 10th International Poultry Show & Seminar in Dhaka. The global halal market is estimated at $2.3 trillion with 67 percent of the market, or $1.4 trillion, consisting of food and beverages, according to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Operators said nearly Tk 30,000 crore has been invested in the poultry industry so far, with an increasing number of poultry giants entering the market to sell poultry-based food items. Currently, more than half a dozen firms, including some poultry giants, sell chicken-based ready-to-cook food products in the domestic market. Khaled said operators would be able to export products worth $4-5 million a year initially, according to a press release.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/business/poultry-operators-eye-global-market-1371091

Bangladesh producing eco-friendly jeans

Bangladesh has 67 garments factories already that have the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certificates and around 220 garments factories are in the pipeline to get the LEED certificates soon. The information was revealed to The Independent by the founder of Denimsandjeans, Sandeep Agarwal. LEED provides green building certificates worldwide. This shows that keeping environmental sustainability in mind, Bangladesh is building more eco-friendly factories.

Source: http://www.theindependentbd.com/printversion/details/83619

Apparel retailers demand quick delivery of samples from Dhaka airport

The international apparel retailers yesterday demanded quick delivery of garment samples from the Dhaka airport to the factories to reduce the prolonged lead-time in shipment of goods abroad. The buyers placed the demand at their regular forum meeting with the apparel manufacturers in Dhaka. Representatives of nearly 20 global retailers which directly or indirectly purchase around $10 billion worth of garment items from Bangladesh attended the meeting, said Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. The garment makers highly rely on samples sent by the international retailers to produce apparel items. “Delayed delivery of samples from the airport in Dhaka is a concern not only for the international retailers, but also for us and for the country,” said Babu, who represented the manufacturers at the meeting. The retailers and the manufacturers have long been complaining about the incidents of missing and delayed delivery of samples from the airport, but the services at the airport are still poor, he said.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/business/apparel-retailers-demand-quick-delivery-samples-dhaka-airport-1370218

Bangladesh stops issuing work permission to its citizens in Bahrain

The Bangladeshi embassy in Bahrain has announced a temporary ban of issuing permission for its nationals to work in the oil rich Arab country until the problems faced by them in the Gulf state are solved, local officials said on Saturday, reports Asia News International via The Free Press Journal. The ban was enforced from March 1 because of violations of the rights of Bangladeshis in Bahrain, while the ban will be lifted after reaching an agreement with Bahrainian authorities that could safeguards the best interests of workers, Xinhua news agency reported. An official from the embassy told the local Al Wasat daily that the embassy received no less than 50 complaints from Bangladeshis on a daily basis, majority of those related to not receiving salaries on time. According to the embassy, there are 180,000 Bangladeshis working in Bahrain, in which around 50,000 are illegal workers.

Source: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/04/63380/Bangladesh-temporarily-bans-nationals-from-working-in-Bahrain

Bangladesh ranks one of lowest in owning motor vehicles: Pew Research Center

Bangladesh’s position in terms of owning motorised vehicles by households is one of the lowest in the world, according to a survey. Only 2.0% of the country’s households own cars, motorcycles or bikes, revealed a survey, conducted in 44 countries in 2016 by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre. The survey found that more people had bikes than cars. The average for car ownership was one-third while for bike ownership, it was around 42 per cent.

Source: http://print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2017/03/03/166281

Local and Global Stock Indices

Index NameClose ValueValue ChangePercentage Change
Nikkei 22519,469.17↓95.63↓0.49%

World Commodities

CommodityClose ValueValue ChangePercentage Change
Crude Oil (WTI)*$53.33↑0.72↑1.37%
Crude Oil (Brent)*$55.90↑0.82↑1.49%
Gold Spot*$1,234.81↑0.56↑0.05%

Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days





Dear Valued Patrons,

At the very onset, let me express my heartiest gratitude for allowing us to serve you and I also wanted to reach out to you directly with an assurance that Dhaka Bank is fully equipped to support you during this difficult time.

Last couple of weeks ago we all were living in a peaceful condition, performing our daily tasks freely and perfectly. Entire economy and business environment was also in a good shape, until COVID-19 put a forceful stoppage to the overall life style and economy of the world. We all know that social distancing and cleanliness are the keys to prevent this pandemic. Hence, we urge your conscious effort to limiting public interaction and suspending wherever possible.

In this current situation, Dhaka Bank and its employees are beside you where we are fully online, either working from home or at our offices under a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to serve you with limited branch banking and a full-fledged alternate delivery channel services.

Our state of the art Mobile App, Dhaka Bank GO (Click https://bit.ly/2WVfieu) and Internet Banking - Dhaka Bank Direct gives you the freedom of banking online anytime from anywhere. You can check the balance and transfer money to any designated Banks including any Dhaka Bank or bKash Account, make utility bill payments and mobile top-up through our Mobile App and Internet Banking Services. Our ATMs are also running efficiently with availability of sufficient cash for your convenience where you can make cash withdrawals whenever the need arises. Mentionable, the withdrawal of cash from any ATMs within Bangladesh with Dhaka Bank Debit Cards are absolutely free of charges up till April 30, 2020 (Dhaka Bank will bear the cost). Our corporate customers can also use our completely safe and secured online platform Dhaka Bank C-Solution for Payments, Inter Bank Fund Transfers, etc.

Moreover, to fulfill your urgent requirement, we have a limited no. of branches up and running by ensuring all kinds of precautionary and safety measures for you.

In case of extreme emergency and facing difficulties in conducting banking transactions, please let us know through our 24/7 Contact Center number 16474 (or, dial +8809678016474 for ISD/Overseas Calls). We are always with you to combat your difficulties.

As you know we are going through a critical phase and the situation is novel to all of us. We are getting lot of new information from various sources everyday about COVID-19 which will be shared at www.dhakabankltd.com.

Thank you for your trust and continued support to us. I firmly believe that jointly we will be able to combat this situation and win against all the odds.

Please stay home, stay safe and take care of yourself and family.

Best regards,

Emranul Huq
Managing Director & CEO
Dhaka Bank Limited