Private commercial banks saw 17.2 percent growth in net profit last year — a development that will bring cheer for stockmarket investors. In 2016, private banks, most of which are listed on the stockmarket, counted Tk 7,806 crore in net profit — eclipsing the overall banking sector’s performance. The overall banking sector’s profit grew 4.9 percent year-on-year to Tk 8,306 crore in 2016, according to the central bank’s provisional statistics. The banks last year made operational profit of Tk 21,567 crore from which Tk 6,050 crore was deducted as tax and Tk 7,210 crore as provisioning against bad loans. A rise in private banks’ net profits is always good news for the stockmarket, said Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, former managing director of Pubali Bank and presently an independent director of Islami Bank. “The private banks will be able to give good dividends to their shareholders this year.”
Banks’ deposit growth slows as interest rates go down further
Bank deposits had a slower growth than that of credits in 2016 as depositors these days feel discouraged from putting money in banks for lower interest rates, sources said. According to central bank statistics, the growth in deposits, on a year-on-year basis, rose to 13.13 per cent in the last calendar year from 13.08 per cent a year before while the credit growth increased to 15.32 per cent from 12.58per cent. Deposit growth has been on a gradual decrease mainly due to lower interest rates, offered by the banks, according to the central bankers. The growth rate of deposits came down to 13.5 per cent in September 2016 from 14.46 per cent at the end of June in the past year. It further came down to 13.13 per cent in December. On the other hand, the credit growth climbed to 15.32 per cent in December from 14.5 per cent in September 2016. The rate was 15.42 in June.
Bangladesh Bank on Monday set the rates for service charges for loan disbursement in the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprise sector following allegations that scheduled banks were imposing excessive charges on the entrepreneurs. The BB issued a circular to the managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks asking them not to impose any early settlement fees on the clients’ cottage and micro loans. The central bank asked the banks not to charge more than Tk 200 on the entrepreneurs for the loan application fee. The banks will have to impose documentation fee, CIB charge, legal and valuation fee, and stamp charge on the clients in line with their (banks) actual spending. The banks will not be allowed to impose any other charges on the CMSME entrepreneurs. According to the central bank circular, the BB had observed that the banks imposed different types of service charges, fees and commissions on the entrepre neurs under different names. As a result, the entrepreneurs’ actual cost of business has been increasing, creating an obstacle to the CMSME sector development, the circular said.
All of the seven state-owned banks (SoBs) are facing capital shortages worth a total of Tk 150 billion, landing them in problem in operating business at home and abroad, sources said. As of last December, Sonali Bank had a capital shortfall of Tk 26 billion, Janatal Bank Tk 6.64 billion, Agrani Bank Tk 2.0 billion, Rupali Bank Tk 10 billion, BASIC Bank Tk 22 billion, Bangladesh Krishi Bank Tk 74.85 billion and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank Tk 7.05 billion. Official sources said Janata Bank, Rupali Bank and BASIC Bank had applied to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for permission to issue bond to make up for capital shortages. Issuance of bond against BASIC Bank’s capital shortage is now under scrutiny of the Finance Division while the central bank’s opinion has been sought about the plea of Rupali and Janata Banks. To take decision on ways of resolving the capital shortage of the SoBs, Finance Minister AMA Muhith will sit next Sunday with chief executives of the banks, the central bank governor, the finance secretary and the secretary of the Banks and Financial Institutions Division.
A five-day SME fair will kick off in the city on Wednesday aiming to promote products manufactured by small and medium enterprises in the country. The SME Foundation is organizing the National SME Fair to be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) from March 15-19. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu will inaugurate the fair as chief guest while State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki and FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad have consented to be present as special guests. SME Foundation Managing Director Md Safiqul Islam made the disclosure at a press briefing in the city on Monday at its office in the city.
Muhith seeks BB advice to recover BD diplomat’s stolen money
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspects that hackers hacked into the personal email account of Bangladesh deputy high commissioner in Karachi and sent fake instruction to steal more than 33,000 euros. inance Minister AMA Muhith has asked for Bangladesh Bank’s advice to recover the money that was stolen from the deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh to Pakistan nearly three months ago. A total of 33,011.86 euros, which was allotted for a Mercedes-Benz car for Deputy High Commissioner Noor-E Helal Saifur Rahman, stationed in Karachi, was stolen from the account of Bangladesh Embassy in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016.
The Economic Relations Division has finalised a foreign assistance policy that will make the government, development partners and NGOs accountable for not making the best use of aid money. The final draft of the ‘National Policy on Development Cooperation’, which aims to cut debt risk and quick implementation of donors’ soft money, was finalised last week at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith. The draft, which was unveiled yesterday, is now awaiting cabinet approval. As of February, the amount of foreign aid in the pipeline is about $36 billion, and if it is disbursed at current pace the amount will cross $50 billion in ten years’ time. New commitment to the tune of $5 billion to $6 billion is made every year. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s debt sustainability is still much lower than the permissible international limit of 40 percent of gross domestic product. Last year, it stood at only 11.77 percent. In January last year, the government’s outstanding foreign debt stood at $24.78 billion.
Govt allocates 5.5 bighas of Uttara land for new BGMEA building
The government has decided in principle to allocate 5.5 bighas of land at Uttara in the capital Dhaka to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association to construct its (BGMEA) new office building. The government’s move came after the Appellate Division on Sunday ordered the demolition of the BGMEA Bhaban, illegally built encroaching upon the Hatirjheel Lake in the capital, in six months. The BGMEA is going to form at least five committees to oversee the separate phases of construction of its new building at Uttara as the government is set to allocate land in the area within a short time. ‘We are going to construct our headquarters at Uttara in the city as the government has confirmed that it would give us land in the area and hopefully we will obtain the registration of the land from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha within a very short period of time,’ BGMEA vice-president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu told reporters on Monday.
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