Three new banks on the horizon
Approval for three new commercial banks is in the works at a time when the country’s banking sector is handicapped by financial irregularities and bad loans. Bangladesh Bank (BB) has completed the primary process for issuing licences to two new private banks — Bengal Bank and People’s Bank. And the third one — Community Bank Bangladesh — proposed by the Bangladesh Police is under consideration. The BB had earlier turned down proposals from Bengal Bank and People’s Bank, but it had to go back on the decision following pressure from the government higher-ups.
Banks often transact after getting bad credit reports
Many commercial banks of the country are making foreign transactions without obtaining proper credit reports, resulting in fraudulence, a BIBM study revealed. Banks often transact even after getting bad credit reports like poor rating, inconsistent line of business and absence of business houses’ locations. A study conducted by Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management revealed that some 26 Bangladeshi exporters with products worth BDT 6.0 billion fell prey to a non-existent UK company. As pre the report, When two buyers placed orders to the Bangladeshi producers, they approached banks for opening back-to-back letters of credit (LCs) in China. After a scrutiny of the credit reports, it was found-‘unable to locate the buyer’ and also found-‘high risk to failure in payment. With those reports, some banks were unwilling to open the LCs. However, some opened LCs based on the local exporters’ credibility. After final shipments to the UK by the 26 Bangladeshi companies, no payments were received. The report also added that some commercial banks had been forced to open LCs before obtaining credit reports from counterpart importers or exporters which affected payments thereafter. It also found that the delay in collecting credit reports by commercial banks leads to rise in import prices of different products here. The absence of a central database for credit reports in Bangladesh causes misuse of foreign currency, the study mentioned.
Credit growth slowdown imminent
The rising interest rate will put the brakes on the runaway private sector credit growth this year as entrepreneurs will be reluctant to take on high-cost funds. Moreover, maintaining the lower loan-deposit ratio will compel private banks to go slow with lending, said managing director of Mercantile Bank. However, the slow credit growth will not affect private sector investment as banks will focus on quality loans, he added. Last year, private sector credit growth was more than 18%. But thanks to the central bank’s efforts to curb aggressive lending by banks, it started decelerating from March. The credit growth was 17.93%, down 0.56% points from the previous month, according to data from the central bank. He mentioned that the lending rate will come down to single digit in the near future as there is enough liquidity in the banking system. Liquidity crisis in some banks created panic in the market. Talking about the capital market, he said that Bangladesh’s capital market is now a mature platform and the addition of the two bourses from China as the strategic partner of Dhaka Stock Exchange will bring more transparency to the stock market.
Govt body to frame policy guideline in six weeks
The government has formed a high-powered committee to formulate a policy guideline regarding venture capital and investment eco-system in the country. The 10-member body is asked to prepare the guideline on venture capital and investment within the next six weeks.
Market follows Chinese influx with cautious optimism
Business insiders are cautiously enthusiastic about the sudden surge of Chinese investment in the stock market, mobile financial services as well as in e-commerce. While the moves had been incubating for some time, the three major events that took place since April made the market abuzz.
Budget implementation goes awry
The declining rate of budget implementation over the last few years is a very bad omen for the country, Finance Minister said. This statement came when a former finance advisor pointed out that the rate of budget implementation has dropped from 93% in 2012 to around 80% (at present). Finance minister regretted that the government has initiated several reforms to ease the process of budget implementation, but those did not bear any fruit. The finance minister also admitted that the recent series of scams in the banking sector is a ‘very serious matter’ for the country. The finance minister also emphasized recasting the bankruptcy law to facilitate the banks’ merger and bankruptcy process.
Private pension shaping up
Finance Minister AMA Muhith will present a detailed outline of a private sector pension scheme in the upcoming budget with a plan to reach one lakh beneficiaries on a test case basis. A finance ministry official said the minister wants to come up with a framework about the scheme that the government has promised earlier. The ministry has started working in full swing on the issue, he said.
BTRC sets fresh MNP launch deadline on July 31
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Monday extended the deadline for the launch of much-awaited mobile number portability service by two months amid pressure from the mobile phone operators. The deadline extension decision was made at a commission meeting held on Monday, presided over by its acting chairman Md Jahurul Haque, a BTRC official told New Age after the meeting.
Local jute bag exporters get time extension until June 08
The Indian anti-dumping authority has again extended the timeframe for responding to its questionnaire by Bangladeshi jute bag exporters for anti-circumvention investigation. The fresh deadline, fixed by the Indian Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), is June 08, 2018. The DGAD issued a notification to this effect on May 16. Earlier, the Indian authority extended the timeframe from April 30 to May 23 last for providing necessary information against their queries. Circumvention of anti-dumping duty takes place when exporters adopt different techniques to avoid the duty levied on export of certain goods. The Indian government has changed the timeframe for submitting information following a request by the Bangladeshi jute bag exporters. The exporters are taking preparation to meet the deadline for providing required information regarding anti-circumvention investigation. The DGAD launched the anti-circumvention investigation in March last on import of jute bags from Bangladesh. As part of the move, the organisation sent the questionnaire to more than 260 jute bag exporters to provide necessary information. It fixed the timeframe from March 20 to April 30 to give answer to their questions. According to the DGAD notification: “The authority taking note of interest of various producers/ exporters to participate and their request for extension of time has considered granting extension of time to file response to questionnaire by 08 June, 2018. All interested parties may therefore file response by June 08.”
LTU for rejection of Robi’s review appeal on Tk 925cr tax claim
The Large Taxpayers Unit for value-added tax has recommended that the National Board of Revenue reject an appeal of the mobile operator Robi seeking review of Tk 924.50 crore VAT and other taxes claimed by the unit. Officials of the revenue board said that the LTU (VAT) on May 15 made the recommendation to the NBR for discarding the application of the mobile operator. Earlier, Robi made the appeal to the revenue board seeking review of five separate demand notices involving Tk 924.50 crore in VAT issued by the LTU, they said. The operator also filed a writ petition with the High Court. The LTU on February 6 issued final demand notices after the operator had not responded to show-cause notices along with primary demand notices issued on November 5 last year over the issue. The unit detected the evasion through a special audit conducted for the period between January 2013 and December 2016 to determine the liability of the company after acquisition of another operator, Airtel. In the notices, the LTU asked the operator to pay the amount immediately.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,417.42||↓ 39.4||↓ 0.72%|
|DJIA||24,753.09||↓ 58.67||↓ 0.24%|
|FTSE100||7,730.28||↑ 13.54||↑ 0.18%|
|Nikkei 225||22,245.23||↓ 235.86||↓ 1.05%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$66.77||↓ 1.11||↓ 1.64%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$75.61||↑ 0.31||↑ 0.41%|
|Gold Spot||$1,298.30||↓ 0.74||↓ 0.06%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.43|
|GBP 1||BDT 112.12|
|EUR 1||BDT 97.89|
|INR 1||BDT 1.24|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.