Overall spread between lending and deposit interest rates further narrowed slightly, as of September, as country’s commercial banks charged a little lower on loans, officials said. The weighted average spread between lending and deposit rates offered by the commercial banks came down to 4.76% in September 2016 from 4.80% in the previous month as the interest rates on lending decreased more than that of deposits, said sources in the banking circles. The spread was 4.84% in July 2016. The weighted average rates on deposits came down to 5.39% in September last from 5.44% in the previous month while interests on lending dropped to 10.15% from 10.24%, according to the central bank statistics released Tuesday.
Inward remittance dropped by 15.4% to USD 4.3 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year of 2016-17 compared with that of USD 5.0 billion in the same period of last fiscal year as its inflow dropped for the four consecutive months till October. Senior bank officials and an economist suspect that the inflow of remittance decreased as many expatriate Bangladeshis opted to send their money to the country through illegal channels because of a lower rate of the Dollar against the BDT in the banking sector. The inflow of remittance in October also declined to USD 1.0 billion from USD 1.1 billion in the same month a year ago, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Bank. The monthly inward remittance in July, August and September also posted disappointing figures of USD 1.0 billion, USD 1.2 billion and USD 1.1 billion respectively, down from USD 1.4 billion, USD 1.2 billion and USD 1.3 billion in the corresponding three months of the FY 2015-16. The remittance inflow in FY16 decreased to USD 14.9 billion from USD 15.3 billion in FY15.
BSEC approves prospectus of SEML IBBL Shariah Fund
The securities’ regulator has approved the prospectus of SEML IBBL Shariah Fund, a closed-end mutual fund. The size of SEML IBBL Shariah Fund will be BDT 1.0 billion and the offer price of the units of the mutual fund will be BDT 10 each. Of BDT 1.0 billion, BDT 500.0 million and BDT 250.0 million have already been collected from the sponsors and pre-IPO placement holders respectively. The remaining fund worth BDT 250.0 million will be collected by floating IPO (initial public offering). Islami Bank is the sponsor of the SEML IBBL Shariah Fund, whereas Strategic Equity Management Limited is the fund manager. Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) is working as trustee and custodian of the SEML IBBL Shariah Fund.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith for bond market as investors are eager
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said he had directed developing bond market as investors from home and abroad were agog. Stakeholders, on the other hand, favored cash dividends from the listed firms instead of bonus for a vibrant equity market. He views that the capital market is now on the path of stability, being run by adequate rules and regulations. The finance minister notes that it now needs development of bond market as there are many institutions ready to issue such borrowing tools and investors are also eager.
The Asian Development Bank has unveiled a new country strategy for Bangladesh for the next five years in order to help the country diversify its economy and accelerate rural and balanced regional development. It would adopt a broad-based approach for the Country Partnership Strategy period spanning 2016-20 such that it can respond flexibly to Bangladesh’s needs and demands. Under the new partnership strategy, which was unveiled yesterday at a program at the National Economic Council in Dhaka, the ADB will provide USD 8.0 billion to Bangladesh, up 60% from the previous five-year program. Half of the lending will be concessional while the remainder will carry market-based interest rates, according to an official of the bank.
Telecommunications providers demand interim pricing for MFS before cost modelling
Country’s mobile phone companies have demanded immediate decision on the pricing of mobile financial services arguing that the regulatory move to conduct a cost modelling for the purpose would be time consuming. In a letter to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission recently, the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh also said delaying the process would cause significant amount of revenue loss to the government. The BTRC earlier in October, after a meeting with Bangladesh Bank, MFS operators and mobile operators, decided to send a proposal to telecom ministry to conduct a cost modelling to determine the USSD pricing of the MFS. The operators have demanded a price of BDT 1.5 for a 2 minutes session.
New alliance formed for market equality in telecom, ICT
Aiming to ensure fair competitive market for country’s private sector, a new alliance named Bangladesh Alliance for Fair Competition Wednesday started its journey with the participation of representatives from different sectors. BAFCOM is formed with the collaboration of BASIS, FBCCI, DCCI, MCCI, JCI Bangladesh, Bankers Association, Insurance Association, eCab, BACCO, ISPAB, Bangladesh Copyright and IP Forum, Bangladesh Innovation Forum, Music Industries and all other associations and forums of Bangladesh. President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services Mustafa Jabbar will lead the fifteen members of the convening committee of the non-profit organisation BAFCOM. The announcement of the new platform made at a press conference at BASIS office Wednesday morning to break the monopoly business of few companies, especially in telecommunication and ICT sectors, by ensuring consumers’ interest.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) for change in implementation process of development projects
According to officials, ERD is working to ensure quick implementation of the development projects. Meanwhile, the ERD proposal on the matter has been supported by the monitoring committee on Fast Track Projects. It will also incorporate the provision of land acquisition worth BDT 50.0 million with the permission from the respective ministries and divisions while it will be necessary to get the consent from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the land acquisition of above BDT 500.0 million. ERD proposal titled ‘The alter of the structure and process of implementation of the development project to expedite’ will be placed at the next cabinet committee on economic affair meeting. Meanwhile, the development spending improves slightly in the first quarter of the current fiscal year but it is still lagging far behind the historical trend. Between the months of July-September, the ministries and divisions put to use 8.8% of their total outlay for fiscal 2015-17, which from 7.0% they managed a year earlier ago.
Timely implementation of Moheshkhali LNG terminal uncertain
Excelerate Energy, the construction contractor of Bangladesh’s maiden liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, is being put up for sale – making it uncertain whether the terminal will be implemented timely or not. Officials said the new owner of the US company might implement the project while local business people were apprehending it would create an uncertainty, causing a major setback in ensuring uninterrupted energy supplies in the country and accelerating its economic growth. American investment bank JP Morgan has been appointed to oversee the process of its sale, which could be wrapped up by March or early in the second quarter of 2017. Bangladesh’s long-cherished plan of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG), riding on the proposed LNG terminal, is feared to be faltered as the consequence.
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
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