MFS accounts can’t have more than BDT 300,000 from 2018
Mobile financial services (MFS) customers can have at most BDT 300,000 in balance in their accounts from 2018 — a development that is set to come as a blow for the users of the platform. Previously, there was no limit to how much the MFS accounts could have on them at any given time. The latest central bank move comes as part of its efforts to bring discipline to the alternative banking channel. The central bank set a deposit ceiling of BDT 15,000 per day and BDT 10,000 for withdrawals. The previous daily ceiling was BDT 25,000 both for deposits and withdrawals. Bangladesh Bank also banned the registration of more than one MFS account to a single national identity card. If the balance on MFS account is now more than BDT 300,000, it has to be brought down before December 31, according to a notice from the BB yesterday. The account holders can transfer the balance above BDT 300,000 to the bank accounts linked with the MFS account, the notice added. As of September, the average daily transaction through mobile banking network was BDT 7.2 billion, down 30.81% from that in the previous month.
SME defaulters rising with credit disbursement growth
A recent research of Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) has found that the number of non performing loans (NPL) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector is witnessing a rising trend compared to the growth of banks credit disbursement. BIBM Assistant Professor Md Masudul Haque presented the research report titled “Impact of SME Financing on Banks Profitability: An Inquiry across Banks in Bangladesh” during a seminar held at BIBM auditorium on Sunday. According to the study, a total of Tk1,36,176 crore credit was disbursed to the SME sector in 2016 while the amount of default loan stood at Tk22,494cr. The year-on-year credit growth in 2016 was 22% when the growth of NPL was 16.52%. The study also showed the amount of NPL in SME sector was Tk2,644cr in 2010, which stood at Tk11,061cr in 2014 and the amount of default loan in 2015 was Tk18,342cr.
Key indicators of Premier Bank show improvement
With adoption of some new strategic changes, Premier Bank Ltd has vowed to grab a leading position in coming months in the competitive businesses. “We will be among the top five private commercial banks (PCBs) in 2018 as our bank has witnessed notable performance in deposit, loans and advances and profit till September 30, 2017 against the corresponding period of 2016,” said Muhammed Ali, Advisor of the bank. “Apart from RMG and foreign remittance, financial inclusion and investment in SME sector are now our desperate craving for ensuring development,” he said. “Our bank does not focus only for making money, rather banks and bankers are working for building national economy through financial inclusion and providing support to entrepreneurs in different sector for poverty alleviation, rapid industrialization and national economic growth.” Premier Bank, a third generation bank has now 102 branches in the country and it celebrated the 18th anniversary recently. The bank’s fund under management rose to BDT 270 billion till October 31, 2017 while it was only BDT 160 billion in December 31, 2014. As on October 31, 2017, the deposit was BDT 138.99 billion and advance was BDT 130.51 billion. The classified loan ratio declined to 5.75 till September, 2017 against 6.71 of September, 2016.
Exporters to get BDT 11.25 billion cash incentives
The government has released the second installment of cash incentives amounting to BDT 11.25 billion among major exporters for the fiscal year 2017-18. The ministry of finance on Sunday advised the Chief Accounts Officer of the Finance Division to release the fund in favor of the central bank so that it can start the disbursement of money from October through December. This year, the government has decided to release a total of BDT 45 billion in cash incentives. Of the second tranche, the jute and jute product sub-sector will get BDT 1.25 billion, while the rest BDT 10.0 billion will be shared by other sectors, Finance Division said in a statement. At present, a total of 27 export sectors are receiving cash incentives.
Parkash new ADB country director
A new country director is set to join Asian Development Bank (ADB) at its Bangladesh resident mission. ADB’s South Asia Director General Hun Kim introduced Manmohan Parkash to Finance Minister AMA Muhith at his secretariat office yesterday. The Indian national is currently the adviser of the operations services and financial management department and head of the operations management unit of the ADB. Parkash has over 32 years’ experience working with infrastructure development in Asia. He held various responsibilities in the ADB including procurement reforms, project implementation and portfolio management.
Investment proposals for July-Sept leap 140pc
Investment proposals rose by 140 per cent during July-September period this year, according to the latest data of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA). During that period, BIDA received proposals involving a total of Tk 697.66 billion from local and foreign investors in 391 industrial units. The amount is Tk 407.40 billion more than April-June period of the same year, says a BSS report. In April-June period, BIDA got investment proposals involving Tk 290.25 billion for 443 industrial units. From BIDA data, it can also be seen that local investment proposals rose by 88.16 per cent during July-September of 2017. During this period, BIDA received proposals for investing a total of Tk 516.27 billion from the local entrepreneurs for 361 industrial units. The proposed amount was Tk 274.38 billion for 396 industrial units during April-June period of 2017. The authority received proposals involving a total of Tk 181.38 billion from overseas investors for 10 fully foreign owned industrial units and 20 joint venture units with local entrepreneurs.
Government making ‘prospective tax measure’ for investors
Government authorities are making ‘prospective tax measure’ providing for consistent tax rates for several years so that investors can make longer-term business plans. Officials said this provision of foreknown stable tax rates is likely to be incorporated into the new income-tax law. The revenue authority is contemplating devising some of the stable tax measures in the new law for a relatively longer period. The new income-tax law is scheduled to take effect, replacing the existing income-tax ordinance 1984, from the next fiscal year, 2018-19. The draft of the new law may incorporate few such provisions for the sake of confident investment planning by entrepreneurs sans having to worry about how much they might be taxed for running future business operations. Presently, the authorities are drafting the new income-tax law in Bengali and English. The draft law is likely to be uploaded onto the website in December for public perusal.
Beximco Pharma begins export of Sotalol to US
Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited has commenced the export of Sotalol Hydrochloride (80 mg, 120 mg and 160 mg), a generic version of the cardiovascular drug Betapace, to the US, said a statement. Following the successful launch of Carvedilol to the US in August 2016, this is the second product from Beximco Pharma to be exported to the US. According to QuintlesIMS data, the market size for Satalol Hydrochloride (including all strengths) in the US is $23 million. The first consignment was delivered on 29 October 2017 and the product will be distributed through the Company’s existing partner in the US. In June 2015, Beximco Pharma became the first Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company audited and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Western Marine builds ship for UAE buyer
Bangladesh’s leading shipbuilder Western Marine Shipyard yesterday handed over a landing craft tank to Al Rashid Shipping Ltd of the United Arab Emirates. The deal was signed in 2015 and the craft took around BDT 10 crore to build in compliance with Bureau Veritas. It will be used on routes along the Mediterranean Sea for trading and loading goods off shore. Named “Ajman Trans”, the vessel is 65.48 metres in length and is capable of enduring low draft and moving across shallow water, Western Marine’s Deputy Managing Director Mohammed Abdul Mobin told the handover ceremony in Chittagong city. Chairman of the company Md Saiful Islam said they were building two more for Bangladesh Army. The construction is a milestone in the country’s emerging shipbuilding industry, he said. Managing Director Md Sakhawat Hossain said, though the industry was making good operational profits, the high interest rates and short repayment periods on infrastructural investment were taking a toll on net profits.
Internet business in pause mode
It has been around 17 months that the government halted issuing and renewing internet service providers’ licences, creating a lot of mishmash in the business. Some leading internet companies said they are losing a considerable amount of business as corporate offices are discontinuing contracts for this halt. A senior executive of a leading internet service provider (ISP) complained that a multinational company recently discontinued its agreement with them for the absence of a valid licence. He said they had fulfilled all renewal conditions and paid required fees and charges well ahead of the expiry of their five-year licence on October 22 last year. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had also sent its renewal recommendation to the telecom division before the stipulated date. However, there was no response. An official at the telecom division said there were over 300 such licence renewal recommendations awaiting a decision at the telecom division. BTRC had also sent proposals to provide over 410 new licences, all of which were pending with the division, said the official.
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