Nonperforming loans on the rise
Nonperforming loans in the banking sector are on the rise this year on the back of increasing tendency of habitual defaulters to file writ petitions, which stall the loan recovery process. At the end of last year, the sector’s NPL ratio stood at 9.23 percent, which crept up to 10.53 percent at the end of March. The ratio dipped to 10.13 percent over the following three months, only for it to shoot up to 10.67 percent at the end of September. BB data shows the defaulted loans increased by Tk 6,159 crore to Tk 80,307 crore in September compared to the figure a quarter ago.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) frets about rising Non-Performing-Loans (NPL) in three new banks
Ballooning nonperforming loans (NPL) in three new banks — The Farmers, NRB Commercial and Meghna — have become a matter of serious concern for the Bangladesh Bank, said its senior officials yesterday. As of September, Farmers’ NPL amounted to BDT 3.77 billion, up BDT 1 billion from a year earlier. It now accounts for 7.45% of the four-year-old bank’s total outstanding loans. Meghna’s NPL soared to BDT 1.5 billion at the end of September from BDT 0.57 billion a year earlier. NRB Commercial’s NPL stood at BDT 1.94 billion at the end of third quarter of this year, up from BDT 1.28 billion a year earlier. The new banks have drastically adopted an aggressive lending in the competitive market, which has ultimately deteriorated their asset quality.
Seven banks fail to keep BDT 88.7 billion in provision
Seven commercial banks faced BDT 88.7 in provision shortfalls against their disbursed loans as of September 30 as the scam-hit BASIC Bank’s shortfall rose further and Standard Bank was included in the list of errant banks in the third quarter (July-September). The five other banks which faced provision shortfall are Sonali Bank, Rupali Bank, The Premier Bank, Bangladesh Commerce Bank and National Bank. Under the refinance scheme, banks and financial institutions (FIs) can provide maximum 90% of the total The overall provision shortfall in the banking sector (by adjusting provision surplus of some of the banks) also rose to BDT 63 billion as of September 30 from BDT 6.1 billion as of June 30. The rise in provision shortfall coupled with the huge amount of defaulted loans has sent the banking sector into a very bad situation, said Bangladesh Bank (BB) officials. BB officials said the provision shortfall in the scam-hit BASIC Bank, which has been suffering from capital shortfall amid rising defaulted loans, rose to BDT 34 billion as of September 30 from BDT 30.8 billion as of June 30. They said that Standard Bank was the latest private bank to be included into the list as the bank faced a provision shortfall of BDT 890 million as of September 30. BB data showed that provision shortfall in another scam-hit state-run bank, Sonali Bank, increased to BDT 29 billion as of September 30 from BDT 28 billion as of June 30.
bKash asked to take steps against unruly agents
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has instructed bKash to take action against its agents who maintain multiple accounts with the mobile financial service provider in a breach of rules. The BB wrote to bKash saying more than 70% of its agents are operating many accounts. The BB asked bKash to keep active only one account against each individual agent and closing the others within 10 working days. bKash, a subsidiary of Brac Bank, has failed to take effective measures to prevent digital hundi despite repeated instructions from the central bank, according to the letter It said the MFS provider has not complied with money laundering prevention rules. The MFS provider has been asked to submit its work plan within 30 working days outlining how it would stop suspicious transactions run by the agents. Presently, bKash has about 175 thousand agent accounts and BDT 4.5 billion to BDT 5.0 billion moves through its network every day.
Shariah-based banking entails double-digit deposit growth
Bangladesh’s Islamic banking bagged a buoyant year-on-year deposit growth, at a double-digit rate, as of last September. Many insiders attribute such surge to “trust” of the clients on the banking system whose share in the country’s all banking deposits now comes to nearly 23 per cent. The deposit growth in the special segment of the country’s banking sector grew by 14.54 per cent to Tk 2040.07 billion in September last. But it grew by nearly 20 per cent in September 2014. In the past three years its growth remained around 15 per cent on average. On the other hand, the deposit growth in overall conventional banking is nearly 11 per cent. Among different types of deposits with the Islamic banking, mudaraba term deposits secured its highest position at nearly 48 per cent followed by mudaraba savings deposits at 18.55 per cent, according to Bangladesh Bank quarterly report. The profits that the Islamic banking system shared through term deposits remained comparatively higher than the rates of interest offered by the conventional banking system. The sector-insiders said the ‘provisional profit rates’ they share with the clients in time deposit remained still high, around 7.0 per cent, which is at least 1.0- percentage-point higher than that of the conventional banking term deposit interest.
Dollar market volatility may hurt economy
The market for the US dollar has become unstable due to a number of factors, threatening to adversely affect Bangladesh’s economy. Experts point to the sharp appreciation of the dollar against the taka, inadequate information, sluggish export growth, and banks’ move to go for overseas transactions without even having their own tangible foreign currency incomes. Economists said there would be no negative impact on the country’s economy if the greenback is exchanged according to the usual demand supply mechanism. In January this year, the average exchange rate of the dollar was around Tk79, but it rose to Tk84 in the last week. During the months of January, February, April and November, the exchange rates of dollar rose by Tk2-3, causing an unanticipated loss to businessmen. A rise in dollar exchange rates is not anything unusual, but it is a matter of grave concern that the US currency is appreciated extraordinarily frequently, the experts added.
Govt okays import of another 1 lakh tonnes of rice
The government would import one more lakh tonnes of rice through international tenders at an estimated cost of Tk 127.77 crore to increase stocks. A cabinet committee on national economic purchase at a meeting at secretariat on Wednesday gave approval to a proposal from the ministry of food to purchase rice from six suppliers. Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed presided over the meeting in absence of finance minister AMA Muhith, now visiting abroad. Additional secretary Mustafizur Rahman of the cabinet division told reporters that the procurement of rice was part of the government’s decision to import 15 lakh tonnes of grains against the backdrop of losses of rice due to recent floods. He said the committee also approved other proposals including purchasing of per unit electricity at Tk 9.56 from 100 megawatt solar based power plant to be established in Pabna by Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Company Ltd of India.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide USD 300 million for upgrades of Bogra-Rangpur highways
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide USD 300 million in loan for upgrading the Elenga-Bangabandhu Bridge-Bogra-Rangpur highways to a four-lane aimed at facilitating the regional connectivity. This will be the first of the Asian lender’s USD 1.2 billion multi-tranche loans for the 2nd South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Northwest Corridor Road Project. Earlier in 2012, the Manila-based lender had confirmed loans for the first SASEC Northwest Corridor Road Project to upgrade 70-kilometre-long Joydeypur-Tangail-Elenga highways.
Industries outside EZs unlikely to get new gas line from next year
New industries outside the country’s economic zones (EZs) would hardly get piped natural gas connections from next year as the authorities have already started discouraging it. Officials said the move was being considered due to supply shortage of gas, increased incidents of pilferages and a possibility of increasing the gas price in the domestic market next year due to the import of expensive LNG. The market price would then be fixed by blending the prices of domestic natural gas and the imported LNG. It also aims at ensuring smooth distribution systems, said one of the officials.
BD needs 20pc more new power connections annually: UNCTAD
Bangladesh requires some 20-30 per cent more new electricity connections every year to achieve the universal access to electricity by the year 2030. The projection has been made in the Least Developed Countries Report 2017, prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It said Bangladesh and the Comoros are the LDCs facing challenge in this connection substantially while Senegal and Sao Tome and Principe are faced with much more challenge where 75 per cent annual increase in electricity connection is required.
Aamra networks opens data centre
Aamra networks has launched a state-of the-art data center in the capital to provide service to Multinational Companies MNCs, telecommunication companies, banks and other public and private organizations. The company has initially invested an around of BDT 128.00 million as on November 22, 2017. It also said aamra’s data center is currently ready for business and began operation from Wednesday.
BTRC decides to cancel IIG licence of Bangla Phone
Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has decided to cancel the licence of international internet gateway service operator, Bangla Phone Limited, for violating licencing conditions including its failure to fulfill roll out obligation within the stipulated time frame. The decision came from the latest commission meeting presided over by its chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, a senior official of the commission told New Age on Wednesday. The telecom regulator at the meeting also decided to send its decision for final approval from the government, the official said. Licence cancellation letter would be issued by the commission after getting approval from the post and telecommunications ministry, he said. The decision was taken after the post and telecommunications ministry sought for specific opinion from the telecom regulator regarding the cancellation of licence of Bangla Phone Limited, also a zonal PSTN licencee that has been running its operation in a very limited scale.
Samsung Electronics launches service vans
Samsung Electronics Bangladesh recently launched two service vans for customers in Rajshahi and Rangpur who bought Samsung Home Appliances through brand shops and authorised distributors. Once service issues are registered with customer care centres, the vans along with engineers will move to customers’ homes at eight locations of Rajshahi and nine of Rangpur, the company said in a statement yesterday.
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