Private Banks’ bad loans swell on reckless lenders
Private commercial banks’ default loans swelled by about 24% in the third quarter of the year from the preceding three months due to governance problems in some of them. On September 30, the private banks’ bad loans stood at BDT 276.8 billion or 5.9% of their outstanding loans, which was BDT 223.5 billion or 5.7% on June 30, according to central bank statistics. However, most of the private banks’ default loan scenario is good: it is below 6%. In other words, of the 39 private banks, the default loans of only a few of them are above the average 6%, and Bangladesh Bank has closely been monitoring the governance problem prevailing in them and corrective measures are being taken accordingly. For instance, 2-3 of the new banks that got approval in 2013 have high default loans. BB (Bangladesh Bank) Governor Fazle Kabir held a meeting with the nine new banks on November 21 and cautioned them over aggressive lending and rising nonperforming loans. The new banks were asked to strictly follow the risk management guideline to improve their performance. At the end of the third quarter, the total default loans in the banking system stood at BDT 657.3 billion or 10.4%, which was BDT 525.2 billion, or 9.7%, three months earlier.
A package reform billed for bolstering the treasury-bond market could not help as the national savings certificates became hotcakes compared to bland bonds, analysts say. The government has so far played seven cards in its bid to prop up the bond market. A major one lifted a one-year lock-in system applied on foreign investors to retain them after investing in government securities. It also waived taxes at source on all types of government securities as a bait to attract investment in the bonds. As another reform measure the government of late introduced a new 14-day bill meant for widening the bond-market base. People familiar with the developments at the Ministry of Finance told the FE in the past week that all measures undertaken by the government could help little in stimulating the market. They, however, argue that a surplus in government’s consolidated fund lessened its need for borrowing from the banking system — and thus cast a damper on the T-bonds.
Another 4 organizations express interest to be Dhaka Stock Exchange strategic investors
Another four organisations including Islamic Corporation for Development, a multinational organisation and also a member of Islamic Development Bank group, have shown interest in investing in Dhaka Stock Exchange to become the strategic partner of the demutualized exchange. Apart from ICD of IDB, three local organisations — Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, a state-owned entity, LankaBangla Investments and Delta Life Insurance Company— have shown their interest to invest as well. The entities have expressed their interest following a DSE invitation published in newspapers on October 17 that asked interested foreign and local organisations to submit their expression of interest within November 15. Apart from these four organisations, the premier bourse also received three other EoIs from foreign and local entities during the period which had already started communication with DSE before the newspaper advertisement. Of the foreign firms, a consortium led by Sweden-based Brummer & Partners has already held a number of meetings with DSE in this regard. World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, German development bank KfW, Commonwealth Development Corporation, US-based NASDAQ, and Bangladeshi Square Group were also included on the same consortium.
Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) to ready 20 SEZs by 2018
The building of 20 special economic zones (SEZs) will be completed by 2018 as about 40% work there have been completed so far, officials said. The SEZs, the construction work of which has been overseen by the private sector, are two at Mongla in Bagerhat, three at Mirershorai in Chittagong, two at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar, one at Sonargaon in Narayanganj and two at Gomati of Munshiganj and one at Moulvibazar. The construction work in the rest of 10 SEZs has been going on under the supervision of the government. The government has fixed a target to build 100 SEZs on 75,000 acres of land in different areas of the country, which will be developed by the government or under the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. Apart from the 20 SEZs, the government has offered land to the Chinese entrepreneurs for building an SEZ at Anwara in Chittagong.
Government moves to discourage food supplement import
The government has started a process to prevent import of substandard and unnecessary food supplements which are rampantly sold at the local market causing concern for public health, officials said. They said that the commerce ministry would soon sit with the stakeholders including food supplement importers, pharmacists, local manufacturers, drug administration and customs authorities to examine supply, demand, quality and other issues related to the products before finalizing the decision. ‘We took the decision following a request from the health and family welfare ministry to discourage the import of the products as the substandard and unauthorized food supplements have flooded the market and sales of the items have become rampant in absence of proper monitoring and guidelines,’ a senior official of the commerce ministry told New Age on Saturday. He said that the ministry was now conducting stocktaking of the information related to demand, supply, imports, local production, quality, pricing and other issues. The ministry will soon take a concrete decision on the issue aiming to discourage the import of food supplements particularly substandard and unnecessary ones, he said.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is going to prepare a cost modelling for data service of the country’s mobile phone operators. A team of the ITU will visit Dhaka next month to hold discussions with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission about preparing the cost modelling for the data service. Telecom regulator officials said the commission had already contacted the ITU, a UN body specialized in telecommunication and ICT-related issues, seeking its help to perform the task. In 2009, the BTRC set the voice tariff following a cost modelling done by the ITU. BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told New Age on Saturday that the ITU team would come to Bangladesh to discuss the scope of the work.
BTRCs stance on blocking free calling apps: Users against imposing any restriction
Users are against imposing any restriction on the free calling apps like Viber and WhatsApp as the telecom regulator was considering a move on excuse that it has been affecting the revenue from overseas phone calls. ICT experts and industry insiders, however, voiced mixed reactions about the possible regulatory move as the FE had talks with them on Saturday. While some experts strongly opposed potential blocking of such Over the Top (OTT) applications, others viewed it should be based on consultations with the stakeholders. The reactions came a day after Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Shahjahan Mahmood expressed concern over the growing usage of OTT apps in the country.
The mobile-phone operator in a media statement on yesterday said the revenue rose to BDT 13.9 billion amidst intense price competition. Revenue recovery with customer centric strategy after huge hit for biometric registration campaign which slowed down net addition in quarter 1. “EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) grew by 12.1% to BDT 4.5 billion in Q3 2016 driven by strong mobile revenue growth and prudent cost management initiatives implemented across the company,” says Robi statement. The operator registered BDT 17.6 million profit (Paid after tax-PAT) in the third quarter impacted by accelerated depreciation resulting from nationwide network modernisation especially in Chittagong-Comilla region. Robi’s active subscriber base decreased to 23.8 million in Q3 2016 due to deactivation of non-compliant SIMs after bio-metric registration cut-off deadline.
Many real-estate companies continue to close down their business amid a prolonged sluggish trend in the country’s housing sector, industry-insiders said. According to them, at least 200 property businesses have disappeared from the real-estate apex body– Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB)–in the last two years. Another bunch of 103 companies have not renewed their membership subscriptions until this November. Association sources said the number of realtors associated with the REHAB now stands at 1,060, including those 103 in limbo.
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.
ABOUT DHAKA BANK
Dhaka Bank has truly cherished and brought into focus the heritage and history of Dhaka and Bangladesh from Mughal outpost to modern metropolis. Most of its presentation, publications, brand initiatives, delivery channels, calendars and financial manifestations bear Bank’s commitment to this attachment.