Fresh Bank Loans: Defaulters must make 15pc Down Payment
The High Court yesterday ruled that the loan defaulters must make down payment of 15 percent of the outstanding amount to get fresh loans from any scheduled Bank in line with the 2012 Bangladesh Bank circular. The central Bank issued the circular allowing borrowers, who became defaulters by December last year, to reschedule loans for 10 years by making a down payment of only 2 percent instead of the existing 10 percent. The HC gave the verdict after hearing the writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh [HRPB] in early February. The rights organisation sought court directives for the formation of a commission to look into the irregularities and corruption in the Banking sector in the last two decades. A number of Bankers told this newspaper that rescheduling of defaulted loans with 2 percent down payment will depend on the Banks as the BB circular in this regard is not mandatory for the lenders. The defaulters are struggling to pay 2 percent of their outstanding loans as down payment. How will they pay 15 percent for getting fresh loans. The central Bank has also been ordered to follow the recommendations and suggestions of the committee. The HC ruled that in future, any commercial Bank has to appoint its top five officials, including the managing director, under supervision of the BB. The court said the interest rate of Bank loans should be reduced to a single digit to facilitate business and development in the country. The government, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the BB have taken some measures but those are inadequate for stopping these kinds of scams, the HC observed.
Economy under stress for lack of Reforms: CPD
A lack of good governance and reforms has put the Bangladesh economy under the most severe strain it has faced in the last decade, the Centre for Policy Dialogue said yesterday. The fault lines in the economy are getting deeper and need to be fixed; otherwise the country’s economic growth cannot be sustained in the coming years. The Centre for Policy Dialogue [CPD] identified four areas — Banking, revenue mobilisation, capital market and balance of payments — where the fault lines have been exposed in recent months. A rapidly increasing trend of defaulted loans, a potential risk of large revenue shortfall in the target set by the National Board of Revenue, the ongoing problems in the capital market and crisis stemming from balance of payments pose major challenges to macroeconomic stability. The think tank also questioned the country’s eight percent plus GDP growth, saying it came without a proportionate rise in private sector investments. The ratio of private investment to GDP has been hovering around 23 percent for the last few years. But the GDP growth gradually increased to eight percent from five to six. The NPLs stood at Tk 112,430 crore, which was 11.69 percent of total loans, as of June this year. Quoting the International Monetary Fund’s recent report, she said such stressed assets of the Banking sector would be more than Tk 2 lakh if written-off loans and the amount pending with the court cases are taken into account. The situation has arisen from the decision to cap interest rate on deposits at 6 percent. The inflation rate was 5.54 percent in September. Besides, the overall balance in the external sector stood at $12 million, much lower than $5,459 million target set by the seventh five-years plan. Bangladesh is falling behind its major competitors in the key market of the US. The country’s export growth in the US in the first two months of the fiscal year was 3.1 percent, whereas Cambodia posted a growth of 8.20 percent, China 4.90 percent, Turkey 10.30 percent and Vietnam 11.70 percent. The government should take steps to strengthen the capacity of exporters by depreciating local currency. Towfiqul Islam Khan, a senior research fellow at the CPD, said that the growth in revenue collection in the first quarter of the fiscal year was one of the lowest in the decade. The NBR set a revenue collection of Tk 325,600 crore, up 45 percent from a year ago.
WB to prepare next CPF for Bangladesh from Jan
World Bank Country Director said the Bank is going to prepare a four-year country partnership framework [CPF] for Bangladesh from January, 2020. In the framework, it will be determined where the money will go in Bangladesh in the coming years. Terming Bangladesh’s higher economic growth impressive, World Bank executive director Patrizio Pagano said the country achieved remarkable progress in terms of reduction of poverty which is the business of the Bank. There are still a high number of people living in poverty and we hope the higher growth will be as inclusive as possible and shared among the people of the country. Welcoming the delegation, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the country maintained a higher growth rate of over 8.0 per cent and it is expected to grow more than 10 per cent from 2024.
Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Pubali Bank
Senior government officials, Pubali Bank directors and senior executives, businessmen and elite seen at the diamond jubilee celebration of Pubali Bank Limited at a city hotel recently as the Bank completed 60 years in Banking this year.
Improve Corporate Governance to attract Japanese Investors
Speakers at a seminar have underscored the need for improvement in corporate governance to attract more entrepreneurs, especially from Japan, for investing in the country. International Finance Corporation [IFC], a member of the World Bank Group, in partnership with Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries [JBCCI] organised the seminar and the panel discussion. The seminar was organised with the objective to discuss key issues of importance to investors and Japanese stakeholders. A total of 302 Japanese companies are running in the country and to attract more Japanese investment, it is crucial that Bangladesh prioritises issues such as better corporate governance, improved disclosure and a more investment-friendly environment.
Economy thriving on ‘Mega Projects’
The country’s macro-economy is now dependent on public investment meant for building mega projects, said local think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue, or CPD. The CPD said such type of economic management has weak relation to private investment, revenue mobilisation, monetary policy and even trade policy. The CPD noted that for the first time since fiscal year 2010 the growth of exports in the first quarter turned negative. The first time since 2011, the overall balance of payment [BoP] of the country was negative in FY’18 [US$857 million]. For the first two months of FY’20, it was $ 139 million, which was $156 million in the same period of FY’19. Export also witnessed a negative growth during the first three months of the FY’20, which is worrisome. The early signals during FY’20 also indicate continuation of these trends. If all these trends continue over the rest of FY’20, the overall balance, forex resources and exchange rate will come under increasing pressure.
BTCL gets new MD
Md Rafiqul Matin yesterday took charge as managing director of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd [BTCL]. He was previously the deputy managing director, having worked as project director for “Cyber Threat Detection and Response” of the telecommunication division, says a press release.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,682.90238||↓ 29.187||↓ 0.62 |
|FTSE100||7,302.42||↑ 54.04||↑0.75% |
|Nikkei 225||22,850.77||↓ 76.27 ||↓ 0.33%|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 55.95 ||↓ 0.25||↓ 0.44%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 61.39 ||↓ 0.30 ||↓ 0.49%|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,512.63 ||↓ 1.71 ||↓ 0.11% |
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.0910|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.461|
|EUR 1||BDT 92.7613|
|INR 1||BDT 1.17948|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<