Private sector credit growth increased significantly in August mainly due to higher trade financing by banks for settling import payment obligations, officials and bankers said. The growth in credit flow to private sector rose to 17.84% in August 2017 on a year-on-year basis from 16.94% a month ago, according to the central bank’s latest statistics, released on Thursday. On July 26, the central bank in its first half-yearly (H1) MPS for the current fiscal year (FY), 2017-18, projected that the private sector credit would grow at 16.2% in December 2017 and at 16.3% in June 2018. The country’s overall imports grew by more than 31.0% to USD 9.42 billion in the July-August period of this FY, from USD 7.16 billion in the same period of the last FY. The total outstanding loans with the private sector rose to BDT 7,918.07 billion in August 2017 from BDT 7,780.16 billion in July 2017. It was BDT 6,719.25 billion in August 2016.
BB jacks up dollar sales to keep exchange rate stable
Bangladesh Bank has already surpassed its fiscal 2016-17’s sales figure of US dollar in the first three months of the current fiscal year as it scrambles to prevent the slide of the taka against the greenback. “The local currency would have depreciated to Tk 85 against a dollar if the central bank had not intervened,” said a BB official. Falling remittance and a surge in imports have created a scarcity of the US dollar, which is mostly used in international transactions and, as a result, the world’s primary reserve currency. From July 1 to October 5, the central bank has sold $199 million to banks. Last fiscal year, it sold $175 million and purchased $1.93 billion. On October 4, the inter-bank exchange rate of the US dollar stood at Tk 80.80, up from Tk 80.60 on July 2. An importer has to pay at least Tk 1 more than the inter-bank rate for making their payments.
Sales of national savings certificates soared 15.81% in the first two months of the fiscal year as people continue to park their funds in the instrument given the low interest rates at banks. Sales of savings tools hit a record BDT 523.3 billion in fiscal 2016-17 — overshooting the government target of BDT 196.1 billion. Banks are offering hardly 7.0% as interest rate on deposits whereas the rates offered by the national savings certificates are between 11.04% and 11.76%. In the months of July and August, BDT 90.3 billion worth of savings instruments were sold, according to the Directorate of National Savings. Last fiscal year, the government did not borrow from banks at all; rather, it paid back BDT 180.3 billion to banks against its borrowing of BDT 48.1 billion in fiscal 2015-16, according to data from the BB.
As of June this year, the amount of accumulated default loans stood at around BDT 1.2 trillion, which is 12.0% of Bangladesh’s GDP. To give a more vivid parallel, the sum is enough to construct four Padma bridges. The defaulted amount rose to BDT 741.5 billion on June 30, from BDT 621.7 billion in December last year, BB data show. The defaulted amount is 10.14% of the BDT 7.3 trillion credit disbursed by 57 commercial banks. The default loans of eight state-run and specialized commercial banks amounted to BDT 401.0 billion, while it was BDT 317.3 billion for private banks and BDT 23.2 billion for foreign commercial banks. The defaulted loan is 12.6% of Bangladesh’s GDP which is BDT 9.5 trillion as per the constant price. The constant price of Indian GDP is USD 274.0 billion while its defaulted loan is USD 154.0 billion, 7.43% of the GDP. The amount of unpaid loans has been increasing by leaps and bounds since 2011 when the total defaulted loan was BDT 226.4 billion, an amount equal to 6.12.0% of the total disbursed credit till that period. In the first six months this year, the defaulted loans of 40 private banks increased by BDT 20.0 billion. At the end of last year, private banks’ defaulted loan was BDT 297.3 billion. According to the circular, banks will relax conditions for down payments in case of rescheduling farm loans, SME and cottage loans and micro credit. Debtors will get six months to pay installments after rescheduling their loans.
Industrial imports increased by more than 26% or USD 1.54 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year (FY) mainly due to a surge in capital machinery imports, officials said. The actual imports in terms of settlement of letters of credit (LCs) rose to USD 7.38 billion during the July-August period of FY 2017-18 from USD 5.84 in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the central bank’s latest report. On the other hand, opening of LCs, generally known as import orders, jumped 57.45% to USD 8.33 billion in the period from USD 5.29 billion in the same period of FY 2016-17. Imports of capital machinery or industrial equipment used for production went up by 37.88% to USD 1.89 billion in the first two months of the FY18 as against USD 1.37 billion in the July-August period of the previous fiscal year. Imports of industrial raw materials increased by 19.26% to USD 3.05 billion during the period from USD 2.56 billion in the same period previous fiscal year. The country’s overall imports grew by more than 31% during the July-August period of the FY 18 mainly due to higher import of food grains and capital machinery.
Mobile phone operators yesterday alleged that charge per transaction for mobile money transfer service in Bangladesh was much higher than that in neighbouring countries and that the operators were not getting due revenue. In India, the transfer charge is 0.65 percent of the amount being moved while the market leader in Bangladesh was exacting 1.85 percent, they said. Holding 90 percent of the market share, bKash shares 7 percent of this 1.85 percent transfer charge with mobile operators under the contract for availing SMS and unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) services. On an average, 10 crore SMS and 13 crore USSD sessions (one transfer meaning one session) are generated every day for the money transfer service providers, said the operators. The transfer service providers give out some of these to customers for free and mobile operators say they are in the dark about the volume. Since this does not generate revenue, the operators say they lose out under the contract’s “revenue sharing clause”.
City Bank has recently appointed Adil lslam as its Additional Managing Director. He has more than 26 years of banking and business leadership experience, gained through working in various international banks and financial institutions in Southeast Asia and Middle East. He has knowledge and experience in business development, risk governance, organizational transformation and driving sustainable business growth.
Many foreign individuals and institutions are now showing interest to invest in Bangladesh’s stock market, said M Khairul Hossain, chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission. Net foreign investments in the capital market trebled year-on-year in the first eight months of the year as overseas investors were anticipating a positive market scenario, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange data. Foreign investors bought shares worth BDT 30.5 billion and sold shares worth BDT 26.1 billion to take their net investment for the January-August period to BDT 4.5 billion. BSEC chairman emphasized improving institutional participation in stocks and said around 70-80% investment in India is institutional while it is only 10-20% in Bangladesh.
The government has borrowed nearly US$ 1.0 billion (100 crore) from international lenders in favour of its different entities, officials said. In late September, the standing committee on non-concessional loan (SCNCL) of the government approved six loan deals in this regard. Some US$ 550.40 million has been approved to install the floating terminal -single point mooring (SPM)- with double pipeline. Of the loan, US$ 467.84 million would come from the Chinese government while US$ 82.56 million would be provided by the government, according to the approval given at the standing committee meeting. The tenure of the loan is 15 years with a five-year grace period. The rate of interest is 2 per cent and commitment and management fees are 0.25 per cent. The project will be implemented by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
THIQAH, a newly formed business and investment platform of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is planning to host an international investment conference in Dhaka in January next to boost cross-border investment. The event is planned to bring together potential foreign investors from IDB’s 57 member countries as well as its non-borrowing members like the United States, China and Japan. A high-level IDB delegation recently met with the chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to discuss issues related to the timing and nature of the event. The conference is aimed at attracting foreign investment and boosting trade in areas like readymade garments, pharmaceuticals and shipbuilding. There are ample opportunities for boosting Bangladesh’s trade relations with IDB’s African members in readymade garment (RMG) sector. The 7th Five-Year Plan (FYP) lays utmost thrust on the incremental inflow of FDI for the plan period (FY16-FY20). According to the Plan document, increasing the inflow of FDI to 3.0 per cent of GDP would be critical for achieving the financing of the investment target of the 7th Plan.
Bangladesh sees higher foreign aid flow in July-August
The foreign aid flow to the country over the period of first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal year (FY18) continued its encouraging trend as the aid disbursement during the period was USD 208.8 million higher than the corresponding period of the last fiscal year (FY17), reports UNB. According to the latest data of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), the overall foreign aid disbursement in July-August this year totaled USD 492.10 million against USD 283.30 million in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Out of the total disbursed amount during the period, the portion of loan was USD 490 million while the portion of grant was USD 2.1 million. The ERD data shows that of the total disbursed amount of USD 283.3 million aid in July-August in the last fiscal year, the portion of loan was USD 257.30 million while that of grant was USD 26 million. Against the disbursement, the overall foreign aid commitment for the month of July-August this year was USD 725.2 million of which USD 662.7 million came as commitment for loans while the rest of USD 62.5 million as grants.
Government’s revenue authorities have decided to conduct afresh an impact assessment of the new VAT law, pending its now-deferred enforcement, as skepticism cropped up. Sources said the National Board of Revenue (NBR) made the decision as some field-level scrutiny pointed out merits and demerits of the set flat rate and multiple rates of VAT. The Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act 2012, readied to have been implemented from July 1 this year, was eventually deferred until July 1, 2019. And the latest move is made to assess its positive and negative impacts on the consumers before its deferred execution. A mitigation strategy would be devised if the impact assessment found any adverse effect of the new VAT law on the economy at large. Both public and private sectors would participate in the impact assessment so that opinion of businesses could be incorporated into the reckonings.
Bangladesh-bound shipping cargoes entail higher freight charges for longer stay time of vessels in the country, forcing retailers to pay the price in a knock-on-effect, sources said. The freight escalation is impacting mostly on imported goods, procured for local consumption, while the garment exporters, who are again importers of raw materials meant for making clothing, face less strain as cost is usually borne by buyers. People both in shipping and import circles said freight charges on routes like Chittagong-China ports had already been doubled while on Europe and American routes rose by more than 50 per cent. They also said bulk carriers which are facing downward freights across the globe were also charging higher while loading cargos for Bangladesh.
Experts in a seminar recently said equity market should be a regular source of finance to industrialise the country. As part of observing the World Investor Week, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) organised the seminar on ‘capital market & economy; role of investors’ at ICAB Auditorium in the city Friday. “Ensuring smooth operation of primary and secondary market, increasing financial literacy among investors, minimizing volatility of the market, expanding issuer base, creating both individual and institutional investors, enhancing efficiency of the brokerage house, broadening innovative financial services, initiating knowledge-based trading, rationalizing cost of generating funds and costs of funds, lessening formalities involved and required documents, introducing self-registration system are also needed to develop the stock market,” the seminar pointed out, said an ICAB statement. Prof. Dr. M. Khairul Hossain, Chairman, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Three BSEC Commissioners Prof. Md. Helal Uddin Nizami, Md. Amzad Hossain and Dr. Swapan Kumar Bala FCMA were present as Special Guests.
Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has ranked Bangladesh as the world’s sixth largest unconnected market in terms of mobile telephone users with its 46.2 per cent population being deprived of getting connected through mobile phone. Besides, Bangladesh has been ranked 114th in 2017 from 119 in 2016 in terms of using broadband or fixed internet connections use as only 3.8 per cent of its people using the service, leaving 96.2 per cent out of the coverage, showed a BCSD report, The State of Broadband 2017, published recently. The BCSD was established by ITU and UNESCO in 2010 with a view to boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda, and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets. As per the report of BCSD, of the total 16.38 crore people of the country, 7.57 crore are yet to get connected through mobile handset.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals has announced it may buy 85.22 percent share in Nuvista Pharma to strengthen its position in hormones and steroids segments. Beximco Pharmaceuticals entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the hormones and steroid drugs-maker at a programme in Dhaka on Thursday. Nazmul Hassan, managing director of Beximco Pharma, and Akhter Matin Chaudhury, chairman of Nuvista Pharma, signed the primary deal. The proposed acquisition remains subject to due diligence and negotiation and completion of a definitive sale and purchase agreement. It is expected that the proposed acquisition will be completed by the end of December, said Beximco Pharma in a statement.
Orion Development Consortium is set to develop a tourism resort and entertainment village in Cox’s Bazar — billed as the largest in the country — with an estimated investment of about $119 million (around Tk 960 crore) under the public-private partnership framework. The development comes after the government in 2013 decided to set up a tourism village at the site of Parjatan Holiday Complex in Cox’s Bazar with a view to transforming the beach town into a world-class tourist destination, said an official of the Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry. Subsequently, a consulting firm was given the task of conducting a feasibility study, which has already been completed.
Major Currency Exchange Rate 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.