Credit growth outpaces deposits
Overall deposit growth in the banking sector recorded a falling trend recently while credit growth increased significantly, indicating a strong possibility of a tight liquidity situation in the near future, bankers and officials said. The rate of deposit growth, year-on-year, came down to 10.88% at the end of July last from 12.21% three months before, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. The deposit growth was 13.13% in December 31, 2016. Currently, the average interest rate on deposit, offered by the commercial banks stands at below 5.0% while the average yield rate of savings instruments is 11%. The inflow of remittance dropped by more than 39.0% to about USD854 million — the lowest monthly receipts in seven years — in September 2017 from USD1.42 billion in August 2017. It was USD1.06 billion in September last year. However, the flow of inward remittances increased by 4.38% to USD3.39 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year (FY 2017-18) from USD3.24 billion in the same period of FY2016-17. All banks’ deposits, excluding inter-bank balance, rose to over BDT 9.50 trillion as on July 27 from about BDT 9.14 trillion as on March 30 this year. The aggregate deposits amounted to BDT 9.09 trillion as on December 31, 2016. The weighted average interest rate on deposits rose to 4.93% in August from 4.89% in July. It was 4.84% in June this calendar year.
Cut in lending rates boosts loan growth of House Building Finance
Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC) has revised down its lending rate in line with the market, which is helping the state-owned finance provider to achieve significant loan growth. The financial institution cut its lending rate for rural clients to 8.5% in July from 10.0% earlier while it is now 9.5% for home loan borrowers in Dhaka and Chittagong, down from 12.0%. The institution disbursed BDT 780.0 million in loans in the third quarter of the current year compared to BDT 530.0 million in the same period last year. The corporation received loan applications worth BDT 90.0 million in its three-day Housing Finance Fair-2017 that ended yesterday in the capital’s Sonargaon hotel. The financial institution also got the go-ahead to increase its number of branches to 100 from the existing 29 to provide more rural people with loans, the top executive said. It also received regulatory approval to increase its capital to BDT 1,000 crore from existing BDT 1.1 billion, he said. Its highest loan ceiling has also been reset at BDT 100 million crore in July from BDT 5.0 million earlier, said Daulatunnaher Khanam, a general manager of BHBFC.
Exports to US market inch up in Q1
Export income from the United States slightly grew to 3.95% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year due in large part to the moderate performance of apparels. Bangladesh’s shipment to its largest export market in the first quarter totalled USD1,453.61 million in July-September of the fiscal 2017-18, compared with USD 1,398.34 million in the same period of the previous fiscal. The amount represents 16.78% of the country’s total export earnings during the period, reports UNB. According to the statistics compiled recently by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the major exports to the US market during the July-September period were woven garment (USD 938.85 million), knitwear (USD 367.53 million), home textiles (USD 33.49 million) and cap (USD 33.64 million). During the period, around 27.64% of the country’s total woven garment exports entered the US market, followed by knitwear 9.81% and home textiles 15.34%. Despite political unrest, Bangladesh’s export earnings from the US in fiscal 2014-15 were impressive with USD 5.783 billion, up from USD 5.583 billion in fiscal 2013-14. Export earnings from the USA, however, witnessed a 6.01% fall during the last fiscal (2016-17) compared to the previous fiscal year (2015-16) mostly due to the moderate performance of the garment sector. The overall export earnings of Bangladesh in the last fiscal year (2016-17) totaled USD 34,835.09 million against the strategic target of USD37,000 million, which is also 5.85% short of the strategic goal.
BRAC Bank’s declaration on bKash under regulators’ scanner
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a move to scrutinise BRAC Bank’s recently published price sensitive information on its subsidiary bKash’s announcement about selling its (bkash) shares to a strategic investor. According to a senior official of BSEC, BRAC Bank did not follow due procedure, mentioned in a BSEC directive, in publishing the price sensitive information regarding bkash. On October 10, BRAC Bank published the price sensitive information stating that bKash, a subsidiary of BRAC Bank, entered into a non-binding ‘Summary of Terms’ under which a strategic investor might acquire a minority shareholding in bKash. bKash started as a joint venture between BRAC Bank and US-based Money in Motion LLC. In April, 2013, International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, became an equity partner of bKash, while Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation became an investor of the company in April, 2014.
Food inflation highest in 38 months
Food inflation increased 55 basis points in September to hit 7.87 percent — the highest in 38 months — on the back of the massive production loss of the staple rice. In recent months, rice prices rose to record highs, reflecting the dwindling supplies following flood-induced losses to the main boro crop coupled with reduced production and imports in 2016. About 20 lakh tonnes of boro crop have been damaged, according to the food ministry. In September, coarse rice price in Dhaka city was Tk 52.54 a kilogram in contrast to Tk 34.62 a year earlier, according to data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. In the same manner, fine rice price in September was Tk 62.46 to Tk 66.30, which was Tk 53.90 to Tk 55 a year earlier. According to the latest household income and expenditure survey, the consumption of rice declined but the contribution of the staple is still high in people’s total food intake. The average quantity of rice intake decreased to 367.19 grams in 2016 from 416.01 grams in 2010. “It is mention-worthy that rice consumption is gradually decreasing in Bangladesh,” said the survey report released last week. However, during the period, consumption of vegetables, edible oil, onion, beef, chicken, egg and fish increased.
ADP spending up in first quarter
Development spending in the first quarter of fiscal 2017-18 has been higher than last year on the back of greater use of foreign aid. Between the months of July and September, the ministries and divisions spent BDT 167.6 billion, which is 10.21% of their total outlay, according to statistics from the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division. At this point last fiscal year, BDT 107.9 billion was spent, which was 8.75% of the total allocation for the annual development programme. This fiscal year, the total allocation was BDT 164,085 crore, so both in terms of percentage and amount the ADP’s implementation has been better. In the first quarter, foreign aid spending was BDT 77.7 billion, which was almost double the amount from a year earlier. Foreign aid utilisation was 12.86% during the period in contrast to 8.19% last year. Of the total outlay this year, the government’s own resource accounts for BDT 955.2 billion, about 8.48% of which was spent in the first three months.
Bangladesh top buyer of scrapped ships
Bangladesh was the top buyer of scrapped ships in the world in the third quarter of 2017, followed by India, according to a study of Brussels-based Shipbreaking Platform. During the period, 50 scrapped ships were brought to Bangladesh and 44 to India, making South Asia the most preferred destination for scrapping old vessels, which is a hazardous practice for human health and environment. A total of 227 ships were broken between the months of July and September, 124 of which ended up on the beaches in South Asia, according to the organisation which is a coalition of environmental, human and labour rights organisations. Greek ship owners sold 11 ships to the beaching yards this quarter, which is the highest, followed by South Korea and Singapore at 6 vessels each. Shipping companies from the US sold 5 vessels. Singaporean Continental Shipping Line remains the worst corporate dumper, though it currently shares this position with the Greek Anangel Shipping Enterprises and Iran Shipping Lines.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$51.84||↑0.33||↑0.64%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$57.75||↑0.52||↑0.91%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 81.68*|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.74*|
|EUR 1||BDT 96.25*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.26*|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.