BB heist: $14.54m retrieved so far
Bangladesh Bank has so far retrieved $14.54 million of the $81 million stolen from its account at the New York Federal Reserve on February 5 last year. The process of recovering the remaining $66.4 million is underway, according to a press statement of the central bank. The statement, issued on Sunday, reads a Philippines court froze $29 million that was transferred to Solaire Casino, and the issue is now subjudice at the country’s apex court. The court concerned also issued an asset preservation order (APO) to the accounts of two employees of casino owner Kim Aung, where money equivalent to $1.2 million was found. The process of sending the money back to Bangladesh is pending with a regional court in Manila.
Bangladesh Bank revises provision for undisbursed farm credits
The private commercial banks (PCBs) and foreign commercial banks (FCBs) operating in Bangladesh can now deposit 3.0% of their undisbursed farm credits with the central bank for lending within two years or forfeit the money. Under a latest revised provision, they are allowed to deposit 3.0% of their undisbursed farm credits from announced annual targets with the Bangladesh Bank (BB) as an alternative remedial measure. According to a senior BB official, the banks are now allowed both the options-deposit the total undisbursed funds for an unlimited time or 3.0% of that amount under a two-year timeline. The central bank earlier had asked all PCBs and FCBs to fix agricultural-credit-disbursement target at least 2.5% of their total loans and advances. Meanwhile, the farm-loan disbursement grew by nearly 23.0% or BDT 7.9 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year (FY) following the strengthening of monitoring and supervision by the central bank. According to the central bank’s latest statistics, disbursement of farm credits rose to BDT 42.4 billion during the July-September period of the FY 2017-18 from BDT 34.4 billion in the same period of the last fiscal.
Government’s bank borrowing in the negative
The government’s net borrowing from the banking sector was in the negative in the first quarter of the fiscal year thanks to a deluge of funds by way of savings instruments. Between July and September, the government borrowed BDT 2,132.30 crore from banks and repaid BDT 52.7 billion to take its net borrowing from the channel to BDT 31.4 billion in the negative, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. In the first two months of the fiscal year, savings instruments worth BDT 90.3 billion were sold, up 15.81% year-on-year, according to data from the Department of National Savings. The rate of interest on funds borrowed from banks is between 2.98% and 8.07%, while that on savings instruments is 11.04-11.76%. The rate of interest on funds borrowed from banks is between 2.98% and 8.07%, while that on savings instruments is 11.04-11.76%. This fiscal year, the government plans to borrow BDT 282.0 billion from the banking system, but at the rate the savings instruments are being sold, the target seems highly unlikely, said a high official of the BB
Islami Bank keeps investors on edge
Islami Bank’s earnings per share (EPS) has been on the decline this year, making thousands of investors concerned about the goings-on of the country’s largest private bank. The EPS is the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock and as a result is an indicator of the company’s profitability. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Islami Bank’s EPS stood at Tk 0.31, down from Tk 1.18 in the second quarter and Tk 0.62 in the first quarter, according to a posting on the Dhaka Stock Exchange website. The bank earned Tk 2.11 per share during January-September period this year, down from Tk 2.61 a year earlier. Even though the operating profit surged, the EPS declined as the bank has to maintain huge provisioning against loans that are awaiting the nod from the central bank for rescheduling, said Arastoo Khan, its chairman. In the first nine months of 2017, Islami Bank’s operating profits surged 29.24 percent to Tk 1,569 crore from a year earlier.
MTB inks corporate deal with Linnex Electronics
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) has recently signed an agreement with Linnex Electronics Bangladesh Limited at a simple ceremony held at the bank’s Corporate Head Office, MTB Centre, Gulshan in Dhaka. Under this agreement, all Employees, Card Holders, Payroll Customers & Privilege Customers of Mutual Trust Bank Limited will get 20 per cent discount on all home appliances and mobile phones of Linnex Electronics Bangladesh Limited. Golam Shahriar Kabir, Chief Operating Officer, Linnex Electronics Bangladesh Limited and Syed Rafiqul Haq, Deputy Managing Director & Chief Business Officer, Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. (MTB) signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
Mercantile Bank arranges event on ‘UDAYAN’
Mercantile Bank Limited (MBL) recently organised a get together with the start-up level entrepreneurs under its new product titled ‘UDAYAN’ held at bank’s Training Institute in the city, said a statement. A.K.M. Shaheed Reza, Chairman of the Bank was present as the Chief Guest and Kazi Masihur Rahman, Managing Director & CEO of the bank presided over the programme. The bank has initiated this product to develop entrepreneurship among the young graduates who have talent to be innovative & creative but lack initial fund. Under this ‘UDAYAN’ product Mercantile Bank Limited provides fund of smaller size at a comparatively lower rate of interest. Bank’s Chairman Mr. Reza said that, as a part of responsibilities to the society, Mercantile Bank actually has a plan to develop some successful new entrepreneurship and ventures.
Green Delta Ins settles claim of Brac Bank SME
Green Delta Insurance held a claim cheque handover ceremony at the head office of the company recently to settle a claim of BRAC Bank SME. Chief Guest of the event was Mr. Md. Shafiqur Rahman Patwary, Chairman of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) while Mr. Sheikh Kabir Hossain, President of Bangladesh Insurance Association was the special guest. Mr. Gokul Chand Das, Member, IDRA was also present. Managing Director & CEO of Green Delta Insurance Ms. Farzana Chowdhury and Advisor of Green Delta Insurance Mr. Nasir A Choudhury were also present along with the other high officials, said a statement.
Jamuna Bank, Silkways Card ink deal
An agreement was signed between Jamuna Bank and Silkways Card & Printing Ltd. (Silkcard) recently for Card Personalising Service. Under this agreement, Jamuna Bank will personalise all types of Visa chip cards from Silkcard. A.K.M. Saifuddin Ahamed, Deputy Managing Director, Adnan Mahmud Ashraf Uz Zaman, Head of Card and ADC Division from Jamuna Bank and Sk Farid Ahmed Manik, Managing Director, Mustafizur Rahaman, Head of Marketing from Silkcard were present, among others, in the ceremony, said a statement.
Mirsarai economic zone is set to be the first state-owned industrial enclave to see industries operating, said Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority. None of the 60 announced state-owned economic zones is yet to become operational although seven years have passed since the formation of Beza. But at the private economic zones, industrial units have been set up and production is going on. “You will see the wheels rolling in 2018,” he said, adding that it would not be right to see the state-owned economic zones and private economic zones separately. The private economic zones are also Beza’s initiative, he told The Daily Star in an interview recently. “We approached the leading businesses to popularise the private economic zones and they came on board one by one,” he said, adding that nearly Tk 10,000 crore has been invested in the private economic zones.
Teletalk will distribute 20 lakh SIMs free of cost among women in three months, as part of an effort to provide them with easy access to internet to ensure women empowerment. State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim launched the scheme under a new package—Aparajita—at a ceremony at the telecom division yesterday. A woman can collect two Aparajita SIMs from the customer care centres and retailers of the state-owned mobile operator, Tarana said. An Aparajita user will get Tk 10 as preloaded balance with a validity of three months, Teletalk officials said. The users will also enjoy 1 GB data and 10 minutes on-net and 5 minutes off-net talktime for free for the next seven days, they added. The mobile connections will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.