Parliamentary body for further probing graft in two private banks
The parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry suggested Sunday that Bangladesh Bank should further investigate irregularities and corruption in two private commercial banks. The committee also recommended ensuring exemplary punishment for the persons to be found involved in irregularities to restore clients’ confidence and rescue the two banks from possible bankruptcy. It also asked the central bank to submit a detailed probe report to the committee within next two months. Presided over by its chairman Abdur Razzak at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, the committee came up with the recommendations at its 21st meeting based on the report submitted by the Bank and Financial Institutions Division of the Finance Ministry on NRB Commercial Bank and Farmers Bank. Although the committee expressed dissatisfaction over irregularities and corruption, it does not want any public institution dealing with people’s money should be closed down. Bangladesh Bank has also agreed with the committee’s decision and assured it of stern action against the culprits. Besides, the committee warned Islami Bank against their recent aggressive lending after reconstitution of the board and suggested submitting a report on the borrower and which sector the bank is providing loan and what amount.
Bangladesh Bank (BB), banks review cheaper forex loan situation today
The central bank is scheduled to meet top executives of 29 commercial banks today to review the credit exposure of offshore banking units (OBUs) of the banks as well as the overall credit and deposit situation. The latest move of Bangladesh Bank (BB) came against the backdrop of rising demand for the comparatively cheaper foreign-currency loans from the OBUs.Total outstanding loans with OBUs of the banks jumped by more than 19.0% or BDT 75.44 billion in the first half of the current calendar year, officials said. The amount rose to BDT 468.74 billion as on June 30 this calendar year from BDT 393.30 billion six months before, according to the central bank’s latest statistics. It was BDT 419.72 billion as on March 31, 2017. Total exposure of the OBUs, borrowing from other sources, foreign currency transactions particularly BC (Bill for Collection) selling and TT (Telegraphic Transfer) clean would be discussed at the meeting.
The ‘flexible’ Shariah practice of Islamic banking in Bangladesh
Islamic banking in Bangladesh is taking shape rapidly with partial practice of Shariah amid the absence of a proper regulatory framework, posing threat to religious belief and profit margin of the banks’ clients and investors. Islamic banking, an ideological banking and finance system, based on a frame within the Shariah principles, has been initiated aiming to provide economically viable financial intermediation alternatives to conventional banking. The intermediation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ among customers across all segments is consistent with Shariah intending to eliminate interest by developing a real sector, generating permissible (halal) activities, promoting profit and loss sharing, establishing social equity, upholding values and maintaining purity of contract.
New MD for Federal Insurance
AMM Mohiuddin Chowdhury has recently been appointed as CEO and managing director of Federal Insurance Company Ltd. Prior to the appointment, he was CEO and managing director of Republic Insurance Company Ltd. The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority confirmed the appointment last week, the insurer said in a statement yesterday. Chowdhury also served Karnaphuli Insurance Company Ltd, Northern General Insurance Company Ltd, Dhaka Insurance Ltd and Republic Insurance Company Ltd in various positions.
Focus on framework to boost private sector
Bangladesh needs internal institutional framework and stable energy policy to boost private sector for overall economic development. Experts made the remarks at a seminar organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) on Sunday in Dhaka. “The private sector stakeholders will be able to share advocacy with the government’s policy makers through the frame work,” said CPD’s Distinguished Fellow Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya. Policy Research Institute’s Executive Director Ahsan H. Mansur said local and foreign investors want to have a reliable source of power at stable rates to run their business. He suggested formulating a stable energy policy. The economic governance is also necessary as the country’s banking system is not going into the right direction, he said. State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan was also present.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) eases bonded facilities for EZ units
The National Board of Revenue has amended the Bangladesh Economic Zone Warehousing Station Rules relaxing the provision related to sales of finished products in the local market for consumption. Factories located in the economic zones (EZs) will now be able to sell their products in the local market after paying duties and taxes applicable only on raw materials imported under the bonded warehouse facility instead of finished goods, according to the amendment. Customs wing of the revenue board on October 24 issued a statutory regulatory order incorporating the provision of selling finished products for home consumption with the payment of tax for imported raw materials. Officials of the NBR on Sunday told New Age that all industries in the EZs irrespective their export status would enjoy bonded warehouse facility under which they would be allowed to import raw materials without paying duties and taxes for the purpose of production of finished goods. Factories can also collect the required raw materials from the local market.
Dhaka signs USD 550 million loan deal with Beijing
China is set to finance USD 550.4 million for a major infrastructure project in Bangladesh to install single point mooring at Moheshkhali and lay two pipelines to transport imported fuel oils to onshore storage in Chittagong. On Sunday, Economic Relations Division secretary Kazi Shafiqul Azam and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ma Mingqiang signed a framework agreement in this regard. He said once the project is completed, the government will save approximately USD 120.0 million per year. Unloading of imported fuel oil from a 100,000 DWT vessel would take two days while it takes 10-11 days now, Nasrul said, adding that it would also be possible to eliminate theft and wastage of fuel oils during their loading and unloading to and from lighterage.
Rapid urbanization powers pest control business
The number of pest control operators is gradually increasing due to the menace of pests and rodents even as health hazards remain a concern, insiders have said. Rapid urbanization, uncleanliness and dampness in households are major reasons for the infestation of insects in establishments, thereby creating a scope for the pest control business, according to the insiders. More than 100 pest control operators are providing pest control services for households, offices, financial institutions and industrial units in the capital. The number of operators was 25-30 a decade ago. Pest control business started in the city in early 90s, which has been booming in the last several years and services are being expanded to other parts of the country as well, they added.
Farmers face economic crisis due to sharp price fall
Prices of shrimp (galda) have been declined around 50 per cent in the international market. Exporters are also experiencing internal problems. As a result, they are trying to recover the losses buying shrimp at a low rate. Lobsters are being sold in the local market. The shrimp farmers in the southwestern region are facing economic crisis due to falling price of the lobsters. According to the Fisheries Office, there are more than one million shrimp enclosures (gher) in Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira and Jessore districts. At the time of marketing, shrimp is being sold at a half rate of the international market. Lobster is being sold at Tk 500 to Tk 650 per kg whereas the same size lobster was sold at Tk 800 to Tk 1200 per kg last year. Fisheries officer of Dighalia upazila HM Badruzzaman said the situation has been created due to fall of the currency of the European Union. But the complexity of the new and old rules of fish trading has had some impact in this regard. In Khulna division, Dumuria is renowned to produce quality lobster and shrimp. There are about 25,000 lobster’s farms. The farmers were interested in enclosure business expecting a significant profit but their dream is going to be faded now-a-days.
The route between Chennai port to Mongla port will save shipment time
A new sea route between Bangladesh and India was inaugurated on Saturday, by sailing a RORO ship carrying 185 trucks from Chennai Port to Mongla Port. India’s Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari digitally flagged off the ship from Chennai Port. Nitin said the cargo through sea route would save at least 15-20 days time compared to road transport. He also said that Ashok Leyland used to ship vehicles to Bangladesh by road, which required travelling a distance of about 1500 kilometers. “For this trip alone that involves transport of 185 trucks, a total of about 3 lakh (300,000) kilometers of road travel will be saved as the land route is longer and much time is lost at the congested Petrapole-Benapole check point at the Bangladesh-India border,” the minister said. He called upon all automobile manufactures to use coastal shipping mode for transporting their vehicles, reports BSS citing a release of the Ministry of Shipping, India.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||5,995.41||↓ 22.84||↓ 0.38%|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$53.95||↑0.05||↑0.09%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$60.46||↑0.02||↑0.03%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 81.90|
|GBP 1||BDT 107.57|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.11|
|INR 1||BDT 1.27|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.