Private lenders outperform others
Local private banks saw their credit growth accelerate in comparison to state and foreign banks due to the race for making more profit than others. The credit growth of private banks, whose share in the total credit comes to 72.48 percent, accelerated 18.13 percent year-on-year on June 30 this year. However, the state-owned commercial banks’ credit grew by 8.48 percent during the same period, whose share in the total credit is 19.79 percent. On the other hand, the foreign banks, whose share in the total credit, comes to 8.19 percent, accelerated 10.20 percent. The sector’s overall credit stood at Tk 642,173 crore, up 15.42 percent year-on-year.
Islami Bank recasts itself to stay on as leader
Islami Bank has put itself in good stead for future after it restructured its board with a dozen of new faces with experience and credibility to deal with employees and investors. Of the 12 new faces in the 19-member board, eight are independent directors and four shareholder directors. The set of new directors has already been able to create vibrancy among the bank’s 13,500 employees. For instance, the newly-composed board has hiked the salaries of all employees by 20 percent from July 1. Though Islami Bank is the largest private bank, it was not among the 20 best employers in terms of salary in the sector. But with the latest hike, it has leapfrogged to the top 10 best rankings. “We are very happy with the latest pay raise, which has happened after 4 years,” said a senior official posted at Islami Bank’s headquarters. The newly-composed but highly capable board has changed many of the wrongly pre-conceived notions about the bank, according to its employees.
Cheques are almost fully MICR now
Clearing of bank cheques is now almost fully in Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) cheques. In the last fiscal year (2015-2016), only Tk 10.57 billion was cleared in the inter-bank transaction using non-MICR cheque while value of MICR cheque clearing stood at Tk 16.69 trillion (Tk 16694.65 billion). The amount was 14 per cent higher than the previous fiscal year (FY15). MICR is a technology used to verify the legitimacy or originality of paper documents. Special ink sensitive to magnetic fields is used in the printing of certain characters on the original documents. Information can be encoded in the magnetic characters.
Inspect NRB Commercial Bank, court asks BB
The High Court asked Bangladesh Bank to carry out an inspection of NRB Commercial Bank after allegations of irregularities were brought by a director of the bank. Barrister M Ashraful Islam, a lawyer for AM Tushar Iqbal Rahman, the director, confirmed the HC order issued on Thursday. The bank was founded in 2013 by a group of expatriate Bangladeshis living in different countries. Taking loans by directors in fictitious names, and forging signatures of some directors who live abroad and did not come to Bangladesh in the last three years were the major allegations against the bank’s Chairman Farasath Ali, Vice-chairman Toufique Rahman Chowdhury and Managing Director Dewan Mujibur Rahman. Other irregularities include allowing borrowers to attend board meetings and lavish spending in decoration of bank branches. “The High Court has directed the central bank to carry out an inspection under section 44 of the Bank Companies Act 1991,” Islam said.
Four state-owned banks disburse Tk 360cr loan for rawhide purchase
Four state-owned commercial banks has already disbursed Tk 360 crore out of their disbursement target of Tk 610 crore among rawhide traders for buying skins of sacrificial animals during Eid-ul-Azha to be celebrated in the country on September 13. Banks provide loan to rawhide traders every year for buying skins of sacrificial animals as the rawhide collected during the Eid-ul-Azha to cater much of Bangladesh’s demand for leather. Like last year, Janata Bank is providing the highest Tk 250 crore loan to 20 traders for the rawhide purchase this year. Rupali Bank is disbursing Tk 160 crore, Agrani Bank Tk 130 crore while Sonali Bank Tk 70 crore.
Mobile banking transactions Jump by 37pc
Annual mobile banking transaction posted 37 per cent growth in the last fiscal year (FY16), according to the latest statistics of Bangladesh Bank. It showed that value of the financial transaction through the mobile banking system reached Tk1.96 trillion (Tk196061.5 crore) in FY16 while the amount was Tk1.42 trillion (Tk1422928.2 crore) in FY15. The central bank statistics also showed that mobile banking transaction increased in every quarter of the last fiscal year. To put it simply, mobile banking is a system that allows customers of any bank or financial institution to make his or her financial transactions using a mobile phone. Cash-in is the most popular mobile banking service followed by cash-out. Both the services account around 80 per cent of the total transaction while person-to-person accounts around 19 per cent.
bKash pays Tk 139cr for using mobile networks
Top mobile money provider bKash has paid about Tk 139 crore in the last three years to the mobile operators for using their networks to send messages to account holders against their transactions. Mobile money users traditionally use unstructured supplementary service data or USSD channels to provide services to its customers. USSD is a global system for mobile communication technology that is used to send texts between a mobile phone and an application in the network. In Bangladesh, MFS providers share 7 percent of earnings of MSS charges or USSD session earnings with the mobile operators. In 2015 alone, bKash paid Tk 67 crore to four mobile operators — Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Airtel — for using their USSD channels, said Zahedul Islam, spokesman for bKash. A major portion of that network fee went to Grameenphone, which dominates the mobile industry. bKash paid Tk 46 crore and Tk 26 crore respectively in 2014 and 2013 to the mobile operators, according to Islam. “It clearly shows a remarkable increase of our contribution to the revenue earnings of the telecom operators amid growth of mobile wallets.” bKash controls more than 90 percent of the total mobile money market of 3.65 crore registered customers.
STOCKS REFINANCE SCHEME: Policy relaxation fails to lure investors
Even policy relaxation by the government for the Tk 900-crore stock-market refinance scheme for the 2010-11 crash-hit small investors has failed to attract the investors to taking loans from the fund. The government in June this year lowered the interest rate of the refinance scheme by 1.5 per cent to 7.50 per cent from 9 per cent amid a very low demand for the refinance fund. The tenure of the fund was also extended to December 2017 from December 2016 with a view to luring investors to receiving the facility.
Source tax from exports rises 40pc
Tax collection at source from export proceeds of major items, including apparel, rose 40 percent year-on-year to nearly Tk 1,500 crore in fiscal 2015-16. Taxmen though were not satisfied with the receipts, doubting if the proceeds to the state coffer were based on the firms’ true export receipts. “The figure should have been much higher because of the hike in the rate of source tax for the apparel sector last fiscal year,” said a senior official of the National Board of Revenue. In fiscal 2015-16, the rate of source tax was doubled to 0.6 percent for the apparel industry, according to taxmen. Besides, the 0.6 percent source tax was applicable for export earnings from terry towel, jute goods, frozen foods, vegetables, leather goods and packed foods last fiscal year. Bangladesh raked in $34.24 billion from exports in fiscal 2015-16 — the highest yet. The apparel sector accounted for $28.09 billion, or 82 percent of the total receipts, according to Export Promotion Bureau.
Those who earn Tk 16,000 or more must pay tax: Muhith
Finance Minister AMA Muhith today said the government is planning to bring those who earn Tk 16,000 or more a month under the tax net from the next fiscal year. He came up with the disclosure while talking to reporters after visiting Shahi Eidgah in the city. The minister also said they will finalise their decision to impose tax on all citizens within two years. “We’re thinking about imposing tax on all citizens, and it’ll be finalised by the next two years. Those who earn Tk 16,000 or more a month must pay tax, and it may be implemented from the next fiscal year,” he said.
Four more RMG factories complete CAPs
Four more apparel factories producing clothing products for Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety signatory brands have completed Corrective Action Plans (CAPs). CAPs are the requirements prescribed by the Alliance engineers to make the factories fully safe, and following the completion, a factory is declared compliant. With the new four factories, the total number of factories that completed the CAPs stood at 38 while the global retailers’ platform suspended operations with four factories for failure to show evidence of remediation progress. To date the Alliance cut ties with a total of 95 non-compliant factories, and 38 of them completed the critical repairs outlined in their CAPs. Across all active Alliance factories, 59% of all safety issues have been corrected, said a statement of the Alliance. “We are pleased to welcome Reliance Box Industries (PKG), Radial International Ltd (Units 1 & 2), Mastrade International Garments Ltd and M/S Standard Group Ltd to our growing list of factories that have completed repairs we required as part of remediation process,” said Alliance Country Director Jim Moriarty, also former U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh.
Air ticket seekers return home disappointed
At the last moment holidaymakers have failed to collect air tickets as they are not available due to huge demand To meet the increased demand, different airlines have introduced additional flights on domestic routes, but to no avail. Air passengers return home disappointed and without ticket from Hazrat Shahjalal domestic airport ticket counter. Even, passengers are not getting return ticket from all domestic destinations to Dhaka routes.
Tito Siddique, a regular passenger on the Dhaka-Jessore route, vented his expression by saying: “I was lucky. I got a ticket as I bought it 10 days ago, but I had to pay three times its actual price.” Airliner sources said now domestic routes are passing a busy time ahead of Eid. Return ticket up to September 18 have already been sold out. If anyone gets any ticket, the airlines management is charging thrice its actual fare. At present, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Novoair, US-Bangla Airlines and Regent Airways are operating flights on the domestic routes.
A e-solution for the Koshai problem?
These businesses may bring an end to your Eid morning woes. Anyone trying to sacrifice an animal in Dhaka on the morning of Eid-ul-Azha will face the problem of finding a butcher in time. Now, two online services are trying to offer a solution to this. For the first time in Dhaka, citizens can book a butcher online ahead of Eid. Dhaka Tribune has spotted two such online butcher service providers, but there may be more. One of them, Sheba Platform Limited, organised a butcher conference in the capital on September 7 from where they picked expert butchers to provide during Eid. Sheba enlisted these butchers by visiting every meat shop in the big kitchen markets in Dhaka. For this Eid, Sheba is offering 158 three-member teams of butchers. Sheba’s CEO Adnan Imtiaz Halim told Dhaka Tribune: “Generally people slaughter animals for three consecutive days. We are ready to provide butchers for all three days.”