Both the number of accountholders having large deposits and the average volume of deposits in their bank accounts have risen significantly in a year ending March 31 last by official count. By definition in the banking world, the large account size usually begins from BDT 500 million. And, according to Bangladesh Bank data, the number of accountholders with an average deposit of BDT 1.36 billion each stands at 636. Top executives at the banks say the large accountholders comprise both individual and corporate ones. They say public corporate accounts like that of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries and Chittagong Port Authority have also significant money in the commercial banks. Many corporate clients wallow in huge amounts of money that remained idle for lack of investment opportunities. In their view the economy is expanding, and in keeping with its pace, the business operations are also rising and contributing to the enlargement of deposits. The amounts of money deposited by the large accountholders in the commercial banks grew by more than 24% to over BDT 866 billion as of March 31, 2016. And the number of very large accounts grew by 48 accounts during one year to 636. They hold 10.72% of the total money deposited with the scheduled banks as of March 31 last. The amount of total deposits with the banking system stood at BDT 8.085 trillion during the period under review with total number active accounts being over 77million.
The foreign exchange (forex) reserve has crossed the USD 31 billion-mark for the first time following upward trend of inward remittance ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha and lower import payment pressure on the economy, officials said. The forex reserve rose to USD 31.16 billion on Wednesday, setting a new record, from USD 30.98 billion of the previous working day, according to the central bank’s latest statistics, released Thursday. The forex reserve was USD 30.0 billion on June 27 last. Bangladesh’s lower import payments also helped raise the country’s forex reserve position, according to the central banker. Stable exchange of the local currency against the US dollar has encouraged the expatriate Bangladeshis to send the hard-earned money to their homeland that also helps boost the forex reserve. The country received nearly 941 million as remittances between August 01 and August 26 from Bangladeshi nationals who are working abroad, the BB data showed.
8.0pc GDP growth can only help absorb surplus labour force: Even 7.4 pc can’t do it, says ADB-ILO report
The Bangladesh economy needs to grow at 8.0% to absorb the existing labour force which has been surplus for the last 15 years, an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-International Labour Organisation (ILO) report. “Absorption of surplus labour would be possible only when GDP growth exceeds 6.5% a year. But to fully absorb the surplus labour in the economy of about 15 years, an annual GDP growth of 8.0% would be required unless development strategy is changed substantially and the pattern of growth is made more employment-intensive,” said the report.
Bangladesh to be a ‘growth outperformer’ in 2016-25
Bangladesh has been picked up as a growth outperformer for the next decade riding on low commodity prices, demographic dividend and expected measures aimed at improving the business environment. London-based BMI Research has picked six countries — Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines — that will be growth performers in 2016-2025. The countries “will rapidly climb the GDP country rankings between now and 2025,” it said. The six countries are expected to gain an average of 6.5 places each in global GDP rankings by 2025, with Ethiopia (+12) and Bangladesh (+11) making the most gains, said BMI Research, which is owned by the Fitch Group. Bangladesh is the 47th largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product, according to the World Bank’s 2015 ranking. The BMI analysis said three factors will be the key to growth. “Economic growth will be strongest in net commodity importers that have positive demographic trends and economic reform momentum.” With regards to commodities, net commodity importers will benefit from generally lower commodity prices over 2016-2025 compared to 2006-2011, particularly for oil. Bangladesh relies heavily on imports for oil.
The government, in a major decision, has stopped providing new gas connections to commercial consumers and suspended their load transfers to ensure its uses by consumers having value-adding capacity, said officials. The new decision will help reduce wastage of the natural gas. This is the first time that the government officially stopped new gas connections to commercial consumers. The government earlier stopped new gas connections to households to check wastage and ensure its efficient usages. The commercial consumers include restaurants, residential hotels and guest houses, private hospitals, clinics, laboratories, educational institutions, community centers, community clubs, convention centers and snack and bakery-makers. The decision came into effect from August 14, said a notification issued by state-run Petrobangla.
The cost of importing oil under government-to-government arrangement will be lower than under open tendering. The premium, which is the cost of shipping petroleum products and includes freight charges and insurance, will be USD 2.3 per barrel for gas oil and USD 3.0 for jet fuel for imports made between July this year and March next year. In contrast, under the open tender that took place in April for the first time since 2005, the premium stood at USD 2.37 USD 2.57 per barrel for gas oil and USD 3.06-USD3.54 for jet fuel. The development comes after the cabinet committee on economic affairs directed Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation in March to pursue rates under government-to-government deals in line with the open market price. More than six lakh tons of gas oil and jet fuel will be imported in the government-to-government arrangement from Kuwait Petroleum Corporation in the nine-month period. The petroleum price is always as per the market rate but various quarters raised questions about whether the premium rate was being fixed properly, said an energy ministry official.
Mobile companies should not be allowed in e-commerce business: Say e-commerce entrepreneurs
Mobile phone companies in e-commerce business will put the local e-commerce business at severe risk, said speakers at a seminar in Dhaka on Saturday. The mobile companies are allowing their potential customers to visit their sites for free whereas other e-commerce users have to pay to get access to such web sites, the speakers said at the seminar titled ‘Proper Guideline for Local E-Commerce Business — Net Neutrality and Healthy Competition’ organized by the Bangladesh Association for Software and Information Services at its Karwan Bazar auditorium. The BASIS repercussion came one week after the leading mobile phone company Grameenphone launched an e-commerce site, GP Shop, to sell latest smartphones, wearable gadgets and internet modems. The key component of e-commerce business is the internet and the mobile phone companies can control that, said Rokomari.com chief executive Mahmudual Hasan Shohag. Former BASIS president Fahim Mashroor said that in order to create a level-playing field in the e-commerce business there needed to be net neutrality. BASIS president Mostafa Jabbar said that the government should formulate e-commerce guidelines to protect the interest of the small e-commerce businesses.
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