BB to unveil MPS today

Posted by BankInfo on Wed, Jul 26 2017 10:18 am

Bangladesh Bank (BB) is set to announce today (Wednesday) its flagship monetary policy statement (MPS) for the first half of the current 2017-18 financial year (FY18).

"BB Governor Fazle Kabir will unveil the MPS at 11.30am at a press conference at the central bank headquarters in Motijheel," said a BB press release in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports BSS.

Earlier, BB Deputy Governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan said the MPS would be announced on the basis of the national budget for the 2017-18 financial year and the fiscal policy directions.

The government has set the GDP growth target of 7.4 percent and inflation target of 5.5 percent for FY18.

Like previous fiscal, the central bank will maintain its cautionary stance in the new MPS, said a senior BB official. "We will not make any major change to the policy while announcing the MPS for the first half of the FY18," he added.

News:Daily sun/26-jul-2017

Nizam Chowdhury, Chairman of NRB Global Bank Ltd, inaugurating its Gazipura and Mawna Branch at Gazipur on Sunday. Proshanta K Halder, Managing Director of the bank and local elites were present.

Posted by BankInfo on Wed, Jul 26 2017 10:05 am

Nizam Chowdhury, Chairman of NRB Global Bank Ltd, inaugurating its Gazipura and Mawna Branch at Gazipur on Sunday. Proshanta K Halder, Managing Director of the bank and local elites were present.

News:new nation/26-jul-2017

StanChart, City join hands to attract Chinese investors

Posted by BankInfo on Tue, Jul 25 2017 10:54 am

From left, Lin Weiqiang, president of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh; Abrar A Anwar, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bangladesh; Sohail RK Hussain, MD and CEO of City Bank; and Li Guangjun, economic and commercial counsellor to the Chinese embassy, attend a press conference at the Westin hotel in the capital yesterday.

Standard Chartered and City Bank are set to organise a day-long symposium in China next month with a view to attracting foreign direct investment, much needed as Bangladesh looks to scale up its economy.

“Now is a good time to make investment in Bangladesh,” said Lin Weiqiang, president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh, which represents about 80 percent of the Chinese enterprises in the country.

The reasons are the impressive economic growth clocked in by the country over the past decade or so, the current government's commitment to development and the vast labour resource, he said.

“Economic exchange between China and Bangladesh became more vigorous since the Awami League government came to power,” said Lin.

His comments came at a press briefing yesterday to announce the 'China-Bangladesh Investment Forum', held at the capital's Westin hotel.

To be held in Beijing on August 21, the conference will look to: present the business prospect for Chinese investors in the country and the incentives being offered by the government, and identify ways to harness the opportunities being generated by China's landmark 'One Belt One Road' initiative. Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the OBOR involves building roads, rails, ports, pipelines and other infrastructure joining China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa by land and sea. So far, 68 countries have signed up for it.

“The Belt and Road initiative has the potential to bring in a new era of prosperity for the region and we want to be a humble part of this vast possibility,” said Abrar A Anwar, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bangladesh.

The Asia-focused bank has been involved in nearly 10 deals related to the OBOR initiative, he added.

“With increasing economic cooperation with China, Bangladesh can truly benefit from the opportunities arising out of the OBOR initiative,” said Sohail RK Hussain, managing director and CEO of City Bank.

Owing to the strong economic and social development, more and more Chinese companies are looking at Bangladesh with keen interest, especially after the state visit of the Chinese premier last year, said Li Guangjun, the economic and commercial counsellor to the Chinese embassy in Dhaka.

While he lauded the initiative behind the forthcoming event, he hopes the prospective Chinese investors are informed of the bottlenecks such as transport and sluggish customs clearance in Bangladesh.

“Give them the full and realistic picture,” he said, adding that the two countries have similar characteristics: populous and short on natural resources.

China has grown exponentially in the past 40 years because of the reforms taken by the government. “This experience can be shared with Bangladesh.”

Bangladesh's edge in labour-intensive industries appeals to China as it shifts to technology-intensive industries.

Li went on to express his frustration about the delay in materialisation of the one-stop service for foreign investors as promised by the Bangladesh government.

“For one-and-a-half years I have been hearing about the one-stop service but it is not ready yet. The good intentions should be put to action,” he added.

Lin echoed the same, saying there is an urgent need for the one-stop service.

“We have such facilities in each province in China, big or small. Otherwise, it is very frustrating. Our investors here are going to BIDA one day, the NBR the following day, and the industries ministry the next. It takes a lot of time.”

The red tapism in Bangladesh is the main concern for Chinese investors, he added.

Hussain of City Bank said the forum in Beijing would facilitate such dialogue on a greater scale between the two parties such that the full potential of the bilateral relationship can be realised at the earliest.

Bangladesh's leather, garment, food and agriculture, and light engineering sectors present great opportunity for Chinese investors, he said.

As of now, 137 Chinese investors have signed up for the forum, according to Hussain.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith; Kazi Aminul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority; Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority; Mohammed Ayub, secretary of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority; and Syed Afsor H Uddin, chief executive officer of the Public-Private Partnership Authority, would be carrying the government's message to the Chinese investors.

This is the seventh such international investment forum co-hosted by City Bank and Standard Chartered, previously held in Singapore, Hong Kong and London.

News:Daily star/25-jul-2017

Daily MFS transactions cross Tk1,000cr mark

Posted by BankInfo on Tue, Jul 25 2017 10:30 am

The number of registered mobile bank accounts stood at 53.7 million by the end of June

Mobile banking use surged in the first half of 2017 despite Bangladesh Bank lowering the daily and monthly transaction limits to curb the illegal channelling of remittance.

According to the latest data from the central bank, the average daily value of mobile financial services (MFS) transactions broke through the Tk1,000 crore barrier in June.

The figure was reached through an average of 6 million daily transactions and was 18% higher than the Tk844.23 crore recorded in 4.9 million daily transactions in May.

MFS enables consumers to obtain financial account information and conduct transactions with their financial institution using mobile banking services, and to make payments, transfer money, or pay for goods and services through mobile payments.

The banking method is growing in popularity in Bangladesh. At present, 17 of the 19 banks granted permission to run MFS are providing services and of these, Brac Bank’s bKash and Dutch Bangla Bank’s Rocket topped the list in service providing.

Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman introduced MFS, claiming that “no other country has more mobile banking customers than Bangladesh.”

According to the central bank data, the number of registered mobile bank accounts stood at 53.7m by the end of June, up from 52.6m in May. Among the registered accounts, the number of active mobile banking account users stood at 27.4m.

However, to target rising illegal use of MFS, from February 1, 2017 the central bank brought down the daily ceiling of mobile cash-in to Tk15,000 from Tk25,000, while slashing the maximum cash-out limit to Tk10,000 from Tk25,000.

The monthly maximum cash-in limit was slashed to Tk100,000 from Tk150,000 and the maximum monthly limit on cash-out was brought down to Tk50,000 from Tk150,000.

Industry insiders said the Bangladesh Bank move hardly had any negative impacts on the overall volume of MFS transactions as the users who previously used 10 SIMs for their transactions now have 15-20 SIMs.

“That’s why the number of daily transactions might have increased,” a senior Bangladesh Bank official told the Dhaka Tribune.

The latest central bank data also showed that the inward remittance through MFS has increased by almost 10% to Tk8.31 crore in June from Tk7.56 crore in May.

According to the Bangladesh Bank data, of the different categories in MFS payments, the service of salary disbursement benefited the most marking a month-on-month increase of 58.73%.

An amount of Tk666 crore was disbursed as salaries through the MFS channel in June, up from Tk419.65 crore in May.

News:Dhaka Tirbune/25-jul-2017

Malaysian bank partners with Alipay

Posted by BankInfo on Tue, Jul 25 2017 10:15 am

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's second largest bank CIMB joined hands with Ant Financial, an affiliate company of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on Monday to cater to local mobile payment demands.

 CIMB's electronic payment system subsidiary Touch 'n Go entered into an equity joint venture (JV) with Alipay, CIMB said 0in a statement, reports Xinhua.

 The JV will see Touch 'n Go to be the major shareholder in the venture while Ant Financial as a minority shareholder, according the statement. CIMB said it is Ant Financial's first investment in Malaysia but did not elaborate on the value of the deal.

 The capital injected by both parties will go towards the creation of a world-class online and offline payments provider, delivering superior mobile wallet solutions and other related financial services, it said.

News:Daily sun/25-jul-2017
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