StanChart raises Tk 160cr for Sri Lankan power producer

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jun 19 2017 10:45 am
Star Business Report

Standard Chartered Bangladesh has raised Tk 160 crore for RajLanka Power Company Ltd, a subsidiary of LTL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, to help the electricity producer refinance its existing preference shares to reduce overall cost.

RajLanka owns and operates a 53-megawatt heavy fuel oil-fired independent power plant in Natore.

This is the first preference share transaction arranged by Standard Chartered Bangladesh. The closing ceremony took place at the Westin Dhaka hotel. The facility is also known as the non-convertible redeemable cumulative preference share, the bank said in a statement.

There has been a diverse mix of investments in the transaction from banks, non-banking financial institutions and corporates, which testifies to StanChart's strong relationship with investors from all segments and issuer's strong business fundamentals and reputation, the bank said.

At the event, UD Jayawardana, CEO of LTL Holdings, thanked StanChart for facilitating the transaction which will help the company expand its business in Bangladesh.

Abrar A Anwar, CEO of the bank, said: “We are delighted to be the mandated lead arranger for this landmark transaction. As a committed partner in progress to the nation, we strive to bring in innovative products to the market.”

Standard Chartered is leading the debt capital market in Bangladesh. Since pioneering the market in 1997, the bank's capital market unit has arranged local and foreign currency funding of over $6.5 billion for sectors such as power, telecom, infrastructure, food, beverage, textile and services.

The bank has arranged about 70 percent of the total syndicated debt raised in the market in the last 15 years.

MJMN Marikkar, managing director of Raj Lanka Power, also spoke.

news:daily star/19-jun-2017

Mobile Banking Taking Base

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jun 19 2017 10:29 am

Needless to say, banking plays a silent, yet significant part in our day-to-day lives. The fundamental concept on which banking is based is a business activity of accepting and safeguarding money owned by individuals and entities, and then lending out this money in order to earn a profit. 

However, with the demand of time, more appropriately with the propensity for adopting digital transformation, banking activities have taken a new direction and more and more innovative services are being introduced in thesector day by day.

Mobile banking is one of such trends, which virtually has shaped the banking activities in terms of instantaneous service delivery with greater transparency. 
According to Juniper Research- a leading group for online and telecom  business and marketing research-  by 2021, nearly 3 billion users will be using retail banking services on smartphones, tablets, PCs and smartwatches, up 53% from 2017. It also predicts that usage will continue to rise as consumers increasingly opt for banks offering the convenience of rapid, multi-channel digital services. This indicates that banks will need to focus on providing a more frictionless digital experience to their customers, especially if they are to remain market leaders

In developed states, soaring smartphone sales, more mobile internet use, an explosion of banking and shopping apps, and expanded network coverage are credited with the burgeoning growth in mobile banking. Latest Google research shows tech savvy Australians are leading the way when it comes to smartphone banking. It suggests Aussies are 65 per cent more likely than the British to do banking via their smartphone and 14 per cent more likely than Americans. In addition, six in ten Australians now own a smartphone — a penetration rate also higher than the United States and Britain. Transferring funds online was most common, followed by bill payment, online auctions, online payment or money transfer systems, and credit card purchases.

In Bangladesh, in line with the current trend of transforming into digitalisation, banking sector are also getting fresh impetus to launch various modern  services including mobile financial services (MFS) for its clients. With an aim to provide financial and banking services to the people at an affordable cost, Bangladesh has been following bank-led MFS as it is easy to monitor corrupt practices and catch the culprits, says a Bangladesh Bank (BB) official. In a recently concluded seminar jointly organised by BB and SAARCFINANCE, BB governor disclosed that 25 banks have so far obtained permission for MFS operation of which 18 have launched their services. There are about 39 million registered MFS customers in the country transacting around Tk 7 billion per day.

Statics from a news report shows that the total number of bank accounts in the country is about 9 crore. Of them, 2.5 crore are mobile banking accounts, 5.5 crore traditional and another 1 crore Tk 10 farmers’ account exist in the state owned banks. Interestingly, it took decades for the conventional accounts to reach that figure, while mobile banking accounts took only a few years since its inception. This implies the positive trend towards embracing the digitised banking by the common people of the country. This is corroborated by the fact that different sectors including garment industries, remittance, pharmaceuticals, airways, utilities, mutual funds, super food outlets, insurance companies, fertilizer and steel are exploiting electronic banking, and there is hardly any corporate segment that remains untouched by mobile and internet banking. Again, from retail superstores to distributors’ networks to tech-start-ups to e-hailing taxi companies, there is a long list of businesses that routinely conduct bank transactions through internet and smartphones. This means individuals and businesses are taking advantage of online banking.

With the utilisation of mobile banking in public and private sectors, the culture of branchless banking is gaining ground in the country. The government is using it for issuing various allowances including freedom fighters allowance, stipend etc. State owned sugar mills authority is paying the wages to the sugarcane growersby leveraging the power of online banking. Individuals and private companies are using this for checking balances, transferring funds, disbursing employee salaries, paying utility bills, etc. Despite all these, today mobile banking is facing mainly two prong challenges. One is the attempted breach of cyber security of businesses’ accounts and the other is the lack of competent IT professionals who have skills tailored for mobile banking.

Appropriate cyber regime, its strict enforcement, and required infrastructure as well as resources can address the cyber security concern. Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) may come in handy in this. The proposed ICT security act-2016 should be made more people friendly and mobile banking specific by taking the recommendations from various quarters including IT professional, industry insiders, and ICT journalists into consideration. Countries aspire to be transformed into digital, consider the skilled and experienced IT professionals are worth their weight in gold to make the dream of digitalisation into reality. In our country, competent IT personnel go abroad for lucrative job or become the entrepreneurs. Therefore, average level people, not-so-fit for the purpose, are left to work with various organizations- public or private. Attractive schemes and compensations can prevent the brain drain, and revamping education system and proper training can promote the skills of the existing IT workforce.

Mobile banking is changing the nature of banking altogether by eliminating the need for moth-eaten banking documentation and tracking every single record of transaction electrically. A mobile account in every biometrically verified SIM is a short-term reality. It provides a real convenience and customer can bank on their terms. However, the potentials of online banking in revolutionising corporate and business culture has yet to be fully tapped. Therefore, key challenges such as cyber security, lack of trained bankers to handle online banking complaints, regulatory bottlenecks need urgent attention. Because, the demise of traditional banking is most likely in a few decades and the electronic banking without any paper currency is not far-fetched.

news:daily sun/19-jun-2017

Excise duty on bank deposits to be changed, says Muhith

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jun 19 2017 10:06 am

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said the decision on the proposed excise duty on the bank deposits will be changed when the budget will be passed in the Jatiya Sangsad, reports BSS. 

“The national budget has been proposed. When the proposed budget will be passed, many things will change.

Excise duty on bank deposits will also be changed,” he said on Sunday. The minister was talking to reporters during the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) signing with state run-banks and financial institutions at the finance ministry in the city.

He said everyone will have to wait until June 28, when the next year’s budget will be passed in Parliament.

The finance minister hinted that the term “excise duty” on bank account will be changed.

“The name excise duty needs to be changed as it has been there for years,” he added.

During the budget speech on June 1, Finance Minister AMA Muhith proposed imposition of Taka 800 excise duty instead of existing Taka 500 in cases where the balance, whether debit or credit, exceeds Taka 1 lakh but does not exceed the limit of Taka 10 Lakh. 

Similarly, Taka 2,500 excise duty will be imposed instead of existing Taka 1,500 in cases where the balance exceeds Taka 10 lakh but does not exceed the limit of Taka 1 crore; Taka 12,000 will be imposed instead of existing Taka 7,500 in cases where the balance exceeds Taka 1 crore but does not exceed the limit of Taka 5 crore and Taka 25,000 will be imposed instead of existing Taka 15,000 in cases where the balance exceeds Taka 5 crore.

news:daily sun/19-jun-2017

Banks exceed agricultural loan disbursement target for FY17

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jun 19 2017 09:48 am

Farm and non-farm credit disbursement witnessed a massive 107.89 percent growth in the 11 months of fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) as banks in public and private sectors, including the specialized and foreign ones, disbursed about Taka 18,900 crore till May against their total target of Taka 17,550 crore during the period. 

Private and foreign commercial banks performance better than the public banks in distribution of agricultural and non-farm credit during the period. 

According to Bangladesh Bank data, state-owned and specialized banks have achieved 98.38 percent of their loan disbursement target while the foreign and private commercial banks 118.59 percent against their target fixed by the central bank. 

Six state-owned commercial banks - Agrani, Janata, Rupali, Sonali, BASIC and BDBL and two state-owned specialised banks - Bangladesh Krishi Bank and RAKUB disbursed a total of Taka 9139.59 crore which is more Taka 150.41 crore than their target of Taka 9,290 crore. 

The foreign and private commercial banks disbursed Taka 9,795.68 crore, up Taka 1,535.68 from their target of Taka 8,260 crore.

Earlier, Bangladesh Bank Chief Spokesperson Subhankar Saha said banks have been able to exceed the agricultural loan disbursement target in the last couple of years due to the BB's strict monitoring over the farm loan disbursement. 

Every month, BB holds meeting with scheduled banks to expedite agricultural loan disbursement activities, he added.

Disbursement target of the BB was Taka 14,595 crore for fiscal year 2013-14, but the disbursement surpassed the target and stood at Taka 16,037 crore.

Fiscals 2014-15 and 2015-16 also followed the similar trend with disbursement of Taka 15,978 crore and 17,646 crore against the targets of Taka 15,550 crore and Taka 16,400 crore respectively.

news:daily sun/17-jun-2017

Al-Arafah Islami Bank inaugurates AIBL Tower

Posted by BankInfo on Mon, Jun 19 2017 09:39 am

Business Desk :
Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited authorities inaugurated AIBL Tower, a new building of the bank in Purana Paltan area of the capital on Saturday, says a press release.
A dua mahfil was also held after inaugurating the AIBL Tower, said a press release of the bank.
Alhajj Abdus Samad Labu, chairman of the bank was present as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony while Alhaj Hafez Mohammad Enayet Ullah and Alhaj Engr Khandakar Mesbah Uddin Ahmed, directors of the bank, were present as special guests.
Managing Director M Habibur Rahman presided over the function while Chairman of Huffazul Quran Foundation Saikqul Quran Hafez Kari Abdul Hoque Shaheb conveyed the dua and munajat.

news:new nation/19-jun-2017
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