AKM Zamir Uddin

Senior Staff Reporter covering the economy and banking sector in Bangladesh for more than 12 years

City Bank: a phoenix in Bangladesh’s banking sector

Many banks in Bangladesh struggled to ensure expected profit in the last couple of years owing to the business slowdown, but The City Bank Ltd managed remarkable returns on the back of corporate governance and diversified products. 

5d ago

Uncertainties abroad may affect growth momentum at home: BB

The Bangladesh Bank yesterday said the ongoing global uncertainties may have an adverse impact on the country’s growth momentum and the inflationary situation. 

5d ago

Lessons for Bangladesh from US bank collapse

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th largest lender in the United States, has not reportedly faced any scam or lack of corporate governance. Still, it could not avoid the collapse. 

2w ago

Govt borrowing from BB may fuel inflation

The government has continued borrowing from Bangladesh Bank as commercial banks have been unable to come up with much-needed funds owing to a liquidity crunch. 

3w ago

Forex reserves slip to six-year low

Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserves have slipped to a six-year low of $31.15 billion after the central bank cleared import bills to the tune of $1.05 billion with a number of Asian countries, official figures showed.   

3w ago

Central bank’s USD investment plunges

Bangladesh Bank’s foreign exchange reserves invested in US dollars declined 34 per cent year-on-year to $23.63 billion in February as the country is heavily dependent on the American greenback to settle payments for global trade.

One Year Of Ukraine War: Undoing of Bangladesh economy

In the end, it was a war that began some 5,800 kilometres away a year ago that laid bare the longstanding weaknesses of the Bangladesh economy.

Spike in funding costs to hurt banks’ profitability

Weak banks in Bangladesh with small holdings of government securities, which are used to mobilise funds either from the central bank or peers, may become more vulnerable in the days to come, Moody’s Investors Service warned yesterday.  

Economy bleeds while reality only getting harsher for people

Russia’s war in Ukraine might be taking place 5,800 kilometres away from Bangladesh and the country is not involved militarily in the dragging conflict in any way, but its economy and people have been paying heavy prices.

Eight banks face provision shortfall of Tk 19,048cr

Eight banks in Bangladesh faced a collective provisioning shortfall of Tk 19,048 crore in 2022, creating a risk for their depositors. 

Relaxed rules can’t tame default loans

Default loans in Bangladesh’s banking sector jumped 17 per cent year-on-year to Tk 120,656 crore last year owing to a lack of corporate governance and the ongoing business slowdown.  

Default loans rises nearly 17%

Habitual defaulters' reluctance to repay the funds fuelled the amount to reach Tk 120,656 crore

A Rouf Chowdhury: a dreamer and a trailblazer

Bangladesh’s banking sector has long been going through a difficult time as a majority of banks are plagued by challenges stemming from a lack of corporate governance. But Bank Asia Ltd stands out thanks to its unwavering focus on following rules strictly under the leadership of a strong board of directors led by A Rouf Chowdhury. 

Govt’s higher borrowing from BB stokes inflation risk

The government has kept borrowing from the Bangladesh Bank as commercial banks can’t come up with much-needed funds owing to the liquidity crunch. 

‘Rules on compulsory diploma discriminatory’

It will be very tough for bankers to pass the exam smoothly if the existing curriculum is retained.

BB injects $330m into market since IMF loan

The Bangladesh Bank has injected $330 million into the country’s foreign exchange market since February 1 when the International Monetary Fund disbursed $476.27 million to Bangladesh as the first installment of a $4.7 billion loan. 

BB to offer new tool for cash support to Islamic banks

Bangladesh Bank will introduce another tool to provide liquidity support to cash-strapped Shariah-based banks in order to safeguard their ailing financial health.

IMF releases $476.27 million as first loan instalment for Bangladesh

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has disbursed $476.27 million to Bangladesh as the first instalments of $4.7 billion loan it approved early this week.

Relaxed rules failed to speed up default loan recovery

The recovery of default loans is still weak in Bangladesh despite offering relaxed repayment policies for three consecutive years to 2022 as delinquent borrowers are not paying back funds on time, hitting banks’ income and cash flow. 

No visible step from BB to ease importers’ woes

The Bangladesh Bank is yet to take any visible measure in line with a commerce ministry directive aimed at asking banks to earmark a portion of their foreign currency holdings to open letters of credit to import essentials ahead of Ramadan. 

Pilot kicks off for digital payment with QR code

The Bangladesh Bank will commence a campaign tomorrow to popularise an interoperable QR code across the capital city in a move to bring millions of small businesses such as street vendors and lower-income groups under the digital transaction system.

Feeble monetary policy against challenges

Bangladesh Bank yesterday unveiled a wishy-washy monetary policy for the next six months that will prove to be ineffective in tackling the headwinds passing through the economy.

Monetary policy won’t work if interest rate cap stays

By retaining the interest rate cap on lending and fixed exchange rate, the upcoming monetary policy for the second half of this fiscal year will not play any role in containing inflation, economists said.

Lanka gets 6 more months to repay BB’s $200m

Bangladesh Bank yesterday granted Sri Lanka’s request to be given six more months to repay a $200 million loan due to the prolonging of its economic crisis. 

Nagad Finance inches closer to running MFS operation

The Bangladesh Bank yesterday decided in principle to allow Nagad Finance PLC, a proposed non-bank financial institution (NBFI), to run mobile financial services. 

Sri Lanka given 6 more months to repay Bangladesh’s $200m loan

Bangladesh Bank today granted Sri Lanka six more months to repay the $200 million loan after the Island nation requested to extend the repayment period due to its prolonged economic crisis.

Desperate, banks ignore own rates for collecting remittance

In a desperate attempt at collecting the greenback to meet immediate requirements, a good number of banks are ignoring directives of two lenders’ organisations to not offer over Tk 107 for each US dollar coming in as remittance. 

Interbank lending rate goes past 9% cap for liquidity crunch

Cash-strapped banks are borrowing from cash-rich lenders paying more than 9 per cent in interest rate, which is above a cap set by the central bank, as an unprecedented liquidity crunch has hit the banking sector of Bangladesh. 

Govt keeps borrowing heavily from BB

The government continues to borrow from Bangladesh Bank on a large scale as commercial banks are now unable to finance the state due to liquidity crunch.

Forex market continues to stay under pressure

Come January there won’t be any volatility in the foreign exchange market -- was the overarching message from the government in the past couple of months. January has arrived, and the situation is dicey as before.

Four more Islamic banks take BB emergency loans

Four more shariah-based banks have been found to have taken emergency funds, which are usually taken during extraordinary circumstances, in an attempt at dressing up their balance sheet for last year.

Islami Bank takes emergency Tk 8,000cr from BB

Islami Bank has started to avail a central bank facility that is only summoned during extraordinary circumstances, as the Shariah-based lender looked to dress up its balance sheet ahead of the year’s end.

BB to dissolve Uttara Finance board for scams

Bangladesh Bank yesterday decided to dissolve the board of directors of the Uttara Finance and Investments over major financial irregularities involving Tk 5,100 crore it had unearthed two years ago. 

Only two options left for macroeconomic stability

Bangladesh does not have too many policy options other than reducing consumption of goods and services and making the exchange rate flexible in order to ensure macroeconomic stability, said a central bank report.

Bangladesh Bank looked away as tycoons borrowed at will from 2 banks

On edge -- is what best describes the sensation surrounding the banking sector. But the Bangladesh Bank higher-ups were warned as early as October 2021 that such a situation might transpire. Yet, no definitive action was taken then.

Five Islami banks put on tight leash

Bangladesh Bank has instructed five shariah-based banks to send a daily log of sanctioned credit of Tk 10 crore and above as it looks to restore calm and order at the lenders that have recently faced withdrawal pressure.

11 banks suffer capital shortfall

Eleven banks in Bangladesh collectively faced a capital shortfall of Tk 32,606 crore in September, which highlighted their fragile health caused by years of irregularities. 

Current account deficit widens further

Bangladesh’s current account deficit widened further in October as imports continued to surge compared to the combined receipts from exports and remittances.

With observer’s departure, Islami Bank’s health worsened

Despite being among the best-run and the most profitable bank in Bangladesh in the past decade, Islami Bank had an observer in its board the entire time.

Private credit growth drops further

Private sector credit growth in Bangladesh dropped in October as banks slowed loan disbursement amid a liquidity crunch.

TK 7,246CR loans to 9 firms: BB probing ‘breach of rules’ at Islami Bank

Bangladesh Bank has begun an investigation into Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd for disbursing Tk 7,246 crore in loans to nine companies this year grossly violating banking rules.

Forex volatility: BB injects $6b into market so far this fiscal year

The amount of US dollar injected into the market so far by Bangladesh Bank has surpassed $6 billion in the current fiscal year, creating further pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves that are now depleting fast.

HC bars cheque bounce case against defaulters

No bank or non-bank financial institution can lodge any cheque dishonour case to recover defaulted loans from now onwards, as per a High Court verdict yesterday.

Pressure on economy: Next three months are critical

 For the Bangladesh economy, the next three months are expected to be delicate as the measures the government has taken so far to steady the ship amid the global economic tempest start to play out.

Depositors’ money completely protected

The Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), a platform of managing directors of banks in Bangladesh, yesterday said depositors’ money in banks were completely protected as lenders were now enjoying a hefty amount of excess liquidity. 

Soured loans soar to new highs

Banks’ defaulted loans hit Tk 134,396 crore at the end of the third quarter of this year -- yet another high as a lack of governance continues to wring the sector.

Govt borrowing from Bangladesh Bank stokes inflation fears

In a time of elevated inflation, the government has started to borrow heavily from the Bangladesh Bank to meet the budget deficit, in a move that is set to push up the consumer price level further.

Economy paying the price of cheap funds

The current lending rate, which equals the inflation rate, has brought about major challenges for the economy as a negative interest rate has prompted many large clients to borrow hugely despite subdued demand, giving them the leeway to divert funds to the unproductive sector. 

October 19, 2022
October 19, 2022

9 sectors hold 70pc bad loans

Around 70 per cent of default loans in the banking sector is concentrated in nine sectors of the economy as many borrowers are finding it difficult to pay instalments for the dragging economic slowdown while willful defaulters are also a major factor.  

October 18, 2022
October 18, 2022

Rising external debt poses risks to forex reserves

Rising external debt may pose some risks to Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves in the future as higher debt servicing will be required on accumulated loans, said the Bangladesh Bank yesterday. 

October 17, 2022
October 17, 2022

Taka third weakest currency in South Asia

The taka has been rendered one of the worst-performing currencies in South Asia in the last one year because of the plummeting foreign exchange reserves of Bangladesh for higher import payments. 

October 14, 2022
October 14, 2022

Forex reserves under further strain as BB sells dollar

The injection of the US dollar into the market by Bangladesh Bank has surpassed $4 billion so far in the current fiscal year, creating further pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves that are now depleting fast.

October 13, 2022
October 13, 2022

Surging inflation: Savers in a tight spot

Savers are now facing losses on their deposits with banks due to surging inflation, with many solely dependent on interest earnings finding themselves in a tight corner.

October 11, 2022
October 11, 2022

Sikder Insurance representative denied nod to be NBL director

Bangladesh Bank has denied giving permission to a representative of Sikder Insurance Company to serve as a director of National Bank Ltd (NBL). 

October 11, 2022
October 11, 2022

Women’s employment in banks rises slightly

The rate of employment of women in Bangladesh’s banking sector has slightly increased to 16.3 per cent in June this year from 15.2 per cent four years earlier. 

October 9, 2022
October 9, 2022

Pubali Bank on a tear

At the time of its denationalisation in 1984, Pubali Bank’s defaulted loans were more than 50 per cent owing to a lack of corporate governance. 

October 7, 2022
October 7, 2022

Loan write-off declines

Loans written off by banks in Bangladesh declined in the first half of 2022 despite the upward trend of default loans. 

October 4, 2022
October 4, 2022

Three factors holding back economy

The interest rate cap on loans, the frequent changes to the exchange rate regime and a relaxed attitude to enforcing austerity measures are the major challenges facing Bangladesh in restoring stability in the economy.