BB refuses to be loan guarantor for Biman
The central bank has refused to become a guarantor for Biman Bangladesh Airlines that sought a loan of around Tk 1,600 crore from a local bank.
Bangladesh Bank rather advised the national carrier to seek assistance from the government, a top official of the banking regulator said seeking anonymity.
Biman Managing Director Kevin John Steele in a letter to the BB governor last week sought the regulator's assistance for the loan.
Steele also mentioned in the letter that the carrier may go bankrupt in three to four months if they do not get the loan to clear some due payments, according to Biman sources.
However, the Biman chief said the banking regulator “indicated” that it would support the carrier in getting loans.
He said the loan is necessary to cover Biman's historic losses, not for any current revenue/expenditure shortfall.
Biman owes over Tk 1,560 crore to different sources, he said.
Biman owes around Tk 850 crore to its fuel supplier Padma Oil, which threatened to stop providing fuel in July if the unpaid bills are not cleared.
As of April, the airlines owes Tk 367.62 crore to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh in landing fees, gate fees, navigation charges, cargo handling, refuelling, security fees and others.
Biman lost Tk 600 crore in 2011-12 while the unaudited results for 2012-13 showed a loss of Tk 200 crore, Steele said in a statement on November 28.
The loss was around Tk 200 crore in 2010-11 and Tk 80 crore in 2009-10.
He said the carrier will bring down the losses to around Tk 94 crore in its next budget for the current fiscal year and will become a profitable airline by 2014-15.
He also said he was delighted that Biman's earnings surpassed its target for the four months to October this year by about Tk 46 crore.
Also, most notably, Biman actually made a profit in September and again in October 2013, for the first time in many years, he said.
The national carrier also made a profit of around Tk 21 crore in two fiscal years after it was turned into a public limited company in 2007.