Good morning,
We start today (Monday) with the overall situation on the country’s banking system, control of the government over stock markets and priority, social cost and economic benefits of large infrastructure projects in Bangladesh.

Mustafa Kamal

No firm govt grasp over share market
The government doesn’t have full control over the country’s share market, while the banking sector is now in a fragile position, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in parliament on Sunday.
In reply to a supplementary question from ruling Awami League MP Ahsanul Huq Tito, Kamal said, “The share market is not under control, but I won’t say that it is not under complete control.”

Financial health of the banking sector: The volume of classified loans in the country’s banking system jumped by over 26 per cent or Tk 196.08 billion to Tk 939.11 billion as of December 31 in the last calendar year from Tk 743.03 billion in 2017. The share of NPLs in the total outstanding loans came down to 10.30 per cent as of December 31 in 2018 from 11.45 per cent three months back. It was 9.31 per cent on December 31, 2017.

On the other hands, the capital base of banks also weakened slightly in 2018, due mainly to the increased the default loans.  The overall capital-to-risk weighted-asset ratio (CRAR) of all the banks operating in Bangladesh came down to 10.50 per cent on December 31, 2018 from 10.83 per cent on the same day the year before, according to the latest statistics of the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

BIDS says default loans denting confidence: The rise in default loans stemming from financial scams and weak supervision by the central bank are eroding the confidence of customers in the banking sector, according to a paper of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

DSEX slides to 4.5 months low: Stocks slipped back into the red on Sunday amid lack of investors’ confidence in the ongoing bearish capital market. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down by 27.98 points or 0.53 per cent to settle at 5,238.

Salman for restructuring capital market: Share price movement at the country’s capital market within a narrow limit has been acting as a major impediment to the growth of the market as ups and downs at the market are very much natural, said prime minister’s private industry and investment affairs adviser Salman F Rahman.

Assess social costs of large infrastructure projects
Fixing priorities and assessing the social costs and economic benefits of large infrastructure projects have become important for Bangladesh as many of them are funded by costly suppliers’ credit, said Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud yesterday. “There are some eye-catching projects. But it is urgent to fix priority. I think a critical review is necessary,” the economist said.

Govt. plans to build another tunnel: The government is planning to build another tunnel under the Jamuna river, according to Planning Minister MA Mannan. “We are also thinking that instead of building bridges, the construction of tunnels will be environmentally safer and better.”

How to economy is running with trade, commerce and investment despite of limitations?

Bankers should be aware of blockchain technology: The knowledge of blockchain is very important in the banking sector and bankers should be aware about using the technology, experts say at a conference on Sunday.

Yamaha, ACI Motors unveil 2 new bikes: Japanese motorbike manufacturer Yamaha, in partnership with ACI Motors Ltd, yesterday launched two new models of two-wheeler with a view to attracting young riders in Bangladesh.

Rising inequality may lead to social chaos, economists warn: Economists and experts on Sunday said that the government should take immediate steps so that inequality could not emerge strongly in society as sense of inequality and injustice might lead to a lot of social chaos and unrests and economic instability.

How to meet long-term financing: Experts at an international conference have suggested developing vibrant capital and bond markets to create long-term financing options for businesses.

Money and Forex market: Liquidity pressure on Bangladesh money eased slightly on Sunday while the exchange rate of local currency against the US dollar remained unchanged despite higher demand for the greenback in the market.
The US dollar was quoted at BDT 84.35 unchanged from the previous level in the inter-bank foreign exchange market while the weighted average call money rate came down to 4.57 per cent on Thursday from 4.58 per cent of the previous day.