Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The BBN (Bangladesh Business News) has prepared the morning news highlights compiling reports, published by different newspapers and news portals in Bangladesh.

EU for removing trade barriers
The European Union yesterday called for removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade so that the bloc’s businesses and investments in Bangladesh could reach a new height. “There are tariff and non-tariff barriers. In some cases import duties are quite high and they can be a deterrent to European companies to promote their products in Bangladesh,” said Pierre Mayaudon, ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh. On the non-tariff side, he called for a more transparent and legally established regulatory framework so that trade and business relations could thrive further.

Posh hospitals reluctant to pass on any benefit to poor
The country’s modern hospitals in the private sector have been availing tax-benefits on the import of medical equipment for year after year but they are not passing on any benefit to their patients, particularly those who cannot afford expensive treatment.   Some 24 private ‘referral’ hospitals, which usually charge high fees on patients, have been availing the duty-free facility on the import of medical and hospital equipment since 2005.

Bad loans surge by 22.19pc to Tk 39,004cr

Bad loan, the worst category of defaulted loans in the banking sector, increased by 22.19 per cent to Tk 39,004.18 crore in last year due to scheduled banks’ failure in recovering classified loans amid rising financial corruptions. According to the latest Bangladesh Bank data, the bad loans increased to Tk 39,004.18 crore as of December 31, 2014 from Tk 31,920.24 crore as of December 31, 2013. The total bad loans in banks were Tk 28,504.04 crore as of December 31, 2012. As of December 31, 2014, the bad loans accounted for 77.76 per cent of the total defaulted loans of Tk 50,155.77 crore in the banking sector.

Investment in savings certificates jump by 215% in Bangladesh

The net sale of national savings certificates jumped by more than 215 per cent in the first seven months to January of the current fiscal year (FY) 2014-15 due mainly to higher interest rate on the government-approved securities, officials said. The net sale of savings instruments rose to BDT 157.09 billion during the period under review from BDT 49.83 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to official figures.

WB loan pact pushes up foreign aid commitments

Foreign aid commitment rose over 25% in the first seven months of the current fiscal year largely supported by World Bank’s funding promise in poverty alleviation and other purposes, officials said. According to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) data, the foreign assistance commitment during July-January period of the current financial year stood at $2bn in loan and grants compared to $1.6bn in the same period a year earlier. Of the total commitments during the period, $1.8bn came in the form of loans and $284m in grants.

Call money rate falls, US$/BDT remains stable

The inter-bank call money rate declined slightly in the last week while the exchange rate of local currency against the US dollar remained stable, market operators said. The highest level of call money rate came down to 8.75 per cent on Wednesday from 9.0 per cent earlier. But most of the deals were made at rates between 7.75 per cent and 8.75 per cent on the day.


ADB starts review of its projects in BD from tomorrow

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will begin a two-week review of its US$5.26 billion-funded 58 development projects in Bangladesh from tomorrow (Sunday). The review is taking place as many of these projects are facing several implementation hurdles and bottlenecks in different stages, officials said Friday.

Bangladesh’s excess liquidity falls by 5.63% in Jan

The overall excess liquidity with commercial banks fell in January last as a potion of bank deposit diverted into savings instruments along with the change in depositors’ behaviour in holding cash due to the political uncertainty. The excess liquidity dropped by 5.63 per cent to BDT 1.08 trillion as of January 29 last from BDT 1.14 trillion in December last. On November 27 last the excess liquidity stood at BDT 1.10 trillion. However, both excess liquidity and deposits registered a rising trend in the beginning of this month while the overall credit increased showing a downtrend, according to the BB officials.

BBN/SSR/AD-28Feb15-10:40 am (BST)