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HSBC Bangladesh Hosts “Japan – Bangladesh Business Corridor” Event to Strengthen Ties

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HSBC Bangladesh recently hosted a corridor event titled “Japan – Bangladesh Business Corridor: Legacy and the Future” to celebrate and strengthen the longstanding relationship between the two countries. The event brought together Japanese businesses operating in Bangladesh and various stakeholders.

Since Bangladesh’s independence, Japan has played a significant role as a bilateral development partner, contributing to trade, investment, infrastructure development, industrialization support, and social development improvements in the country. HSBC recognizes the importance of Japan’s contributions and untapped potential.

Gerard Haughey, Country Head of Wholesale Banking at HSBC Bangladesh, highlighted the evolving relationship between Japan and Bangladesh, particularly in terms of ongoing trade and investment engagements. He emphasized the opportunities for Japanese investors in Bangladesh’s rapid growth and stated that HSBC is ready to facilitate connections to a world of opportunities.

Hirotaka Shibata, Director of Commercial Banking at HSBC Japan, emphasized HSBC’s presence in Japan and its ability to provide “local” connections and knowledge to Japanese investors on both ends of the investment journey. He noted that HSBC Japan considers Bangladesh a priority corridor and is closely collaborating with HSBC Bangladesh to offer the best available services to clients.

HSBC, as a leading international bank, offers expertise in trade, payment, cash management, and project financing support services in Bangladesh. Its extensive presence in 62 countries makes it the preferred choice for foreign businesses, including Japanese stakeholders operating in Bangladesh. With its digital banking capabilities, HSBC has become the go-to bank for inbound Japanese companies, serving infrastructure and private sector investment clients and stakeholders.

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Cenbank Prolongs Import Payment Terms for Raw Materials Until Dec 2024

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The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has announced an extension for the payment period against imports of industrial raw materials from 180 to 360 days, a measure now set to remain in place until December 2024. This policy, initially scheduled to end in June of this year, has been prolonged to facilitate trade transactions, according to a BB circular issued today.

“To support trade transactions, it has been decided to extend the policy support until December 31, 2024. The extended usance period will not apply to imports under EDF loans, as previously stipulated. All other relevant instructions remain unchanged,” the circular stated.

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Banks in Industrial Areas to Open June 14-16 for Eid Payments

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To ensure timely payment of salaries and bonuses to garment industry workers before Eid-ul-Azha, the branches of banks in key industrial areas will remain open on a limited basis on June 14, 15, and 16.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a notification stating that bank branches in Dhaka metropolitan, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Bhaluka, and Narayanganj will operate on these days to facilitate financial transactions for garment sector employees.

Typically, Friday and Saturday (June 14 and 15) are weekly holidays, and Sunday (June 16) will be closed for Eid. Despite these closures, the BB has mandated that banks in industrial regions stay open to manage the disbursement of wages and bonuses and facilitate the sale of export bills.

Additionally, bank branches in Chattogram metropolitan and industrial areas will also be open to support garment workers’ payments and the processing of export bills.

The BB has instructed banks to coordinate with local authorities to ensure adequate security at the branches during this period.

Eid-ul-Azha, one of the most significant religious festivals for Muslims, will be celebrated in Bangladesh on June 17.

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Cenbank Mandates Real-Time Reporting of Willful Defaulters

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The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has issued new instructions to banks to submit data on willful defaulters to the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) database. This directive was issued on Tuesday, requiring immediate compliance from commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).

In a circular released by the CIB of the central bank, banks have been instructed to report their June data in real-time starting July 1. The circular has been sent to top executives of banks for prompt execution.

This move follows an earlier initiative by the BB, outlined in a circular on March 12, aimed at identifying willful defaulters within the banking sector. The central bank also detailed actions to be taken against such defaulters.

According to the circular, any client who takes a loan anonymously and misuses it will be classified as a willful defaulter. Banks were directed to establish a ‘willful defaulter identification unit’ by April 9 to facilitate this identification process.

The circular further stipulates penalties for non-compliance. Banks that violate these conditions will face fines ranging from Tk 50 lakhs to Tk 1 crore. Continued violations will incur additional fines of Tk 1 lakh per day.

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