National Bank under provision deficit and intense financial crisis
Private Commercial National Bank has been suffering from severe financial crisis for two years. The bank is now planning to raise 100 million dollars or 1000 crores of funds from foreign sources through foreign bond issue to fulfill the regulatory capital requirements.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bank is planning to appoint an administrator to the bank, which is facing a provision deficit and financial crisis.
According to the data of Bangladesh Bank, the bank’s capital deficit at the end of June this year stood at Tk 300 crore and due to high non-performing loans, the bank also faced a huge provision deficit of Tk 7,115 crore in June. Provisions are funds set aside by banks to compensate for future losses.
According to information published on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website on Sunday, the board of directors of the bank has decided to issue seven-year bonds worth $100 million in foreign currency subject to the approval of regulatory authorities.
National Bank will be the first private bank to issue foreign currency bonds to raise funds from foreign investors.
Managing Director of the bank. Mehmood Husain, when contacted, said the fund had to be raised due to high non-performing loans eroding the bank’s capital.
Mehmood Husain said that they are trying to collect funds from US and UK-based investors. Foreign funds are not just banks; He commented that it will be good for the country.
The board of directors of the bank has approved the foreign currency bond as we have received preliminary assurances from the foreign investors after informing them about the high non-performing loans and the current financial situation, he said. The main reason behind the investment by foreign investors is that the bank’s asset base is quite strong.
He said that he wants to reorganize the bank’s business strategy by focusing on the SME sector to get out of the dependence on corporate loans.
As part of this, the bank plans to strengthen its capital by raising funds from domestic and foreign sources. Earlier in May, the bank announced to raise Tk 500 crore from domestic sources by issuing subordinated bonds to meet regulatory capital requirements.
National Bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for risk-weighted credit exposure stood at 9.38pc in June, which is required to be at least 10pc as per the regulatory body’s conditions.
According to Bangladesh Bank, the bank’s capital deficit at the end of June this year stood at Tk 300 crore. Increasing defaults due to huge loan non-conformities squeeze the bank’s capital.
The bank’s non-performing loan ratio stood at 23.24pc in June, the second highest among private sector banks. The bank also faced a huge provision deficit of Tk 7,115 crore in June as a result of high non-performing loans.
Provisions are funds set aside by banks to compensate for future losses. High NPLs require banks to maintain higher provisioning, which is collected from profits.
A growing provisioning deficit erodes banks’ capital which constricts banks’ ability to lend, putting public money at risk.
The bank posted a loss of Tk 190 crore in the first six months of this year under the pressure of growing provision deficit and capital loss.
Even after Bangladesh Bank appointed an observer to the board of directors of the bank in 2014, the financial condition of the National Bank has been deteriorating for the past two years. The bank’s share price on DSE has remained below the face value of Tk 10 for the last two years due to deteriorating financial indicators.
Bangladesh Bank identified the bank as one of the 10 weakest banks after new governor Abdur Rauf Talukder took charge. In a recent press conference, the governor said about identifying 10 weak banks, the central bank will sit with them one-on-one to improve the condition of the banks.
Banks are classified on the basis of their capital shortfall, NPL ratio, provisioning and loan-deposit ratio.
The governor has already held a meeting with the owners and top management on the financial performance of the National Bank. The central bank is now planning to appoint an administrator to the bank, a Bangladesh Bank source said.
Bangladesh Bank suspended the loan operations of the bank in May last year in the context of liquidity crisis caused by huge loan irregularities.
The moratorium was later lifted in December when liquidity conditions improved. But even after the long moratorium, the central bank was forced to go into moratorium again in May this year due to the continued irregularities in the bank loans. However, this time Bangladesh Bank limited the credit sector by giving a partial suspension.
BIDA, LABCCI signed MoU to boost trade and investment
LABCCi: The Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to boost trade and investment between Bangladesh and Latin America.
Bida Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary) Lokman Hossain Miah attended as the chief guest at the MoU signing ceremony held at the Bida office in the capital on Wednesday (15 March).
LABCCI President Md Anwar Shawkat Afser and Bida Marketing and Communication Executive Member (Additional Secretary) Md Matiur Rahman signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
At the ceremony, the Brazilian Embassy in Dhaka Commercial Specialist Nahid Ferdousi assured that Brazil is very much interested in tying up with Bangladesh in all aspects.
Md Anwar Shawkat Afser said that a new era has been started by the MoU signing ceremony.
“LABCCI now got the affiliation from the Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh, Bida. Now business societies from Latin American countries may get more confidence to invest and trade in Bangladesh through the collaboration of LABCCI,” he said.
The LABCCI president highlighted the upcoming event “Bangladesh Investment B2B (Business to Business) Event in Latin America 2023” which will be jointly organised by Bida, DBCCI and LABCCI in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil on 6-17 March 2023.
Representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and commerce, Bida, Beza, Hi-Tech Park Authority and high-profile Bangladeshi and European businessmen will participate in the mega event.
Salman Fazlur Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to the prime minister, will lead the delegation in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil.
Bida Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah assured full support for this delegation, saying that the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina created a friendly environment for businessmen as EPZs will provide a safe zone for foreign investors in Bangladesh.
In the last 15 years, Bangladesh’s economy has changed dramatically. People’s incomes have increased and their lives have improved. By 2027, another 3.5 million people will enter the middle class, he added.
“Bangladesh is not only a huge domestic market of 17 crore people, but with proper investment, the consumer market of about 300 crores in South Asia including India and China can be accessed from here,” said the Bida executive chairman, adding that Bangladesh is one of the top safe investment destinations in the world.
He appreciated the LABCCI board of directors for their initiative to attract FDI from the Latin America region as well as from Europe.
Meta increases Zuckerberg’s security allowance by $4 million
Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) said on Wednesday (February 15) it had increased the security allowance given to Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his family by $4 million to $14 million.
“This increased allowance, together with the costs of Zuckerberg’s existing overall security program, are appropriate and necessary under the circumstances,” Meta said in a filing.
The move comes at a time when the owner of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram has cut thousands of jobs and slashed spending plans for a period that Zuckerberg has called the “Year of Efficiency.”
BD among the top 3 countries for active users’ growth on Facebook
Bangladesh is among the top 3 countries contributing to active users growth for Facebook as of December 31, last year, social media major Meta said in a regulatory filing.
“Users in India, the Philippines and Bangladesh represented the top three sources of growth in DAUs during December 2022, relative to the same period in 2021,” Meta said.
The company has reported a 4 percent increase in worldwide daily active users (DAUs) to two billion on average during December 2022 from 1.93 billion during December 2021.
The company reiterated the risk to its operation in India due to the proposed data protection framework.
The company defines a daily active user as a registered and logged-in Facebook user who visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used the Messenger application (and is also a registered Facebook user), on a given day.
The monthly active users (MAUs) as of December 31, 2022, increased by 2 percent to 2.96 billion from December 31, 2021.
India stood among the top three contributors in terms of monthly active users too.
“Users in India, Nigeria, and Bangladesh represented the top three sources of growth in 2022, relative to the same period in 2021,” Meta said.
The company reiterated the risk to its operation in India due to the proposed data protection legal framework in India.
“In addition, some countries, such as India and Turkey, are considering or have passed legislation implementing data protection requirements or requiring local storage and processing of data or similar requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services, cause us to cease the offering of our products and services in certain countries, or result in fines or other penalties,” the filing dated February 1 said.
Meta has also cautioned investors that it could also face fines, orders restricting or blocking services in particular geographies, or other government-imposed remedies as a result of content hosted on its services citing examples of India and Germany.
“For example, legislation in Germany and India has resulted in the past, and may result in the future, in the imposition of fines or other penalties for failure to comply with certain content removal, law enforcement cooperation, and disclosure obligations,” the filing said.
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