Union Capital Limited holds 17th AGM

The 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Union Capital Limited (UCL) was held on Tuesday, 31st March 2015 at Spectra Convention Centre, Gulshan Dhaka.
UCL Chairman, Chowdhury Tanzim Karim presided over the meeting. Among the Directors Mr. M. Faizur Rahman, Mr. Nasir A. Choudhury, Mr. Kazi Golam Rahman, Mr. Nadeem A. Chaudhury, Capt. Minhazur Reza Chowdhury, Independent Director Mr. Mohammad Nurun Nabi, Mr. Ziaul Hasan Siddiqui, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director Mr. Md. Akter Hossain Sannamat FCA, FCS and Company Secretary Mr. Tauhidul Ashraf FCS were present at the meeting. Senior officials of UCL and a number of shareholders attended the meeting. (source: press release)

UCB holds 32nd Annual General Meeting

United Commercial Bank Ltd. holds its 32nd Annual General Meeting on 31 March 2015 at International Convention City, Bashundhara, Dhaka presided over by Mr. M A Hashem; Honourable Chairman of the Bank.   
In the AGM, shareholders have approved 20% stock and 10% cash dividend for the financial year 2014.    
The honourable Chairman Mr. M A Hashem in his speech to shareholders said that UCB had generated attractive financial results 2014. UCB gained a tremendous growth in every arena like operating profit, loan and advances, deposit etc. Commitment towards society through immense involvement in CSR activities and adopting green banking also shows UCB as not only revenue generating entity but also concerned towards society. He also expressed that UCB will be continuing to serve the interest of shareholders, clients and communities at large.         
Among others Vice Chairman of UCB Mr. Mr. Sharif Zahir; Chairman, Executive Committee Mr. Anisuzzaman Chowdhury Ronny; Chairman, Audit Committee Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abu Tayeb Muhammad Zahirul Alam, rcds, psc; Chairman, Risk Management Committee Mr. M. A. Sabur; Directors namely Mr. Md. Jahangir Alam Khan, Hajee Yunus Ahmed, Hajee M. A. Kalam, Mr. Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, Mr. Asifuzzaman Chowdhury, Mrs. Sultana Rezia Begum, Mr. Shabbir Ahmed, Mrs. Rukhmila Zaman, Mr. Nurul Islam Chowdhury and Mr. Syed Mohammed Nuruddin were present in the AGM. 
UCB Managing Director, Mr. Muhammed Ali sketched the backdrop of success and the cumulative scenario of achievement of the bank in his speech. He told that UCB developed a balanced and sustainable business model against all obstacles through organic growth.
Apart from Managing Director; Additional Managing Directors Mr. M Shahidul Islam and Mr. Mirza Mahmud Rafiqur Rahman; Deputy Managing Directors Mr. Md. Tariqul Azam and Mr. Mohammed Shawkat Jamil along with Senior Executives as well as a large number of shareholders were present in the AGM. The programme was conducted by Company Secretary of the bank Mr. ATM Tahmiduzzaman ACS. (source: press release)

Midland Bank disburse loan to woman entrepreneur

Midland Bank Limited disbursed ‘MDB Nari Uddog Loan’ TK 2.0 million to a women entrepreneur during the "Banker-Women Entrepreneurs Meet and Loan Disbursement Program-2015" held Friday at Cox's Bazar.
As the Chief Guest of the program, Governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr. Atiur Rahman handed over a dummy cheque to a women entrepreneur of the Bank.
The program was attended, among others, by Deputy Managing Director of Midland Bank Khondoker Nayeemul Kabir. (source: press release)

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited celebrates 32nd anniversary

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited organised a get-together on the occasion of its 32nd anniversary at Muhammad Yunus Auditorium of Islami Bank Tower on March 30, 2015, Monday. Engr. Md. Eskander Ali Khan, Chairman, Executive Committe of the Bank was present in the function as chief guest. Presided over by Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Managing Director, Humayun Bokhteyar, FCA, Director, Dr. Hasan Mohammad Moinuddin, Member, Shariah Supervisory Committee, Deputy Managing Directors and Executives of the Bank were present on the occasion. Discussion and special doa were arranged in all branches and zone offices of the Bank in this connection. Islami Bank started it journey on 30 March 1983 as the first Shariah based Bank of South and Southeast Asia.
Engr. Md. Eskander Ali Khan, in his speech as chief guest said that Islami Bank has been working for economic development of the country by providing the highest investment in industry, trade and commerce. Product oriented four thousand industries including the textile and spinning, iron and steel, transport, agriculture and agro-based industries, housing and SMEs  are being run with the finance of Islami Bank generating employment facilities to 25 lac people. The Bank holds the top position in the import-export and foreign exchange business. He said that the Bank is the hieghest taxpayer to the Government and more than half of fertilizers in the private sector is imported through this bank. Equipped with the modern technology, the bank has been providing better services to the customers contributing in financial inclusion of the country. He express gratitudes to the sponsors, directors, executives, officials, customers, regulators and well-wishers Bank for reaching the Bank in the present position.
Humayun Bokhteyar, FCA, said that Islam Bank has made independent to 9 million families in 18 villages of whom the most are underprivileged women. The Bank alone holds the half of islamic microfinance in the Islamic world. The Bank finances nor in any sector detrimental to Public health and the environment. Islami Bank achieved national and international awards and recgnitions due to following the culture of integrity, transparency and corporate culture in Banking operations. Islami Bank  has been hailed as one of the bank the best banks in the top one thousand Bank in the world.
Mohammad Abdul Mannan in his presidential address said, Islami Bank is now a symbol of confidence of millions of customers and the partner in the country's economic development. The bank has become the country's top bank in different parameters and contributing to improve the lives of people through of its 32-year productive financial services. The bank is pioneer in financing garment sector and exploitation of migrant remittance- two pillars of the country's development. He said that Islami Bank has been generating employment through providing investment to work intensive, productive, export oriented and import substitute sectors of the country . (source: press release)

City Bank Opens new branch at Kanaipur in Faridpur

City Bank recently (Sunday, 29th March, 2015) opened a new branch at Kanaipur in Faridpur. Rubel Aziz, Chairman of the bank inaugurated the branch as Chief Guest while Syeda Shaireen Aziz, Director, City Bank, Shahab Uddin Khan, President, Gulshan Club and Mrs. Noorjahan Shahab Khan were present as Special Guests. Other high officials of the bank and members from the business communities were also present. 
Rubel Aziz in his opening statement noted that the launch of the new branch at Kannaipur is part of Banks’ vision to reach its services to the doorsteps of non-urban clientele.  For last 32 years, City Bank has been providing its services for the betterment of the country and will continue to do so in future.
The new branch will provide customers with retail loans, deposits, customer care, remittances and other ancillary services. (source: press release)

BRAC Bank launches instant bank deposit service of Transfast to Bangladesh

Transfast, LLC and BRAC Bank Ltd. of Bangladesh today announced that they have partnered to enable Transfast customers to make instant bank transfers into accounts at BRAC Bank – the first-ever instant bank deposit service to Bangladesh by a global money transfer company.
This was disclosed in presence of mass media at a Press Meet held at a restaurant in city this morning. Present at the session were Transfast CEO and President Mr Samish Kumar, Transfast Director, Asia and Africa Mr Samir Bidhate and Country Head in Bangladesh Mohammad Khairuzzaman. Besides, BRAC Bank’s Head of Retail Banking Mr. Firoz Ahmed Khan and Head of Communications and Service Quality Zara Jabeen Mahbub, and Head of Retail Sales, Remittance and Payroll Mr Mamur Ahmed, were present.   
“BRAC Bank is one of the leading banks in Bangladesh and a pioneer in sophisticated technology in serving all its clients, and we are excited to offer our customers the ability to deposit money instantly and securely there,” says Samish Kumar, CEO of Transfast. “We know that our customers who send money to accounts held at BRAC Bank will enjoy this added convenience.”
Transfast customers can send money online, via mobile or through agent locations around the globe to their friends and family in Bangladesh. Friends and family can receive money direct to their bank accounts, or pick up the money within minutes at thousands of convenient locations throughout Bangladesh.
In addition to direct-to-bank deposits, Transfast customers can pick up cash from any of BRAC Bank’s 166 branches, 50 SME Unit Offices and more than 100,000 bKash agents. 
According to the World Bank, Bangladesh saw some $15 billion in remittances flow into the country in 2014, making it the world’s eighth-largest remittance corridor. In its Migration and Development Brief of October 2014, the World Bank says that average remittances to receiving households in Bangladesh are worth twice per capita income and equivalent to almost 80 percent of receiving household’s income, evidence of the vital importance of remittances to Bangladesh’s economy.
BRAC Bank currently accounts for almost four percent of the total remittances to Bangladesh. 
“We are pleased to be the first bank in Bangladesh to partner with Transfast to launch an instant bank deposit service,” says Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director and CEO of BRAC Bank. “Transfast’s commitment to serving the Bangladeshi community overseas with products that deliver value, convenience and service is in line with our mission of serving their families and friends in Bangladesh with high-quality and reliable banking services.”
Rahman added, “An instant deposit service to beneficiaries in Bangladesh combines the benefits of speed with the convenience of receiving funds directly into a beneficiary’s account, further evidence of our commitment to increasing the remittance flow into Bangladesh through new technologies and partnerships.”

About BRAC Bank:
BRAC Bank is one of country’s fastest growing banks. With 157 branches, more than 350 ATMs, 400 SME Unit Offices and over 6,700 human resources, BRAC Bank operation now cuts across all segments and services in financial industry. With more than 1.5 Million Customers, The bank has already proved to be the largest SME Financier in just 13 years of its operation in Bangladesh and continues to broaden its horizon into Retail, Corporate, SME, Probashi and other arenas of banking. In 2013 BRAC Bank has received the prestigious ‘The Asian Banker Best Managed Bank in Bangladesh’. In the year: 2010, BRAC Bank has been recognized as Asia’s most Sustainable Bank in Emerging Markets by the Financial Times and IFC. The Bank is the country’s first founder member of Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) – a network of the world’ leading sustainable banks.

About Transfast:
Transfast, a leading international money transfer and payments company in the $608 billion annual global remittance industry, operates a proprietary network of over 300,000 payment points across more than 100 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa.  (source: press release)

Bangladesh revenue board to avoid double audit of export-oriented industries

The National Board of Revenue has instructed its two field offices to avoid double audit of the export-oriented industries, mainly readymade garment factories, to reduce hassle of the exporters, officials said.
They said that the revenue board has recently issued an order instructing the field offices to maintain transparency in conducting audit of the export-oriented industries.
Currently, Customs Bond Commissionerate conducts annual audit of export-oriented industries which enjoy duty-free import of raw materials under customs bonded warehouse facility to ensure export of products manufactured by these raw materials.
On the other hand, Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate conducts annual comprehensive audit of the overall activities of the factories.
Exporters, particularly members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and other export-oriented sectors have been demanding for long to provide them with exemption from double audit done by two separate commissionerates of the revenue board.
Seeking introduction of single audit system, BGMEA and BKMEA claimed that double audit created several problems including preparation of extra documents for second audit which was a gigantic task as it required huge paper work, and involvement of manpower and valuable time, for them.
In many cases, exporters have to face harassment by tax officials in the name of audit.  
In this situation, the NBR has provided them with exemption from double auditing to make export activities smoother and reduce hassle of businesses, officials said.
The revenue board has also formed a committee comprising officials from Customs Bond Commissionerate and Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate to avoid duplication in audit, they said.
The committee will provide report to the revenue board every month in this regard, they said.  
From now on, Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate will not conduct audit of bonded warehouses.
NBR member (customs, bond) Khandaker Aminur Rahman at a meeting with the leaders of apparel sector last Sunday said that the revenue board instructed the officials concerned to exclude those portions from auditing which have been audited by bond commissionerate so that double auditing could be avoided.
‘Such move will ensure more transparency in audit activities which will also remove hassle for apparel sector,’ he said.
BGMEA officials, however, claimed that they were still getting notices from Customs Valuation and Internal Audit Commissionerate for providing documents for audit purpose. (Source: New Age, April 1, 2015)

DSE turnover soars to four-month high on March 31

Dhaka stocks returned positive on Tuesday (on March 31) with the turnover of the bourse hitting four-month high following talks about formation of a forum to sort out the problems of capital market-related entities that might have attracted institutional investors to the trading floor.
Turnover of Dhaka Stock Exchange rose 43.70 per cent to Tk 452.72 crore compared with that of Tk 314.93 crore in the previous trading session. Tuesday’s turnover was highest after Tk 513.49 crore in December.
The key index of the bourse, DSEX, increased at 4,530.48 points, adding 0.47 per cent or 21.20 points on the day.
The decision of six capital market and money market associations’ to form Bangladesh Financial Market Forum to press the regulatory bodies about the entities’ problems might have encouraged institutional investors, who were on the sideline, to increase their participation on the trading floor, Union Capital managing director Akhter Hossain Sannamat told New Age.
Investors’ fresh positioning on several scrips and foreign investors’ increased participation on the trading floor might have kept the market up, he said.
Although BNP is yet to clear its position regarding city corporation elections, investors were expecting that the party would finally participate in the polls, he said.
DS30, the blue-chip index of DSE, rose by 0.63 per cent, or 10.98 points, to close at 1,728.47 points on the day.
The Shariah index of the bourse, DSES, rose by 0.58 points, or 6.44 points, to close at 1,103.13 points.
Of the 313 shares and mutual funds traded on the day, 123 advanced, 147 declined and 43 remained unchanged.
‘The bourse observed an influx of money from the sideline, especially in the Large Caps in search of safe bets, consolidating a total turnover of Tk 4.5 bn, which is the highest turnover of the year,’ IDLC Investments said in its daily market commentary.
‘Broad market view remained pessimistic as issues advanced (123) were outnumbered by issues declined (147),’ it said.
‘Nevertheless, surging Large Caps helped DSEX boost a positive day, with a 21 points gain,’ said IDLC.
‘Although there was a lot of ups and down movements during the day, incresed participation of the investors ultimately took the trading session to the green zone,’ LankaBangla Securities said in its daily market analysis.
MJL Bangladesh-led the turnover chart on the day as its shares worth Tk 43.95 crore changed hands.
Grameenphone, ACI Limited, Khulna Power Company, Lafarge Surma Cement, Shasha Denims, Square Pharmaceuticals, IFAD Autos, Agni Systems and British American Tobacco Bangladesh were among other turnover leaders.

First Bangladesh Fixed Income Fund gained the most on the day as its share prices rose by 9.26 per cent, while Bangladesh Welding Electrodes was the worst loser, shedding 4.82 per cent. (Source: New Age, April 1, 2015)

Import duty on Bangladesh tea may go up

The National Board of Revenue may increase duty on tea import as a move to protect local producers from uneven competition with the imported ones, officials said.
They said that the customs wing of the revenue board was now scrutinising details of the sector following an application of Bangladesh Tea Association for increasing duty on tea import.
BTA on late January demanded that the NBR should increase duty on import of tea by at least 25 per cent to discourage import claiming that local growers had been facing tough competition with imported tea due to low import duty on the product.
Currently, there is a total of 84.50 per cent duties and taxes including 25 per cent customs duty, 15 per cent supplementary duty, 15 per cent value-added tax,  5 per cent regulatory duty, 5 per cent advance income tax and 4 per cent advance trade VAT on tea import.
BTA sought an increase of total duty on the product to 110 per cent.
Officials said that customs wing was now collecting information related to annual production, demand and cost of production of the product to take final decision on increasing duty on import.
Customs wing has already instructed its field office—Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Sylhet—to provide data containing annual production and demand starting from fiscal year 2010-2011.
It also sought information on cost of production and VAT applicable price of the product, they said.
After getting information from the field office, the revenue board will hold meetings with stakeholders on this issue, they added.
The NBR will take decision on increasing duty in the national budget for the next financial year after analysing data and getting stakeholders’ opinion.
According to BTA, duty on tea import is high in neighboring tea producing countries like India and Sri Lanka.
In India, the rate of duty on import of tea is 110 per cent while that is 130 per cent in Sri Lanka.
Tea import has been increasing since 2010 and 4.13 million kg of the item was imported in the country in that year.
Though tea import fell sharply in 2012 to 1.92 million kg as a result of imposition of 20 per cent supplementary duty on it in the financial year 2012-2013, import of the product again skyrocketed to 10.62 million kg in 2013 due to the withdrawal of the duty.
In April 2014, the revenue board increased regulatory duty to 15 per cent from 5 per cent in line with the repeated demand from the tea growers and its import fell down to 6.96 million kg in the year.
According to Bangladesh Tea Board, Bangladesh produced 66.26 million kg of tea in 165 tea estates in 2013 against the average internal consumption of 64 million kg in the year. (Source: New Age, April 1, 2015)

Pre-budget discussions begin in Dhaka today

The National Board of Revenue is going to start today month-long pre-budget discussions with stakeholders to prepare revenue budget for the next fiscal year 2015-2016.
The NBR will hold meetings with the stakeholders from more than 50 sectors including trade bodies, business associations and professional organisations.
At the meetings, the revenue board will seek stakeholders’ recommendations regarding trade facilitation, taxation, and measures to provide local industries with protection and increase revenue collection through budgetary measures in the next fiscal year, officials concerned said.
Like previous years, the NBR will also seek suggestions from stakeholders to prepare a participatory, pro-people and business-friendly national budget, they said.
Rational proposals related to income tax, customs duty and value-added tax will be considered, they added.
According to the schedule, on the first day of the series of meetings, the NBR will discuss today with the representatives of hotel, restaurant, guest house, paper, printing, film, advertisement, and clinic and diagnostics sectors.
The NBR will hold meetings with the representatives from construction, real estate, pharmaceuticals, rubber, plastic, small, medium and large industries sectors on April 2, with Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industries on April 5, with Bangladesh Chamber of Industries, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Bangladesh India Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other chambers on April 7, with bond-related export sectors, textiles, readymade garment, jute, yarn and export sectors without bond facility on April 8, with banks, financial institutions, stock exchanges and SME Foundation on April 9, with C&F agents, freight forwarding, tax lawyers, indenters, Institute of Cost Management Accountants Bangladesh, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh on April 12, with cigarette manufacturers, ceramic and mobile operators, agriculture and poultries sectors on April 16, with electronics, electrical, ICT and automobile sectors on April 15, with Economic Reporters’ Forum on April 19, and with divisional chambers on April 26 and April 30.
The revenue board will also sit with other stakeholders on other business days, the officials said.
The NBR has already assigned its first secretary Abdus Samad Al Azad as chief budget coordinator. (Source: New Age, April 1, 2015)

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