Friday, June 24, 2016 BUSINESS

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PALLI SANCHOY BANK ON MOVE
PM opens 100 branches to help rural poor

Business Report

 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened 100 branches of Palli Sanchoy Bank (rural savings bank) through a videoconference from her official residence at Gono Bhaban in the capital on Wednesday last.
The bank has been created by converting the ‘One House, One Farm’ project taken by 
the Department of Rural Development and Cooperatives in 2009 for five years to turn every rural household into an agricultural farm.
While opening the new branches at a time the Prime Minister said she had favoured microcredit in the past as a means of poverty alleviation but with the passage of time she said she noticed that the microcredit receivers could not take long-term programme as they had to remain busy in repaying their loans.
So her government has decided to launch the Palli Sanchoy Bank giving institutional basis to the One House One Family project. Many also believe that the new bank has been visualized to reduce dependence on microcredit that Grameen Bank and suchother NGOs have so far promoted. In her view it is time for microcredit plus to finance small business on long term basis.   
UNB, adds: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country’s microcredit receivers 
have failed to come out of the vicious cycle of credit due to the profit-mongering attitude of microcredit lenders, Under such circumstances, the government has launched the ‘One House One Farm’ project, which was initially undertaken as a pilot project. But microcredit left people poor. They had to sell properties to repay their loans with interests and some even had to commit suicide..
She said the main objective of the bank was to save poor people from the vicious 
cycle of the so-called microcredit, which never helped people to come out of the poverty trap. The new branches of the bank will encourage people in making savings and investment, playing role in alleviating poverty and boosting the rural economy. 
“It will also create a secured social system for the beneficiaries and for their future generation.” Under the ‘One House, One Farm’ project, some 2.2 million people, mostly rural poor and underprivileged, were incorporated under around 40,214 committees.
The project encourages people in environment-friendly dairy and poultry farming, horticulture, exchange of ideas, knowledge and technologies, cooperative marketing and savings of earnings.
The bank has been set up to give a boost to the ‘One House, One Farm’ project. THe Prime Minister said the barren lands of absentee owners who stay abroad could be associated with the bank’s programme to bring it under cultivation. She said those absentee owners could also get a share of the profit of their produces.
Referring to the establishment of 100 special economic zones, she said agro-processed and food processing industries would be given preferences in those zones.
A link could be set up where the beneficiaries could sell their produces to the possible industries in those zones as raw materials.

Comment

Business Report

 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened 100 branches of Palli Sanchoy Bank (rural savings bank) through a videoconference from her official residence at Gono Bhaban in the capital on Wednesday last.
The bank has been created by converting the ‘One House, One Farm’ project taken by 
the Department of Rural Development and Cooperatives in 2009 for five years to turn every rural household into an agricultural farm.
While opening the new branches at a time the Prime Minister said she had favoured microcredit in the past as a means of poverty alleviation but with the passage of time she said she noticed that the microcredit receivers could not take long-term programme as they had to remain busy in repaying their loans.
So her government has decided to launch the Palli Sanchoy Bank giving institutional basis to the One House One Family project. Many also believe that the new bank has been visualized to reduce dependence on microcredit that Grameen Bank and suchother NGOs have so far promoted. In her view it is time for microcredit plus to finance small business on long term basis.   
UNB, adds: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country’s microcredit receivers 
have failed to come out of the vicious cycle of credit due to the profit-mongering attitude of microcredit lenders, Under such circumstances, the government has launched the ‘One House One Farm’ project, which was initially undertaken as a pilot project. But microcredit left people poor. They had to sell properties to repay their loans with interests and some even had to commit suicide..
She said the main objective of the bank was to save poor people from the vicious 
cycle of the so-called microcredit, which never helped people to come out of the poverty trap. The new branches of the bank will encourage people in making savings and investment, playing role in alleviating poverty and boosting the rural economy. 
“It will also create a secured social system for the beneficiaries and for their future generation.” Under the ‘One House, One Farm’ project, some 2.2 million people, mostly rural poor and underprivileged, were incorporated under around 40,214 committees.
The project encourages people in environment-friendly dairy and poultry farming, horticulture, exchange of ideas, knowledge and technologies, cooperative marketing and savings of earnings.
The bank has been set up to give a boost to the ‘One House, One Farm’ project. THe Prime Minister said the barren lands of absentee owners who stay abroad could be associated with the bank’s programme to bring it under cultivation. She said those absentee owners could also get a share of the profit of their produces.
Referring to the establishment of 100 special economic zones, she said agro-processed and food processing industries would be given preferences in those zones.
A link could be set up where the beneficiaries could sell their produces to the possible industries in those zones as raw materials.

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Islami Bank Ltd held Iftar Mahfil

Business Report

 
Islami Bank head office and its Corporate Branch organized a discussion on ‘Humane Banking in the light of Sawm and Taqwa’ and Ifter Mahfil at Mohammad Younus Auditorium on June 19. 
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Managing Director & CEO of the Bank addressed the program as the chief guest. Presided over by Zafar Alam, Executive Vice President and Head of the branch, Muhammad Abul Bashar, Deputy Managing Director and Mufti Muhammad Ziaur Rahman, Khateeb of Bangabhaban Jamee Masjeed adressed in the program. 
Md. Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan, FCA, Deputy Managing Director, Md. Nazrul Islam Khan, Mohammed Monirul Moula, Md. Mosharraf Hossain, Abu Reza Mohd. Yeahia and K.M. Munirul Alam Al-Mamoon, attended the program. 
Industrialists, businessmen bankers, journalists, intellectuals, educationists, ulemas and social elites were among others present, said a press release.

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Business Report

 
Islami Bank head office and its Corporate Branch organized a discussion on ‘Humane Banking in the light of Sawm and Taqwa’ and Ifter Mahfil at Mohammad Younus Auditorium on June 19. 
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Managing Director & CEO of the Bank addressed the program as the chief guest. Presided over by Zafar Alam, Executive Vice President and Head of the branch, Muhammad Abul Bashar, Deputy Managing Director and Mufti Muhammad Ziaur Rahman, Khateeb of Bangabhaban Jamee Masjeed adressed in the program. 
Md. Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan, FCA, Deputy Managing Director, Md. Nazrul Islam Khan, Mohammed Monirul Moula, Md. Mosharraf Hossain, Abu Reza Mohd. Yeahia and K.M. Munirul Alam Al-Mamoon, attended the program. 
Industrialists, businessmen bankers, journalists, intellectuals, educationists, ulemas and social elites were among others present, said a press release.

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Don’t cut rates on saving certificates
- Matia chy

Business Report 

 
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the government should not reduce interest rates on savings certificates. She has also called for eliminating discrimination in interest rates – higher for government employees and lower for common people. 
Taking part in a discussion on the proposed budget for 2016-17 in parliament last week Matia also called for introducing allowance for elderly people.
“There are millions of people including widowers, retired persons, lower and middle class people who do not get any assistance from the government but depend on income from savings certificates. The government, therefore, cannot discourage selling of savings certificates by reducing interest,” she said. 
The government must consider the existential problem of millions of people who are dependent on its earnings from savings. She also refuted the allegation that the lending rate in commercial banks is high due to a high rate of interest on savings certificates.
There is discrimination between the public servants and common people in the case of interest rate on savings certificates, she added.
“There are two types of interest rates — the government employees get higher interest rate, but the common people will get a lower interest rate. Why this discrimination? This discrimination should not exist.”

Comment

Business Report 

 
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said the government should not reduce interest rates on savings certificates. She has also called for eliminating discrimination in interest rates – higher for government employees and lower for common people. 
Taking part in a discussion on the proposed budget for 2016-17 in parliament last week Matia also called for introducing allowance for elderly people.
“There are millions of people including widowers, retired persons, lower and middle class people who do not get any assistance from the government but depend on income from savings certificates. The government, therefore, cannot discourage selling of savings certificates by reducing interest,” she said. 
The government must consider the existential problem of millions of people who are dependent on its earnings from savings. She also refuted the allegation that the lending rate in commercial banks is high due to a high rate of interest on savings certificates.
There is discrimination between the public servants and common people in the case of interest rate on savings certificates, she added.
“There are two types of interest rates — the government employees get higher interest rate, but the common people will get a lower interest rate. Why this discrimination? This discrimination should not exist.”

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Big business raises Brexit alarm on eve of vote

REUTERS Afp, London 
 
More than 1,200 business titans united Wednesday to warn against Britain breaking with the EU, as rivals scrambled for the last votes on Thursday on the eve of a tightly fought referendum that will shape Europe’s future.
The world’s fifth-largest economy will suffer a powerful blow to growth and jobs, corporate chiefs warned, if Britain becomes the first state to defect from the EU in the bloc’s 60-year history.
The “Remain” camp has a razor-thin lead — 51 percent versus 49 percent for “Leave”, according to an average of polls compiled by What UK Thinks — and surveys consistently show more than 10 percent of people are undecided.
“Britain leaving the EU would mean uncertainty for our firms, less trade with Europe and fewer jobs,” said the chiefs of 1,285 companies employing 1.75 million people, ranging from Virgin boss Richard Branson to media tycoon Michael Bloomberg.
“Britain remaining in the EU would mean the opposite: more certainty, more trade and more jobs. EU membership is good for business and good for British jobs,” they said in a letter to The Times newspaper.
World markets are on alert over the historic vote, with many markets edging gingerly higher on the expectation that Britons will finally decide to stay.
If Britain decides to go its own way, however, financier George Soros has warned of a Black Friday plunge in sterling.
With uncertainty rife, the world’s leading central banks have consulted over how to react to the financial market reaction, according to the European Central Bank.
Leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, a former mayor of London touted as a future prime minister, won a standing ovation from many people late Tuesday when he urged Britons in a public debate to declare “Independence Day” by voting to pull out of the EU.
“This is our last chance to take back control of so much that matters in our lives,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
Though many voters fret over the financial consequences of a Brexit, others relish the prospect of taking back power from Brussels and reining in high levels of immigration.
“I think we need to make our contribution to Europe and to the global economy. And the best way we can do that is by being in it, not by ignoring it,” Chet Patel, a 44-year-old telecoms worker told AFP in central London.
Pat Hand, a 50-year-old construction worker, said he would be casting a vote to leave the EU.
“The country is in an absolute mess. I work in construction and every single person on my job is not English,” he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job is on the line in case of a Brexit, predicted a “Remain dividend” for the economy if Britain stays but admitted: “It’s very close, nobody knows what’s going to happen.” “I think on Friday that businesses, wealth creators, job creators will think: Britain has made a decision, let’s pile back into the economy and create jobs and opportunity,” he told the Financial Times in an interview.
Speaking to BBC television, he said: “Leaving the EU doesn’t solve the challenge of immigration but it creates a massive problem for our economy”.
“There’s no going back if we vote to leave” he said. Two newspapers used their Wednesday front pages for last-minute endorsements of opposite sides of the campaign.
“Lies. Greedy elites. Or a great future outside a broken, dying Europe,” wrote the Daily Mail. “If you believe in Britain vote Leave.”
But the Daily Mirror urged readers to back EU membership “for your jobs... for your children... for Britain’s future”.
The campaign has been fought over the two key issues of the economy and immigration, with both sides accusing the other of “scaremongering. The Mirror described it as “the most divisive, vile and unpleasant political campaign in living memory.”
Around the world, events will be held to mark what would have been the 42nd birthday of lawmaker Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death last week on a village street in her electoral district in northern England, stunning the campaign.
In his first court appearance on Saturday, her alleged killer, Thomas Mair, gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.
Cox’s widower Brendan said his wife, a noted pro-EU campaigner who advocated for refugee rights, had been killed because of her political views. “She worried about the tone of the [referendum] debate... The tone of whipping up fears and whipping up hatred potentially,” he told the BBC.
Rival camps meet for a final television debate later in the day featuring anti-EU UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for “Remain”.

Comment

REUTERS Afp, London 
 
More than 1,200 business titans united Wednesday to warn against Britain breaking with the EU, as rivals scrambled for the last votes on Thursday on the eve of a tightly fought referendum that will shape Europe’s future.
The world’s fifth-largest economy will suffer a powerful blow to growth and jobs, corporate chiefs warned, if Britain becomes the first state to defect from the EU in the bloc’s 60-year history.
The “Remain” camp has a razor-thin lead — 51 percent versus 49 percent for “Leave”, according to an average of polls compiled by What UK Thinks — and surveys consistently show more than 10 percent of people are undecided.
“Britain leaving the EU would mean uncertainty for our firms, less trade with Europe and fewer jobs,” said the chiefs of 1,285 companies employing 1.75 million people, ranging from Virgin boss Richard Branson to media tycoon Michael Bloomberg.
“Britain remaining in the EU would mean the opposite: more certainty, more trade and more jobs. EU membership is good for business and good for British jobs,” they said in a letter to The Times newspaper.
World markets are on alert over the historic vote, with many markets edging gingerly higher on the expectation that Britons will finally decide to stay.
If Britain decides to go its own way, however, financier George Soros has warned of a Black Friday plunge in sterling.
With uncertainty rife, the world’s leading central banks have consulted over how to react to the financial market reaction, according to the European Central Bank.
Leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, a former mayor of London touted as a future prime minister, won a standing ovation from many people late Tuesday when he urged Britons in a public debate to declare “Independence Day” by voting to pull out of the EU.
“This is our last chance to take back control of so much that matters in our lives,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
Though many voters fret over the financial consequences of a Brexit, others relish the prospect of taking back power from Brussels and reining in high levels of immigration.
“I think we need to make our contribution to Europe and to the global economy. And the best way we can do that is by being in it, not by ignoring it,” Chet Patel, a 44-year-old telecoms worker told AFP in central London.
Pat Hand, a 50-year-old construction worker, said he would be casting a vote to leave the EU.
“The country is in an absolute mess. I work in construction and every single person on my job is not English,” he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job is on the line in case of a Brexit, predicted a “Remain dividend” for the economy if Britain stays but admitted: “It’s very close, nobody knows what’s going to happen.” “I think on Friday that businesses, wealth creators, job creators will think: Britain has made a decision, let’s pile back into the economy and create jobs and opportunity,” he told the Financial Times in an interview.
Speaking to BBC television, he said: “Leaving the EU doesn’t solve the challenge of immigration but it creates a massive problem for our economy”.
“There’s no going back if we vote to leave” he said. Two newspapers used their Wednesday front pages for last-minute endorsements of opposite sides of the campaign.
“Lies. Greedy elites. Or a great future outside a broken, dying Europe,” wrote the Daily Mail. “If you believe in Britain vote Leave.”
But the Daily Mirror urged readers to back EU membership “for your jobs... for your children... for Britain’s future”.
The campaign has been fought over the two key issues of the economy and immigration, with both sides accusing the other of “scaremongering. The Mirror described it as “the most divisive, vile and unpleasant political campaign in living memory.”
Around the world, events will be held to mark what would have been the 42nd birthday of lawmaker Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death last week on a village street in her electoral district in northern England, stunning the campaign.
In his first court appearance on Saturday, her alleged killer, Thomas Mair, gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.
Cox’s widower Brendan said his wife, a noted pro-EU campaigner who advocated for refugee rights, had been killed because of her political views. “She worried about the tone of the [referendum] debate... The tone of whipping up fears and whipping up hatred potentially,” he told the BBC.
Rival camps meet for a final television debate later in the day featuring anti-EU UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for “Remain”.

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EBL introduces Diners Club Credit Card 

Business Report

 
Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), Bangladesh’s award-winning retail bank, and Diners Club International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discover Financial Services and part of the Discover Global Network, announced the launch of the EBL Diners Club Credit Cardin Bangladesh. Eastern Bank Limited is the exclusive issuer and acquirer for Diners Club throughout the country.
With the new arrangement, Diners Club Credit Card members will enjoy 5 percent cash back at all outlets of Agora, Meena Bazar and Shwapno and 10 percent at all outlets of Aarong throughout the year. 
Card members will also receive up to a 40 percent discount at more than 165 hospitals around the world as part of an agreement between Eastern Bank Limited and MetLife. 
Diners Club is one of the most elite and reputable payment brands in the world. Its cards are widely used and accepted around the globe. In addition to providing a premium credit card with exclusive benefits, EBL also has expanded acceptance at merchants across Bangladesh providing a strong footprint for Diners Club and other issuers on Discover Global Network.
Eastern Bank Limited provides a solid presence for Diners Club in Asia Pacific region. Diners Club is part of the Discover Global Network, the third largest payments network in the world. It has more than 37 million merchant acceptance locations and one million ATM and cash access in 185 countries, said a press release.

Comment

Business Report

 
Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), Bangladesh’s award-winning retail bank, and Diners Club International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discover Financial Services and part of the Discover Global Network, announced the launch of the EBL Diners Club Credit Cardin Bangladesh. Eastern Bank Limited is the exclusive issuer and acquirer for Diners Club throughout the country.
With the new arrangement, Diners Club Credit Card members will enjoy 5 percent cash back at all outlets of Agora, Meena Bazar and Shwapno and 10 percent at all outlets of Aarong throughout the year. 
Card members will also receive up to a 40 percent discount at more than 165 hospitals around the world as part of an agreement between Eastern Bank Limited and MetLife. 
Diners Club is one of the most elite and reputable payment brands in the world. Its cards are widely used and accepted around the globe. In addition to providing a premium credit card with exclusive benefits, EBL also has expanded acceptance at merchants across Bangladesh providing a strong footprint for Diners Club and other issuers on Discover Global Network.
Eastern Bank Limited provides a solid presence for Diners Club in Asia Pacific region. Diners Club is part of the Discover Global Network, the third largest payments network in the world. It has more than 37 million merchant acceptance locations and one million ATM and cash access in 185 countries, said a press release.

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Ali Reza Iftekhar received extension

Business Report
 
The board of directors of EBL has extended the contract of CEO and Managing Director Ali Reza Iftekhar till August 2019. He is leading the bank as its CEO and Managing Director since 2007. 
His banking career spans over 30 years. He worked for multinational banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Banque Indosuez and AB Bank. His award taking include CEO of the Year 2012 offered by Asian HR Leadership Award held in Dubai, Credit Specialist Certificate by world reputed Omega in UK, certificate of recognition in International Trade Skill Assessment Program jointly conducted by Standard Chartered Group London and ICC. 
Ali Reza Iftekhar is an ardent promoter of sustainable development. As CEO and MD of EBL he introduced international best practices and ethical banking standards and transformed EBL into the most valuable financial brand in the country. 
Under his leadership, the Bank has achieved awards like Best Retail Bank in Bangladesh awarded by The Asian Banker for four consecutive years, the IFC Global Award for the Best Partner for Working Capital Systemic Solution; ICSB National Award for Corporate Governance Excellence for two consecutive years; the Best Financial Institution 2010 at the DHL-Daily Star Bangladesh Business Award. He was the chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), apex body for banking professionals of the country, for the term of 2014–15, said a press release 

Comment

Business Report
 
The board of directors of EBL has extended the contract of CEO and Managing Director Ali Reza Iftekhar till August 2019. He is leading the bank as its CEO and Managing Director since 2007. 
His banking career spans over 30 years. He worked for multinational banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Banque Indosuez and AB Bank. His award taking include CEO of the Year 2012 offered by Asian HR Leadership Award held in Dubai, Credit Specialist Certificate by world reputed Omega in UK, certificate of recognition in International Trade Skill Assessment Program jointly conducted by Standard Chartered Group London and ICC. 
Ali Reza Iftekhar is an ardent promoter of sustainable development. As CEO and MD of EBL he introduced international best practices and ethical banking standards and transformed EBL into the most valuable financial brand in the country. 
Under his leadership, the Bank has achieved awards like Best Retail Bank in Bangladesh awarded by The Asian Banker for four consecutive years, the IFC Global Award for the Best Partner for Working Capital Systemic Solution; ICSB National Award for Corporate Governance Excellence for two consecutive years; the Best Financial Institution 2010 at the DHL-Daily Star Bangladesh Business Award. He was the chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), apex body for banking professionals of the country, for the term of 2014–15, said a press release 

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