Three large-loan proposals get BB nod - Share market analysis of dhaka stock exchange, Bangladesh
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09 August, 2015 10:03 AM Source: The Daily Star Bangladesh
Bangladesh Bank.jpg

 The central bank has approved Janata Bank's proposal for rescheduling loans of three companies amounting to Tk 3,138 crore under the large-loan restructuring policy.

The three companies are: Beximco Group -- Tk 1,849 crore, Jamuna Group -- Tk 598 crore, and Ratanpur Group -- Tk 691 crore.

Bangladesh Bank, in a major move on January 27, allowed defaulters of large loans -- Tk 500 crore and above -- to reschedule their debts on the ground that they were affected by external and domestic factors beyond their control.

The deadline for sending in applications for rescheduling expired on June 30, and ten indebted conglomerates have sought to reschedule loans amounting to Tk 14,540 crore.

The BB has formed a scrutiny committee led by Executive Director Naushad Ali Chowdhury to examine whether the proposals conform to the large loan rescheduling policy. To date, the committee has given the green light to three proposals, according to Chowdhury.

The remaining proposals are being examined as per the central bank guideline, and the committee hopes to inform the banks about their decisions soon.

Another member of the scrutiny committee said some proposals have shortcomings, so they have sought clarifications from the banks. Once the clarifications come through, decisions will be taken on the proposals.

The interest on the loans of Beximco and Jamuna has been set at 10 percent and the rate for Ratanpur Group is upwards of 10 percent but less than 13 percent.

A high official of Janata Bank said the normal rate of interest is 12 to 13 percent and the repayment period three to five years. They have charged a lower interest rate, which would slightly erode their profitability.

The move to give large-loan defaulters a chance to reschedule their loans came after Beximco applied to the BB to rescue it from a cash crunch.

So far, eight banks have sought to reschedule loans worth Tk 5,619 crore of Beximco: the proposal by Janata Bank has been approved, while those of other banks are still under scrutiny.

For Beximco's loan rescheduling, banks have proposed to charge interest rates between 10 percent and 12.5 percent.

Ten banks have sent proposals to reschedule Jamuna Group's Tk 1,685 crore loans, of which only the Tk 598 crore-proposal from Janata Bank got the clearance.

Other proposals under scrutiny are: Thermax Group's Tk 667 crore (with one bank); Sikder Group's Tk 1,838 crore (with three banks); Abdul Monem Ltd's Tk 577 crore (with four banks).

Keya Group's loans amounting to Tk 879 crore with five banks, SA Group's Tk 918 crore with five banks, BR Spinning's Tk 572 crore with four banks and AnonTex Tk 1,094 crore with one bank, are also sitting on the scrutiny committee's table.

The banks sent in proposals for six more companies but those did not make the cut as the total loan amount was less than Tk 500 crore.

To take the large loan restructuring facility, a borrower must pay a minimum of 1 percent of the loan as down payment if the loan figure exceeds Tk 1,000 crore.

In case of loans between Tk 500 crore and Tk 1,000 crore, the borrower has to pay 2 percent as down payment.

After getting the restructuring facility, large borrowers will enjoy 50 percent term loan facility against their last credit limit from the banks and 60 percent for their working capital.

The restructured loans will have a maximum tenure of 12 years for term loan and six years for demand and/or continuous loan.

The interest rate against the outstanding balance of the restructured loan may be at a discount from the prevailing declared rate of the bank.

However, it may not be less than the cost of fund plus 1 percent. The banks will have to keep the restructured loans under special mention accounts and they must keep 2 percent provision against such type of loans. The banks will have to withdraw the restructuring facility if any borrower fails to repay instalment for two consecutive quarters.

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