Commercial Banks return to profits

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Operating profits for most banks rose in the first half of the year due to the return of normalcy on the political front after a turbulent year.

Primary figures from 15 commercial banks yesterday showed that their profits between January and June increased 10 percent year-on-year to Tk 3,731 crore.

By and large, bankers credited the stable political scenario for the rise in profits.


“Although the profit has gone up, it was not up to our expectations,” said Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, managing director of Pubali Bank.

He said the import and export businesses went up and remittance flow also increased in recent months, boosting the profit figures.

Imports rose 18.08 percent as of April of the just-concluded fiscal year. It went down by 5.60 percent during the same period of fiscal 2012-13.

In the month of April alone, imports shot up 23.47 percent, which was down by 3 percent in the same month last year.

“We hope the situation will improve in the next six months. As a result, the profits will also soar,” Chowdhury told The Daily Star.

Islami Bank Bangladesh, the largest private commercial bank, made the highest profit of Tk 830 crore. The figure is a decline of 14.78 percent from the previous year.

“Our deposits went up. However, investment has not picked up at the same rate, causing the profit to fall,” said a senior official of the bank.

He is however hopeful that profits would go up in the next half of the year to make up for the shortfall.

Most banks saw their profits decline in 2013 due to political unrest and an increase in default loans. Lenders could not disburse credit properly due to political instability and their import-export business also suffered.

Source: The Daily Star

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