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market investment
Bank & Finance - April 18, 2022

Banks are shy of capital
market investment

Despite BB instruction

Staff Correspondent: Though the investment volume of banks in the capital market has increased, many are still far away from their investment limit.
Despite the policy relaxation and enforcement of Bangladesh Bank (BB), 36 out of 61 scheduled banks of the country have invested in the stock market.
Md Serajul Islam, executive director and BB spokesperson said that the central bank set a target for banks to invest in the capital markets. Though the BB set a limit on investment in the share market, the banks are ignoring it as the compliance is not obligatory by law, he said.
The latest data found that 36 banks have constituted a special fund of Tk 5720 crore so far to invest in the capital markets, far below permitted limit of Tk 7200 crore. Of the fund, Tk1400 crore has been invested in ‘sukuk bond’, a bond that conforms to Islamic strictures on the prohibition of charging or paying interest.
The central bank relaxed policy for scheduled banks to invest in the share markets on August 31, 2021, after the finance ministry’s instructions in this regard. The banks have now a ready fund of Tk2230 crore for investing in share markets at any time.
Banks have certain limits on investing in the capital market. A bank can invest up to 25 per cent of its regulatory capital in the capital market. But to increase the liquidity flow in the capital market, Bangladesh Bank offers an additional investment of up to Tk 200 crore for banks out of this fund.
But the banks did not go up to the approved size to invest in the capital market. Banks can still add more Tk1, 480 crore to the special fund if they wish, the BB sources said.
Around Tk 3711 crore ( Tk 2231 crore of existing fund plus Tk1480 remaining addable fund) banks can invest in the capital market.
Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) told the correspondent that the capital market would be strengthened if the banks’ investment limit is fully injected in the market.
He also urged the banks to help build a stable and investment friendly capital market.
However, the Chief Executive Officer a 4th generation bank told that banks have to secure the interest of depositors first before investing money anywhere.
Wishing not to be named he said there are any shares, but for lack of good shares they cannot invest money in the capital market.
He suggested increasing the number of good and credible companies in the market to attract investment from the banks.

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