Hall-Mark seeks fresh Sonali loan

Claims it can export garment worth Tk 500cr in 2 months if granted Tk 25cr loan
Controversial business group Hall-Mark has sought a fresh loan of Tk 25 crore from the Sonali Bank, claiming the credit would help it export garment worth Tk 500 crore in two months, said sources in the bank.
Like before, the company provided false and fabricated information relating to its export potentials.
Meanwhile, leading businessmen have questioned how could the Hall-Mark Group, which had exported only $55 million (Tk 448 crore) worth of garments in five and a half years, will be able to export over $60 million (Tk 500 crore) in two months.
“It took 15 years or more for many businesses to export $50 million worth of garments a year. It is absurd for little-known Hall-Mark to achieve that feat,” said Anawr-ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, a leading exporter.
According to industry leaders, there are around 150 business houses that export $50 million worth of garments per year from Bangladesh. But it is not necessary for them to own 30-35 factories, though Hall-Mark claims of owning 34 factories.
They said a factory of 40 lines or two factories of 20 lines each can produce and export $50 million worth of garments a year.
A businessman need not own 35 factories to achieve such a target in over five years, mentioned Anwar, also a former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Statistics of Hall-Mark says its total exports were $55 million between early 2007 and May this year.
An investigation by the Bangladesh Bank in May this year detected irregularities in the way the company took out loans of Tk 2,686 crore from the Ruposhi Bangla branch of the Sonali Bank. Since then all commercial banks stopped funding the group.
Banks do not even want to open any Letter of Credit (L/C) in favour of the company, which is imperative to export products.
Tushar Ahmed, general manager (commercial) of Hall-Mark Group, said they started export in 2007 with Hall-Mark Fashion and added six factories in 2008.
During a visit to the Hall-Mark factories at Hemayetpur in Savar in August, Tushar told this correspondent that they have export orders in hand worth only $7 million (Tk 56 crore), a much lower figure than the group cited to Sonali Bank about it export potentials.
Last week he admitted applying for the fresh loans.
Besides his chairman and managing director, Tushar is one of the principal accused in several cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission for the loan scam.
Garments exporters, who are in business for more than two decades, are surprised to see how the little-known group with a small export figure was granted the loan in just two years.
Exporters said Tanvir Mahmud, owner of Hall-Mark Group, in the loan documents showed his factories’ capacity many times higher than the reality to deceive the bank and swindle depositors’ money.
According to BGMEA members’ directory, Hall-Mark Denim Composite’s annual capacity has been shown at 3.5 lakh dozen or 42 lakh pieces a year. If a piece is exported at a minimum price of $3, this factory alone can fetch $12.6 million a year.
Yearly production capacities of Hall-Mark Design, Hall-Mark Denim Fashion and Hall-Mark Fashion have been shown 48 lakh, 42 lakh and 54 lakh pieces respectively.
“If these four factories are run on 60 percent capacity, they together can earn $50 million a year from exports,” said Iqbal Hossain, another exporter.
He also suspected many of the Hall-Mark factories are paper-based, but the bank failed to detect that.
“How could Sonali Bank lend such a big amount of depositors’ money to Hall-Mark without checking its production capacity and exports?” questioned Parvez.
Exporters also said to run so many factories, Hall-Mark requires efficient people in its management. But the businessmen do not know any such skilful person in the Hall-Mark’s upper ranks.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Bangladesh hikes power price again in just 3 weeks

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The government has increased the retail power price again — by 5 per cent — along with an increase in the bulk price by over 8 per cent just 18 days after it had hiked the retail price on January 12 this year. The new retail prices and charges, announced for ... Read more

Achol Foundation reported 585 student suicides in 2022

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A survey by the Achol Foundation found that 585 students from schools, colleges, universities, and madrasas died by suicide in 2016. Among them, 340 were in school, 106 were in college, 85 were in university, and 54 were in a madrasa. The foundation revealed the information through a press release sent ... Read more

Mother, kid reunited by cop’s brave act

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A mother sold her two-month-old infant for Tk 30,000 to pay off debts. A police team reunited the mother and kid yesterday, three days after the terrible tragedy. The mother, Lima Hanufa, said her husband hasn’t worked in five years since a road accident incapacitated him. Lima, her family’s sole breadwinner, ... Read more

Taslima Nasreen claims she became a big victim of medical crime

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin has accused a hospital in India of committing a “medical crime” by providing wrong treatment to her after she reportedly broke a bone in her leg. She claimed that doctors at the hospital conducted a total hip replacement surgery on her even though the X-ray report ... Read more

Boy found in the cargo container calls himself Fahim

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The boy found in a cargo container in Port Klang of Malaysia on January 17 calls himself Fahim and he could be Bangladeshi or Rohingya. A video clip of the boy, aged between 11 and 15, being rescued from the empty container went viral and in several clips the boy calls ... Read more

Sreemangal became cool at 5.6 degrees Celsius

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Sreemangal of Moulvibazar ha the lowest temperature of the season at 5.6 degrees Celsius in the 24 hours preceding friday morning. Mujibur Rahman, a Srimangal weather monitoring station officer, told UNB that the lowest temperature at Sreemangal was 2.8 degrees Celsius on February 4, 1968. Sreemangal is struggling with severe cold, ... Read more

Liver transplant: Sister saves brother

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Bogura resident 53-year-old Monetzar Rahman received a liver transplant from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) physicians. At a press conference yesterday, BSMMU officials stated Montezar’s sister Shamima Akter, 43, gave 60% of her liver to save her brother. The Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund paid for surgery. BSMMU surgeons ... Read more

Biswa Ijtema first phase concludes with peace prayers

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The first phase of the Biswa Ijtema concluded today with the Akheri Munajat (final prayers), seeking peace on earth and prosperity for the Muslim Ummah. Thousands of devotees of all ages gathered at the Ijtema ground on the Turag banks and on the roads adjacent to the Ijtema venue during the ... Read more

Women use mobile phones more than men

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The latest survey from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) shows that more women than men in the country have access to mobile phones. The proportion of mobile phone use of the male and female in the last 3-month is 89.9 percent and 90 percent respectively, said the report. The BBS ... Read more

What does a ride on the metro cost?

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Uttara-Agargaon section of the country’s first metro rail will be inaugurated tomorrow. Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), the government agency responsible for fixing metro rail fare, has published the full list of metro rail fares. The minimum fare was fixed at Tk 20 and the maximum fare for travelling from ... Read more

DGHS advises taking booster and using mask amid rising COVID-19 cases

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Health officials told people today to be careful, such as by getting booster shots and wearing masks in crowded places. This comes after a warning from the National Advisory Committee about a possible new variant that has already spread through China and been found in India. Because of a highly contagious ... Read more

Met Office warns of fog

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A light to thick blanket of fog is likely to envelope large parts of Bangladesh for up to 12 hours from midnight. Moderate to thick fog may occur over the river basins and northern part of the country and light to moderate fog elsewhere over the country from midnight to morning, ... Read more

Bangladesh celebrates Victory Day

Nahid Riyasad The nation celebrates 52nd Victory Day on Friday commemorating the freedom fighters whose supreme sacrifice freed the country from Pakistani occupation force in 1971. Thousands of people from all walks of life started gathering at the National Memorial in Savar to pay tribute to the 1971 martyrs from the morning after the president ... Read more

Bangladesh’s Saleemul Huq among Nature’s top 10 scientists

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The scholarly publication Nature has presented a selection of ten individuals who were instrumental in shaping the most significant scientific stories in 2022. Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi scientist, has made it onto the list for his work to get wealthier nations to pay for the losses and damages caused by climate ... Read more

Martyred Intellectuals Day: People paying homage to martyred intellectuals

News Desk : dhakamirror.com People from all walks of life have been paying tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Rayerbazar this morning, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day. Most of the people, including teachers and students from different educational institutions, were wearing black clothes, a symbol of mourning. ... Read more

Stakeholders can deal with Evaly on own accord

News Desk : dhakamirror.com HC says in full text of order The High Court in the full text of an order has cleared the way for banks and other stakeholders to deal with beleaguered e-commerce platform Evaly on their own accord. “Since this court has never passed any order to halt the activities of Evaly, ... Read more

Argentina plans embassy in Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Argentina wants to open a diplomatic mission in Bangladesh. South Atlantic News Agency Merco Press says that the decision may have been helped by the fact that Bangladesh cheered for Lionel Messi’s team at the World Cup in Qatar. Bangladesh has always had a lot of die-hard Argentina fans, but during ... Read more

BBC’s 100 Women list includes Bangladeshi student

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The BBC placed Bangladeshi student Sanjida Islam Choya on its list of the world’s 100 most influential women for 2022 because of her work to stop child marriage. The BBC says that Sanjida has stopped at least 50 child marriages in Bangladesh. When she was in school, she saw a presentation ... Read more

HSC enrollment starts Dec 8, classes start Feb 1

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Enrollment for the following academic year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) courses will open on December 8 using an online registration system. Prof. Tapan Kumar Sarker, head of the Inter-Education Board Coordination Committee, said applicants can apply through December 15. He added the admission process will be posted on education boards’ and ... Read more

Umrah e-visa requires biometric data.

Elderly pilgrims may be affected, according to HAAB. News Desk : dhakamirror.com In order to receive their Umrah e-visas, pilgrims from Bangladesh and four other countries must submit biometric data, including “fingerprints,” to the Saudi authorities. According to a report citing an announcement by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the other nations include ... Read more