IFC proposes to extend $75m loan to two Bangladeshi banks

FILE PHOTO: Vehicles are seen stuck in a heavy traffic after office hours during Ramadan in Dhaka July 7, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is proposing to provide two senior loans of total up to $75 million to two Bangladeshi lenders – The City Bank Limited and Prime Bank Limited.

IFC is proposing a senior loan of up to $40 million to City Bank and a debt of $35 million to Prime Bank, it said in a disclosure. Both loans are from IFC’s own account in the form of  Working Capital Solutions (WCS), designed to provide funding to its client banks in emerging markets.

The banks will further extend these loans to companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

IFC said that the two projects will support working capital, trade finance and FX liquidity needs of the sub-borrowers (export/import-based SMEs and Corporates) through City Bank and Prime Bank’s offshore banking units.

Incorporated in 1983, City Bank is one of the leading private commercial banks in Bangladesh with a total asset of $4.1 billion as of December 31, 2019. IFC is a shareholder of City Bank since 2017.

Meanwhile, Prime Bank, which is listed in both the local bourses, is the 17th largest private commercial bank in Bangladesh with a total asset size of $3.8 billion as of March 2020.

“By sustaining the Banks’ ability to provide these services, IFC’s proposed facility is intended to promote the resilience of trade finance markets, as well as broader stability that comes about by providing for the going concern of market participants in Bangladesh,” the international lender said in the announcement.

In Bangladesh, most recently, IFC has proposed to provide a loan of $25 million to a unit of PRAN Group, one of the country’s branded food and beverage groups and among its largest agro-processors and a loan of $20 million to Fiber@Home, a wholesale fiber optic network developer and operator company.

Last year, IFC provided a working capital facility and a five-year green loan of up to $65 million to United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB), one of the largest private-sector commercial banks in Bangladesh.

Earlier, the international lender proposed to expand its exposure in Bangladesh financial services sector by supporting Bank Asia, Pubali Bank Limited and ONE Bank Limited.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.