IFC proposes to extend debt to three Bangladesh lenders

Photo: Bloomberg

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank group, is expanding its exposure in Bangladesh financial services sector proposing to make fresh investments in Bank Asia, Pubali Bank Limited and ONE Bank Limited.

IFC considers $40m loan to Bank Asia

IFC has proposed to invest up to $40 million in the form of a straight senior loan in Bank Asia.

The proceeds would be used by the bank to develop a green portfolio of loans in renewable energy and energy efficiency, IFC said in a disclosure dated February 28.

Bank Asia is a third-generation publicly-traded private sector commercial bank incorporated in September 1999 in Bangladesh. As of December 2017, the sponsors held 51.66 per cent in the bank, local institutional investors held 30.82 per cent and remaining 16.87 per cent shareholding was held by the public.

The bank currently operates 120 branches across the country.

IFC to extend $50m credit to Pubali Bank

IFC is looking to invest $80 million in Pubali Bank Limited (PBL) in a bid to create access to finance for SMEs and financial inclusion through investments in FIs, it said in a disclosure dated February 28.

The proposed project comprises of an investment of up to $50 million working capital solutions (WCS) and $30 million Global Trade Finance Facilities (GTFP), it said. The investment intends to support the MSME growth strategy and expand the USD denominated trade business through the bank’s offshore banking unit.

Headquartered in Dhaka, PBL operates 459 branches across the country. Originally incorporated in 1959 under the name of “Eastern Mercantile Bank Limited”, PBL was renamed after privatization on 30 June, 1983.

The bank is listed on both Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges. It is 30 per cent held by the directors and sponsors and 46.16 per cent by the general public.

IFC proposes $50m debt to ONE Bank

IFC is also considering an investment in ONE Bank to support and fund the bank’s trade and lending program to its clients with focus on SME and to green subprojects in Bangladesh, it said in a disclosure dated February 28.

The proposed investment consists of a WCS facility of up to $30 million, a green/sustainable finance loan of up to $20 million and a $30 million guarantee under GTFP, it said.

Dhaka-based ONE Bank was incorporated in May 1999  and is listed on the Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges. The bank’s total assets stood at $2.7 billion as of September 2017. The bank at present operates a network of 95 branches across the country.

As of September 2017, the sponsor/director held 30 per cent shares of the bank, local and foreign financial institutions cumulatively held 22 per cent, while and public held 48 per cent of the shareholding.

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