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IFC invests in Grameenphone to Expand Mobile Services in Bangladesh


In New Delhi:
Minakshi Seth

Phone: +91 11 4111 1000

E-mail: MSeth@ifc.org

     
In Dhaka:
Sarah Karim
Phone: +88 02 8833 755
E-mail: SKarim2@ifc.org  


Dhaka, Bangladesh, Aug 27, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has mobilized a $345 million financial package for Bangladesh’s leading telecom operator Grameenphone to support the company in expanding its coverage in rural areas, improving energy efficiency, promoting employment opportunities and sustainable development.

Financing for Grameenphone has been made available through a consortium of lenders including development finance institutions Proparco, DEG, FMO, CDC and OFID and one commercial bank, Standard Chartered Bank
. IFC’s own investment in the package is $150 million. This is one of the largest private sector financing packages in Bangladesh.

Improved access to mobile telephony and data services is critical for economic growth and poverty reduction.  Bangladesh’s teledensity remains low by global standards. The investment will increase access to telecommunication services for both voice and data, helping smaller businesses create employment and supporting both public and private sectors to better deliver education, health
, and other basic services using mobile technology.

“The potential to expand telecom services in Bangladesh is huge and IFC’s financing will be crucial in helping us improve connectivity and coverage in rural areas, boosting digital inclusion,” said Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer of Grameenphone.

“Experience from rural Bangladesh shows that livelihood opportunities improve as a result of information and transactions facilitated through mobile phones,” said Kyle F. Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh. “Investment in telecommunication can help the country achieve its target for poverty reduction.”

"The financing by global investors and lenders will help to improve the quality of connectivity infrastructure, boost the Digital Bangladesh initiative and contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country," said Nabhash Chandra Mandal, Executive Member, Board of Investment, Bangladesh
. The Digital Bangladesh initiative launched by the government, aims for efficient delivery of government services through maximum use of technology.

IFC has supported the growth of the telecom sector in Bangladesh through a long-term engagement with Grameenphone since 1998.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org

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