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IFC Supports Trade Sector in Bangladesh


In Washington, D.C.
Rita Jupe

Phone: (202) 458-8967

E-mail:  
rjupe@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., December 20, 2005—The International Finance Corporation today announced that Eastern Bank and Dhaka Bank have joined IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.

Eastern Bank and Dhaka Bank are the first issuing banks in Bangladesh to join the Global Trade Finance Program. The revolving guarantee facility aims to help importers in Bangladesh in two ways. It provides importers better access to letter of credit confirmations and it extends the geographical reach and availability of confirmation lines for documentary credits originated by these banks through a network of confirming banks that are also part of the program.

Jyrki Koskelo, Director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets, said, “The Global Trade Finance Program will allow Eastern Bank and Dhaka Bank to increase their trade volumes and improve their trade finance capacity to support private sector importers, especially small and medium size businesses.”

Iyad Malas, Director of IFC’s South Asia Region, said, "This program will help Bangladeshi importers increase their trade volume and promote trade between Bangladesh and other countries.  We are pleased that Dhaka Bank and Eastern Bank are the first Bangladeshi banks to join the program."

The Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by promoting flows of goods and services between developing countries. IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage. IFC is also in discussions with other select banks in Bangladesh for their participation under the Program.

Eastern Bank began commercial operations in Bangladesh in August 1992 and offers a full range of personal finance, corporate finance, structured finance, international trade, foreign exchange, and capital market services. As of December 31, 2004, the bank’s paid-up capital was Tk.828 million (US$12.4 million). Eastern Bank has 22 branches with 10 branches in Dhaka, five in Chittagong, and the rest in other commercially important cities.

Dhaka Bank was established as a public limited company in 1994 and began commercial operations in July 1995. The paid up capital of the bank stood at Tk.663.8 million (US$10 million) as of December 31, 2004. Dhaka Bank has 28 branches across the country and a wide network of correspondents around the world. It offers the full range of banking and investment services for personal and corporate customers.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.