Dhaka, April 23, 2007—IFC, the
private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced that Bangladesh’s
Southeast Bank is joining its Global Trade Finance Program. IFC is
providing Southeast Bank with a $5 million facility within the program.
The Global Trade Finance Program supports
trade with emerging markets worldwide and promotes the flow of goods and
services between developing countries. IFC provides partial or full
guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covers the payment
risk of participating issuing banks. The program allows issuing banks,
such as Southeast Bank, to increase the volume and value of trade transactions,
with enhanced tenors and access to competitive pricing terms.
Neaz Ahmed, Managing Director of Southeast
Bank, welcomed the partnership by saying, “We are delighted to extend
our relationship with IFC through its Global Trade Finance Program. This
will help us expand our network of correspondent banks and create new and
valuable business opportunities for our clients in Bangladesh and across
IFC’s support to Southeast Bank fits
well with its strategy to partner with financial institutions and banks
that are committed to developing Bangladesh’s corporate and small and
medium enterprise sectors. IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will provide
Southeast Bank with risk coverage in a difficult market and a global network
that will help grow its trade finance business. This paves the way
for countries like Bangladesh to increase their share of global trade.
Per Kjellerhaug, IFC’s Country Manager
for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, said, “The Global Trade Finance Program
is an important mechanism to get local banks into an active global network
that facilitates transactions in challenging markets, promotes competitive
financing, and builds correspondent bank relationships with new institutions
on a low-risk basis. Trade finance is one good example of the many products
IFC offers to help develop a sector."
Trade development and advisory services
for issuing banks represent an integral part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance
Program. Advisory services modules include basic and intermediate courses
on trade finance. In some cases, IFC places experienced trade finance bankers
with issuing banks to help them develop their trade finance and other banking
IFC’s relationship with Southeast Bank
goes back to 2003, when the bank became a financial partner with IFC Advisory
Services in the region—the SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility.
An initial diagnostic study and strategy workshop were conducted and a
capacity-building IT project was implemented based on the gaps identified.
Other ventures included projects for obtaining ISO Certification for banking
operations, a credit-scoring workshop, SME banking exposure tours, and
a workshop to develop SME marketing skills.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in
generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products have committed more than $56 billion in funding
for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion
in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory
Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program
support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation
in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase
access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability.
For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
About the IFC SouthAsia Enterprise
IFC-SEDF is a multidonor funded facility
managed and operated by IFC. One of 11 such programs managed by IFC
worldwide, the facility is set up to promote the growth of SMEs in the
region. IFC-SEDF is jointly funded by IFC, the governments of the
Netherlands and Norway, the European Commission, DFID (UK), CIDA (Canada),
and the Asian Development Bank. It provides increased access to finance
and quality business development services to projects in Bangladesh, Bhutan,
northeast India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. IFC-SEDF also works to
create a business-enabling environment and supports value addition to firms
through sector development, advisory services, capacity-building programs,
training, and research.
About Southeast Bank
Southeast Bank was incorporated in 1995
and caters to the needs of the corporate and small and medium enterprise
sector in Bangladesh. Its main products include working capital funding
(cash credit and overdrafts) and trade finance (fund based facilities,
mainly post-import finance as well as non fund-based facilities).