• Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:37 am

IFC’s $35m investment in Prime Bank to help businesses preserve jobs

  • Published at 05:33 pm October 22nd, 2020
IFC lends Prime Bank $35m
Rahel Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Prime Bank, and Rosy Khanna, IFC regional industry director, financial institutions group – Asia and Pacific, sign agreement documents at their respective offices on Thursday, October 22, 2020 Courtesy

The financing package is part of IFC’s $8 billion global Covid-19 fast-track financing facility, aimed at helping companies stay afloat during the ongoing public health crisis

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is helping to preserve thousands of jobs in Bangladesh through an investment in Prime Bank Limited to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A $35 million loan from IFC to the private commercial bank will provide critical working capital to help small businesses continue their operations.

SMEs comprise over 90% of businesses in Bangladesh and employ over 20% of the adult population.

The financing package is part of IFC’s $8 billion global Covid-19 fast-track financing facility, aimed at helping companies stay afloat during the ongoing public health crisis.

This investment comes under the Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program of the Covid-19 response envelope, which provides $2 billion globally to emerging-market banks, enabling them to support struggling firms.

The International Development Association’s Private Sector Window (IDA PSW) Blended Finance Facility is also supporting IFC’s WCS program with a first-loss guarantee of up to $215 million in eligible countries, including Bangladesh.

“This new investment from IFC will allow us to extend critical working capital, trade finance and forex liquidity to affected businesses,” said Rahel Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Prime Bank.

“This fresh fund injection will enable us to lend a helping hand, particularly to export and import-based SMEs and other corporate clients, and thousands of suppliers and employees who depend on these businesses.”

Prime Bank, a leading private-sector commercial bank in the country, has been an IFC client since 2014.

“This is an unprecedented crisis that the world is facing and we need all hands on deck to navigate the public health crisis and the resulting economic challenges,” said Rosy Khanna, IFC regional industry director, financial institutions group – Asia and Pacific.

“Small and medium enterprises are key not just in terms of overall contribution to GDP but also in terms of job creation—and the impact of the pandemic on them has to be addressed.

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