The International Finance Corporation invested US $25 million for the World Bank Group in an effort to provide liquidity to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh and help preserve jobs.
The IFC loan to the Bank Asia will provide critical working capital to help small and medium enterprises and corporate clients to continue their operations, said a press release on Sunday.
SMEs comprise over 90 per cent of businesses in Bangladesh and employ over 20 per cent of the adult population.
‘IFC has been a reliable partner and this fresh investment will allow us to extend critical working capital and trade finance in the form of forex liquidity to affected businesses,’ said Md Arfan Ali, president and managing director of Bank Asia.
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 programme 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 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.
Bank Asia, an IFC client since 2014, is one of the leading private-sector commercial banks in Bangladesh.
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