1 October 2019

CDC invests $30million in a Bangladeshi business, establishes permanent local presence

CDC Group plc (“CDC”), the UK’s development finance institution, has today announced its commitment of US$30 million BRAC Bank, as the Board arrive in Dhaka to reconfirm CDC’s commitment to the country.

  • US $30 million loan to BRAC Bank, one of Bangladesh’s leading commercial banks with over 1.2 million customers and 187 branches. BRAC Bank services customers across the SME, Corporate and Retail segments in the banking industry.
  • CDC has established its permanent presence by welcoming Rehan Rashid as Country Director for Bangladesh.

CDC invests to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. An active investor, it partners with businesses to advance their commercial success whilst strengthening their development impact strategies. CDC offers flexible investment solutions including equity, corporate debt, project finance and fund investments. It has been responsibly investing Bangladesh since the early eighties and over the last 10 years, CDC has committed excess of US$205 million to the country. In the wider region of South Asia, CDC has invested for over 30 years and has over 300 investee partners, valued at nearly US$ 2 billion. The group has committed to invest up to US$1.7 billion in South Asia from 2018-2021.

CDC has built long-term investment partnerships with high-growth domestic businesses such as RFL Electronics, a producer of consumer electronics and large domestic appliances for the local market and Grameenphone, Bangladesh’s leading mobile phone operator. See more detail below.

 

BRAC Bank:

  • CDC’s US $30 million loan enables BRAC Bank to increase its lending programme to export-led businesses to accelerate their growth, advance employment and positively contribute to Bangladesh’s economy.
  • Promoting financial inclusion, BRAC Bank is developing its retail programme providing personal finance to help people buy homes, educate their children and access bank accounts.
  • BRAC Bank is committed to women’s economic empowerment through its women-centred product offering, the Tara programme.

Based in Dhaka, Rehan Rashid will lead CDC’s mission to form investment partnerships with local businesses in Bangladesh to advance their commercial success and adopt internationally recognised environmental, social and governance standards. CDC also supports companies to implement gender equality and climate solutions, furthering enhancing their business value. This is a newly created role, Rehan will work closely with our teams based across Asia including in Mumbai, Bangalore and Yangon. Rehan was most recently at the IFC and has held several positions at global financial institutions including ICICI Bank Limited, the Dubai Islamic Bank and HSBC.

This week sees a CDC delegation in Dhaka including Chief Executive Nick O’Donohoe, Chairman Graham Wrigley, Bangladesh Country Director Rehan Rashid and Head of Asia Srini Nagarajan. They will meet with local businesses to further understand how CDC’s capital and collaboration can help their companies expand and contribute to Bangladesh’s prosperity.

 

Chief Executive Nick O’Donohoe said:

“We are delighted to be here in Dhaka today, meeting with some of the country’s inspiring business leaders. CDC is committed to using its capital to invest responsibly in businesses to help them grow. We know this positively contributes to a country’s economic prosperity and the quality of people lives in local communities. Our impact strategies ranging from environmental and social to gender and climate change solutions can add real business value for long term success.

CDC’s investment focus is on businesses operating in job-creating sectors including infrastructure, healthcare, agribusiness and financial services and on companies that lower the cost of goods and services for local consumers. Last year, we set out to responsibly invest a further US$1.7 billion in South Asia from 2018-2021. Bangladesh is a real area of interest for us, we have some exciting partnerships in the pipeline.

This latest US$30 million commitment and new Country Director, Rehan Rashid, builds on our recent momentum in Bangladesh and demonstrates our continued commitment to the country.”

ENDS

 

Media Contact:

Clare Murray, CDC group, +44 207 036 4353 / cmurray@cdcgroup.com

 

Notes to Editors:

CDC Group plc is the UK’s development finance institution, wholly owned by the UK Government, CDC has invested in Africa and Asia for 70 years. By investing for impact, CDC aims to help countries in Africa and Asia to build thriving communities that provide sustainable opportunities for all citizens.  CDC takes a flexible approach and provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs and achieve development impact.  CDC has net assets of £5.8bn. Find out more at www.cdcgroup.com

CDC’s Bangladesh investment partnership highlights:

  • 2017 US $15m RFL Electronics, a producer of consumer electronics and large domestic appliances for the local market with ambitions to expand into international markets. CDC has worked closely with RFL implementing key environmental and social changes bringing further value to the business.
  • 2016 US $103m to Sirajganj 4, a 414 megawatt energy project now in full commercial operation and supplying cost-effective energy to the country.
  • 2013 US$25m to Grameenphone, Bangladesh’s leading mobile phone operator. Our investment is helping to modernise its network and improve access to telecommunication services for businesses of all sizes as they offer more goods and services to more people across the country. Our investment in Grameenphone has helped modernise its network and increase its coverage in rural areas, acting as a driver for wider economic growth.
  • 2015 Frontier Bangladesh II, our $20 million investment provides much-needed growth capital to support the expansion of Bangladesh’s medium-sized businesses in key sectors.

BRAC Bank

BRAC Bank Limited, traded as ‘BRACBANK’ on Dhaka Stock Exchange, has been one of the country’s fastest growing banks since its inception in 2001, with particular focus in the SME segment. With 187 branches, 460 ATMs, 456 SME Unit Offices and a workforce of more than 8,000 people, BRAC Bank also services customers across the Corporate and Retail segments in the banking industry. The bank has generated particularly strong financial performance over the past four years and now leads the industry in most financial metrics. With more than 1.2 million customers, the bank has already proved to be the largest collateral free SME financier in just 18 years of its operation in Bangladesh and continues to serve as a benchmark for governance, transparency and compliance in the banking sector.

Abdur Rahim, BRAC Bank, +88 01730704702 / mabdur.rahim@bracbank.com