Grameenphone Limited

South Asia Communications and IT Services

Grameenphone Ltd (GP), is the leading telecoms service provider in Bangladesh, with more than 54.5 million subscribers.

It is a joint venture between Telenor and Grameen Telecom Corporation, a non-profit sister organisation of microfinance and community development bank Grameen Bank. Telenor, the largest telecoms company in Norway, owns a 55.8 per cent share of Grameenphone.

It was the first company to introduce digital mobile technology in Bangladesh, and it built the first cellular network to cover 99 per cent of the country.

The company employs over 4,000 people directly and many more jobs are supported through its third-party vendor network.

Our investment

In 2013, CDC provided a $25 million loan to Grameenphone. The loan was made as part of a lending group with the International Finance Corporation, other DFIs and Standard Chartered Bank. The total loan facility is $345 million.

The funding will help modernise the Grameenphone network and increase its coverage in rural areas, acting as a driver for wider economic growth.

Expected impact

Mobile phones are predicted to be the main method for accessing the internet in Bangladesh, given the high cost of PCs and fixed-line internet connections; tariffs rank among the lowest in the world.

Updating the Grameenphone network will improve access to telecoms services for both voice and data. This will help businesses of all sizes offer more goods and services to more people, more efficiently, developing the private sector at all levels.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC supported the development of good international environmental and social practices within the company.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

South Asia

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Communications and IT Services
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

May 2013

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.