International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide Prime Bank Limited $35 million to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This IFC loan will provide critical working capital to help small businesses continue their operations, according to a press statement.
SMEs comprise over 90 percent of businesses in Bangladesh and employ over 20 percent 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) programme of the Covid-19 response envelope, which provides $2 billion globally to emerging-market banks, enabling them to support struggling firms," it read.
The International Development Association's Private Sector Window (IDA PSW) Blended Finance Facility is also supporting IFC's WCS programme with a first-loss guarantee of up to $215 million in eligible countries, including Bangladesh, according to the statement.
"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.
He continued, "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," the statement read.
Prime Bank, one of the leading private-sector commercial banks in Bangladesh, 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.