Pran Agro Ltd, one of the country's leading agro-processing companies, has successfully closed its Tk210 crore guaranteed bond recently.
The company will utilise the proceeds to strengthen its agro processing infrastructure to develop a greater agricultural supply chain in the country.
This is a milestone for the growing bond market of the country as international life insurer Metlife has been the single investor of the taka-denominated bond for the first time here. Also, the guarantee in US dollar terms, equivalent to $25 million, by international firm GuarantCo came with it for the first time here.
Pran secured the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission's (BSEC) approval to issue the first ever corporate bond with international guarantee in September last year. The BSEC then said the issuer would pay 8-10% interest against the redeemable bond.
Local investment banks Green Delta Capital and Riverstone Capital are the trustee and lead arranger of the bond respectively.
Pran organised a virtual ceremony for successfully closing the bond on Monday where speakers expressed their optimism that bonds would increasingly cater to the financing needs of the growing Bangladeshi corporations.
At the programme, Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to the prime minister, said a vibrant bond market is an alternative source for collecting long term finance for the entrepreneurs.
He urged more corporations to issue bonds and also guarantors to come up with their support.
Robert Chatterton Dickson, British high commissioner to Bangladesh, said at the ceremony, "The UK is the long term development partner of Bangladesh. The development of the capital market is very important for economic development. Our investors will come to invest here if the market grows."
BSEC Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam said, "I am happy to give the approval of the bond. I hope other companies will follow Pran. We have introduced various bonds and are trying to promote it."
He urged GuarantCo to engage more in the country's bond market.
Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman at Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), said the initiative of Pran Agro is an inspiration for others company. It will motivate other businesses for collecting long term finance. The BIDA is working to ease the process of doing business in the country.
Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, chairman and CEO at PRAN-RFL Group, said, "The bond market is yet to develop completely in Bangladesh, but the BSEC is doing its best for it. We hope it will develop and entrepreneurs will come to meet its huge financing requirement."
Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor at Bangladesh Bank, Emily Bushby, interim CEO at GuarantCo, Nishant Kumar, its managing director in Asia, Ala Uddin Ahmed, general manager at Metlife Bangladesh were also present at the programme, which Uzma Chowdhury, director (Corporate Finance) of PRAN-RFL Group, moderated.