5 years ago

IFC to pump $72m into two local industrial groups

Awaits govt's nod

Internet photo used for illustrative purpose only
Internet photo used for illustrative purpose only

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has sought the government's approval for investing US$ 72 million in two local conglomerates to make sure both groups get working capital, officials said.

According to its articles of agreement, the World Bank's private lending arm needs to take prior permission from the member state concerned if it wants to finance an enterprise in the territories of that country.

The IFC, according to an available note, wants to invest $50 million in Pran Agro Business Ltd, Pran Agro Ltd and Natore Agro Ltd to help meet the companies' capital expenditure and working capital requirements.

Besides, the IFC wants to invest $22 million in Esquire Knit Composite Ltd to support its establishment of a readymade garments factory at Bhaluka in Mymensingh.

In the recent past, the IFC injected $125 million into Summit Power. It also invested in various banks, non-bank financial institutions, power plants and in the hospitality sector of the country.

According to statistics available with the IFC, until June 2017, its committed portfolio in Bangladesh reached over $1.0 billion.

The corporation promotes sustainable growth and private sector development in Bangladesh through investing in critical infrastructure, boosting financial inclusion, enhancing textiles competitiveness and supporting reforms to make doing business easier for the private sector.

In late 2016, the IFC set a target to invest $2.5 billion in three years in Bangladesh under long-term financing.

A senior official at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has told the FE that the IFC makes available low-cost loans for the private sector.

The funding is helping expand the private sector, generate employment, and foster economic development of the country, he said.

According to the project description, PRAN Group is planning the capacity expansion through $65 million capital expenditure investment in the PRAN Agro Business Limited and refinancing short-term working capital worth $20 million for PRAN Agro Limited and Natore Agro Limited.

The expansion plan includes setting up of an aseptic pulping facility in Rajshahi for increasing the production capacity of fruit-based beverage, spice products and noodle's. It also includes backward integration into flour milling, developing a distribution channel of 1,500 distributors and modernising existing operations.

With the IFC funding, the Esquire Knit Composite Ltd will expand its apparel cutting and sewing operations. The project involves setting up of a new cutting and sewing factory in Bhaluka.

The new facility, to be housed in a green building, will comprise 102 sewing lines, seamless garment knitting, molded bra cup technology and automatic cutting and sewing for the production of active wear and lingerie, according to the project proposal.

The proposed project will increase Esquire's cutting and sewing capacity by 31.8 million pieces per year for export to major global retailers.

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