Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 19, 2020
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of up to $30 million to The City Bank Limited, a leading private commercial bank in Bangladesh, to provide financing for small and medium enterprises and corporate companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is expected to help keep their doors open and preserve jobs.
World Bank's South Asia Economic Focus 2020
, growth in the country is expected to slow down to 3 percent in FY20 with declining garment exports, lower private investment growth, and broader disruptions caused by the pandemic.
The financing package is part of IFC’s $8 billion global
COVID-19 fast-track financing facility
, which aims to help companies stay in business. This investment comes under the Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program of the COVID-19 response envelope, which provides $2 billion globally to emerging-market banks. This allows them to extend credit so firms can cover expenses and pay their employees.
“IFC played a strong role in strengthening the foreign currency financing ability and offshore banking business of The City Bank,” said Mr. Sheikh Mohammad Maroof, Additional Managing Director of The City Bank. “We believe that the COVID-19 WCS fund has further strengthened our ability to meet our customers’ foreign currency financing requirements in this pandemic where we have experienced contraction in foreign currency liquidity outside Bangladesh.”
Since 2017, IFC has been a shareholder of The City Bank, a long-standing client of IFC. This financing package will support working capital, trade finance and foreign exchange liquidity needs of sub-borrowers through The City Bank’s offshore banking unit.
“Our experience from past crises has shown that keeping small and medium enterprises solvent is vital to saving jobs and limiting economic damage,” said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. “Through IFC’s fast-track COVID-19 facility, we hope to support The City Bank to lend to businesses whose cash flows have been disrupted by the global outbreak.”
The International Development Association’s Private Sector Window (IDA PSW) Blended Finance Facility is supporting IFC’s WCS program with a first-loss guarantee of up to $215 million in eligible countries, including Bangladesh.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
About the IDA Private Sector Window
As part of the record $75 billion IDA18 replenishment, the World Bank Group created the $2.5 billion IDA Private Sector Window to catalyze private sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries. Recognizing the key role of the private sector in achieving IDA18 objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals, the window provides concessional funds for co-investment alongside IFC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) private investments. Concessional funds help to mitigate risk and reduce barriers, which unlocks and crowds in private investment in emerging markets. For more information, visit: