The Financial Express

Issuance of ICB bond

Local, foreign companies show interest in arranging funds

| Updated: May 12, 2021 10:23:42

Local, foreign companies show interest in arranging funds

Some local and foreign companies have shown interest to work as arrangers of funds to be issued by the state-run Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) through the issuance of bond.

Of the foreign companies, the Credit Suisse, a leading investment bank of Switzerland, has proposed to collect a foreign fund worth US $ 1.50 billion for the corporation, according to the information of the ICB.

The chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Prof. Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam said the process of raising foreign funds for the ICB is yet to be finanlised.

"The Credit Suisse is interested to provide funds for the ICB. But now it's not possible to speak about the matter," Mr Islam said.

The chairman said the Credit Suisse is going to arrange a road show for Bangladesh at the bank's office in Switzerland.

Following the interest of the fund arrangers, the state-run corporation earlier had sought the ministry's permission regarding raising foreign funds.

According to the ICB's officials, the foreign fund that will be collected will be utilised for the purpose of investing in the capital market and repaying the high cost deposit.

Asked, the ICB's managing director Md. Abul Hossain said the process of collecting fund through the issuance of band is yet to be finalised.

"The government's permission and guarantee are required to issue the bond. Following our proposal of raising foreign fund, the ministry has sought a detailed plan with experts' opinion" Mr. Hossain said.

Meanwhile, the ICB has sought opinion from the central bank and the securities regulator regarding raising foreign funds.

"The securities regulator has expressed its opinion in favour of raising fund. But we have not yet received the central bank's opinion," said the managing director of the ICB.

He said after getting the ministry's permission, the ICB will set the interest rate on bond and terms of reference (ToR) required for collecting the foreign fund.

"The Credit Suisse has showed interest to provide us a fund worth US $ 1.5 billion. This investment bank either can invest in our bond or can work as arranger of foreign fund," said the ICB's managing director Mr Hossain.

After taking charge, the incumbent commission of the securities regulator laid efforts to bring reforms in the capital market along with facilitating the collection of foreign funds for the state-run ICB and infrastructure developments.

As part of the move, the securities regulator will hold roadshows in different business hubs across the world.

In February, the securities regulator held its maiden roadshow in Dubai.

After the road show, the securities regulator said many foreign investors talked to them exclusively and held separate meetings as they are interested to make investments in Bangladesh.

According to the BSEC officials, some foreign investors showed interest to invest in mutual funds.

Meanwhile, the securities regulator has amended the rules of mutual funds including the provision of allowing foreign companies as sponsors.

According to new provision, a foreign company, either public or private, can be the sponsor of any mutual fund solely or jointly with any local eligible sponsor.

As a sponsor, a foreign company will be allowed to subscribe up to 25 per cent of the fund size, said the new provision of the rules of mutual funds.

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