- Active: Active
- Region: Asia & Pacific
- Country: Bangladesh
- Sector: Banking
- Year: 2010
- Domicile: Bangladesh
- Instrument: Equity
- Commitment (MNOK) as of 31.12.2019: 11.6
- Original Commitment (MNOK): 122.2
BRAC Bank is a private commercial bank in Bangladesh, focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). In October 2010, we have signed a subordinated convertible bonds agreement with Brac Bank Limited (“Brac” or “the Bank”). The total value of the bonds was BDT 490 million or USD 6.17 million. The bond is nominated in local currency (BDT). The agreement gives Norfund 3 options to convert a portion of our bonds into Brac’s common equity in January 2016, 2017, and 2018. We have exercised all 3 options in January 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Brac Bank Ltd. is considered the market leader within Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) financing in Bangladesh. 60 million enterprises are believed not to have access to finance in Bangladesh. A main strategic focus of the bank is to supply bank products and services to areas of the country where smaller companies today have no access to finance.
To be able to attract affordable and stable funding the bank has become a fully fledged commercial bank. In addition to lending, the bank offers savings and investment banking products to affluent individuals and trade finance products to larger companies. However, management is committed to keep more than 60% of the portfolio in SMEs. For the SMEs in the portfolio, the average loan size is around BDT 650.000 (NOK 53 000), and the maximum tenor is 21 months.
In the Western economies, bond issues are an important way of raising funds for banks and larger companies. Norfund's contribution in 2010 was the first time an international investor participated in a bond issue in Bangladesh. Norfund believes the participation in and support of listed bond issues is a valuable and important contribution to the deepening of the financial markets in developing countries.