Norfund's First Equity Investment in Bangladesh

Mutual Trust Bank will promote access to long-term loans for small and medium sized companies, Green Projects (including renewable energy) and export-oriented industries.

Background

While the income growth, human development and vulnerability reduction efforts to date have been extraordinary, Bangladesh faces daunting challenges with about 24 million people still living below the poverty line (World Bank 2019).

Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) was founded in 1999 as a “third generation” private commercial bank in Bangladesh. It is listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (USD 185 million market capitalization as of 2020). MTB is a robustly growing Private Commercial Bank. It has a large network of 120 branches in Bangladesh and over 2000 staff. The board has a strong representation with a 35% stake.

Ownership

In May 2018, Norfund provided a first loan facility in the amount of USD 20 million for MTB. Upon receiving consent from the regulatory authorities, Mutual Trust Bank decided to raise above USD 20 m in new equity.

Today, Norfund is the largest single shareholder of MTB with 9,53% of total shares. This is Norfund’s first major equity investment in a bank in Bangladesh. 

Norfund is an active owner and is represented in the Board of Directors of MTB. As an active owner, Norfund also contributes with business support to strengthen the Bank’s corporate governance.

The other shareholders are from diversified business groups with exposure to trading, manufacturing and services covering various sectors in Bangladesh. 

Mutual Trust Bank appreciates that Norfund accepted the Bank as a financial partner and, contributes significantly to the overall socio-economic development of Bangladesh. The consistent hard work of the due diligence teams of both MTB and Norfund helped the Bank to provide innovative financial solutions with a view to meeting the customers’ evolving needs.

Anis Khan, previous CEO of MTB

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