WCS Bank Asia II (IFC-39686)

  • Bangladesh
Where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Bank Risk Rating
Risk rating varies among banks and may refer only to the particular investment and not to the risk for the project as a whole. Projects marked 'U' have an 'Unknown' risk rating at the time of disclosure.
Voting Date
Jun 8, 2017
The estimate day the bank will vote on a proposed investment. The decision dates may change, so review updated project documents or contact the EWS team.
Bank Asia Limited
The holder of the loan, grant, or other investment.
  • Finance
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Ring Fence
  • Small & Medium Enterprises
A financial intermediary is a commercial bank or financial institution that receives funds from a development bank, sometimes for a specific lending purpose. A "ring fence" is another name for this specific purpose. These funds are then used for lending by the financial intermediary to client companies or individuals.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, etc.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 40.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, converted to USD$. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ IFC website

Updated in EWS Aug 1, 2018

Disclosed by Bank May 2, 2017

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Project Description

The project involves a short-term loan (Working Capital Solutions, WCS) for up to $40 million to Bank Asia Ltd. (the Bank or Bank Asia) to support the foreign currency needs of small and medium enterprises in Bangladesh.

Investment Description

Bank Asia Ltd. is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh and has a countrywide presence via 110 conventional banking branches, along with 4 SME/Agro branches, 6 SME centers, 5 Islamic windows and 1 Off-Shore Banking Unit (OBU) branch, altogether having 126 outlets. The Bank will on-lend IFC money through its OBU. Apart from above, there are 1,180 Agent Banking Outlets.

Bank Asia Ltd. was incorporated on September 28, 1999 and has total assets of $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2016. According to bank documents: "The present Board Chairman of the Bank Asia Ltd., Mr. A. Rouf Chowdhury is a graduate in Business Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He has experience in several industries including Automobile, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals and Petroleum. Bank Asia is publicly listed on Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchanges. It has a diversified shareholding with 19.0% of shares owned by the general public and 35.4% by local institutions. Around 45.3% of shares is held by the sponsors/directors and 0.3% is held by foreign investors."


Financial Intermediary
Financial Intermediary: A commercial bank or financial institution that receives funds from a development bank. A financial intermediary then lends these funds to their clients (private actors) in the form of loans, bonds, guarantees and equity shares. Financial intermediaries include insurance, pension and equity funds. The direct financial relationship is between the development bank and the financial intermediary.
Private Actor Relationship

There is often limited information publicly available about what development banks are funding through financial intermediaries. In 2021, the Early Warning System partnered with Oxfam International to incorporate information on high-risk projects being funded by financial intermediaries receiving funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).

The information listed below describes the relationship between the different private actors linked to high-risk sectors and subprojects of IFC and FMO's financial intermediary investments and/or the financial intermediary's parent companies made from 2017 through 2020, including any associated ring fences.

The database, however, does not explicitly or implicitly imply that IFC or FMO have material exposure to or are contractually or legally accountable to the sub-projects financed by their financial intermediaries or the financial intermediary's parent companies. It only shows a seemingly financial relationship among the different private actors, the financial intermediaries, and IFC or FMO.

Private Actors Description

The Bank was incorporated on September 28, 1999 and has total assets of $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2016. 

Contact Information

Bank Asia Limited
Md. Zia Arfin
EVP & Head of International Division
Rangs Tower, 68,Purana Paltan, Dhaka-1000

The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an IFC or MIGA- financed project. If you submit a complaint to the CAO, they may assist you in resolving a dispute with the company and/or investigate to assess whether the IFC is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. If you want to submit a complaint electronically, you can email the CAO at CAO@worldbankgroup.org. You can learn more about the CAO and how to file a complaint at http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/