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ICB: Your investment solution

Article - December 16, 2011
The second largest corporation in terms of market capitalisation on the stock exchange, ICB offers a wide array of commercial and investment products to global investors
Since 1991, Bangladesh’s economy has prospered with an average GDP growth of 5 per cent, and the government has set a 7 per cent target for this year.

The role of foreign direct investment is not to be underestimated in this growth. “In Asia we are one of the three largest countries in terms of foreign remittances. Last year our export sector grew by 44 per cent. FDI in Bangladesh grew by about 30 per cent in 2010 when it only grew by 4.56 per cent globally,” explains Mohammad Fayekuzzaman, managing director of the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB).

ICB was created in 1976. The purpose, explains Mr Fayekuzzaman, “was to create a capital market. There was no private sector, so ICB had to play a strong role.” Today, it is one of the country’s largest investment banks and has evolved with the times.

“We have reformed ICV and created three subsidiary companies established to compete within the private sector.” As a result, net profits have more than tripled since 2001.

The Bangladeshi government has an Equity Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF), now under the responsibility of ICB, which encourages innovation and aims to create new entrepreneurs, giving unemployed people a chance to build their own business, particularly in the IT and agricultural sectors.

“We provide 49 per cent equity for the sponsors, not through a loan. They are obliged to return it in the fourth year using their profits. If they do not make a profit, they will simply return the amount they received initially, and become a 100 per cent owner of the company.”

Looking into the future, Mr Fayekuzzaman envisions an alternative market. “There should be a new market where these new companies can trade and sell venture capital.”

Furthermore, ICB has a Unit Fund Scheme that contributes to the industrial development of the country. “I invite non-resident Bangladeshis to invest in this fund so they can contribute to the stability of the capital market.”