Bashundhara Gold Refinery Limited on Wednesday signed an agreement to mobilise Tk 30.32 billion under a syndicated term loan from lead arranger Agrani Bank Limited and four other state-run banks.
Managing Director (MD) of Bashundhara Gold Refinery Limited and Bashundhara Group Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Agrani Bank MD Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, Sonali Bank MD Ataur Rahman Prodhan, Janata Bank MD Md Abdus Salam, Sonali Bank MD Obayed Ullah Al Masud and Bangladesh Development Bank Limited MD Kazi Alamgir inked the deal on behalf of their respective sides at a city hotel.
Top officials of Bashundhara Group and the five state-owned banks were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the signing ceremony, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan expressed gratitude to the banking and non-banking financial institutions for supporting the company to become an industrial conglomerate.
“We wouldn’t have reached such a position had the banks not extended support to us. Bashundhara (Group) doesn’t do business only for money, rather it works for welfare of the people and the country,” he said.
The business icon also shared his dream about branding the country through promoting local resources. “We always want to brand the country. We have huge opportunities. We have to take initiatives and implement those,” he said.
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan also urged the private lenders to come forward like the state-owned banks to support industrialisation in the country. “All should concentrate on investment instead of siphoning off money abroad. Only then the country will move forward,” he said.
The Bashundhara Group Chairman thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for taking farsighted measures to maintain the economic momentum even amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Had the honourable Prime Minister not provided incentives for banks, this would have affected the gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Bangladesh’s economy is currently on a strong footing due her farsightedness,” he said.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir thanked the banks for providing the loan for the implementation of the gold refinery project. “Please, pray for us so that we can materialise the cherished dream at the earliest time,” he said.
Sonali Bank Managing Director Ataur Rahman Prodhan said they are lucky to be a part of the great venture. “The initiative will not be limited to gold refinery alone. This project will surely be implemented,” he said, adding that all state-owned banks will stand by Bashundhara Group.
Janata Bank Managing Director Abdus Salam Azad said Bashundhara Group brings innovation in every sector. “This project worth Tk 50 billion nears implementation. It’ll be a milestone project for Bangladesh. We’re also proud to be a part of this,” he said.
The seasoned banker termed the agreement a matter of pride as Bangladesh will export gold once the refinery is established. “The country has marched forward under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We hope the country will move further. And Bashundhara Group will move forward at the same time,” Azad added.
Bashundhara Group is establishing Bashundhara Gold Refinery Limited, country’s first gold refinery, at Bashundhara-Vatara adjacent to 300-foot Dhaka-Purbachal highway at a cost of Tk 51.57 billion.
Agrani Bank Limited is acting as the lead arranger and agent in raising funds of Tk 30.32 billion under the syndicated loan.
State-owned Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Rupali Bank and Bangladesh Development Bank are financing the project as participants of the syndicated credit.
The gold refinery is expected to start commercial production in 2023.