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Bangladesh's best corporate and investment bank 2018: Eastern Bank

Eastern Bank

Chief executive Ali Reza Iftekhar has made Eastern Bank the go-to destination for Bangladeshi corporates and foreign multilaterals addressing the country’s chronic infrastructure shortage.

Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Bank Limited.jpg
Ali Reza Iftekhar, Eastern Bank

In a thin market for corporates – traditional investment banking is virtually non-existent in Bangladesh – Eastern has identified the multilateral finance sector as a rich seam, co-financing projects with the World Bank’s International Finance Corp, the Asian Development Bank and national development financial institutions from the UK, France, Germany and Norway.

Eastern also claims to have built up Bangladesh’s largest offshore banking unit, while developing trade offices in Hong Kong and Myanmar and soon-to-open outlets in India and China.

All that activity shows on the bottom line; 2017 profit was up 17% to $38 million as assets grew 20% to $3.1 billion. Investors responded accordingly, lifting Eastern’s market capitalization by 85% over the year to $456 million.

One of Bangladesh’s best-run lenders, Eastern boasts the country’s lowest non-performing loan ratios at 1.17% (at the end of 2017), which it claims is the lowest in the country’s history. For a third year in succession, Moody’s has also confirmed Eastern’s Ba3 rating with a stable outlook.

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