Bangladesh's best corporate and investment bank 2019: Eastern Bank
Six local and foreign bank chief executives nominated Eastern Bank for this award. No other names were offered up by the half dozen, and for good reason. Eastern Bank has for years been widely viewed as the best local provider of quality corporate banking services.
It is highly regarded by multilateral financial institutions, having co-financed projects with the likes of the Asian Development Bank and the IFC. Its regional branch network is also growing in reach and influence. Trade offices in China and India are tipped to open soon, adding to its existing portfolio in Myanmar and Hong Kong.
Eastern Bank’s managing director and CEO, Ali Reza Iftekhar, signed an agreement with the German development finance institution DEG last year, with the aim of disbursing more capital to companies and infrastructure projects. The two institutions have three existing financing agreements in place, worth a combined $100 million.
Eastern Bank also won approval from the central bank last year to provide onshore agent banking services and supply chain financing.
The Dhaka-based financial institution boasts one of the sector’s strongest balance sheets and one of the lowest non-performing loan ratios. It reported net interest income of Tk5.76 billion ($69 million) in the nine months to the end of September 2018, a year-on-year increase of 32%, while pre-tax profit came in at Tk3.84 billion in the same period, slightly higher than the same period a year ago.