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Banks to stand by good client as Standard Group

349829banner_flexible_productionWhen many business houses in Bangladesh have a tendency not to repay bank loans on time, Standard Group stands out. And banks will continue supporting this trusted client.

“The Group is a wonderful client. We are ready to support their business,??? said Ehsan Khasru, managing director of Prime Bank.

Standard Group was overwhelmed by a massive disaster on Friday when a deliberate fire gutted its 10-story apparel factory building in Gazipur. Four other buildings in the complex were reportedly damaged, along with 22 trucks loaded with garments.

The fire gutted capital machinery, finished garments, fabrics and raw materials housed in more than 8.5 lakh square feet of floor space in the buildings.

The fire and the losses of Tk 1,200 crore were supposed to make the bankers of the garment maker concerned, but for this case, they were not, mainly due to the business house’s reputation.

Local private lenders — Prime Bank and Shahjalal Islami Bank, and three foreign lenders — Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank NA and HSBC — have business links worth hundreds of crores of taka with Standard Group. Most of the exposure is loans against export LCs (letters of credit).

“They are a very good and reputed client. We’ll look at the issue positively,??? said Abdur Rahman Sarker, managing director of Shahjalal Islami Bank.

Sarker said he will take up the issue to his board of directors. However, he said the client is yet to contact the bank.
It was confirmed from officials of Standard Chartered, Citibank and HSBC that they have loan exposures with the Standard Group. Officials of these banks also spoke well of the apparel maker that runs compliant factories.

AKM Mosharraf Hussain, managing director of Standard Group, told The Daily Star that banks are ready to finance his business. “No bank is concerned about us.
We will sit with the banks soon to sort out the things,??? he said.

Standard Group, which started its garment business in 1984, employs about 50,000 workers in its 23 units. The factory complex that was destroyed by fire employed about 19,000 workers.

A number of international brands such as Sears, American Eagle, GAP, Uniqlo, Zara and Abercrombie & Fitch are the clients of Standard Group, according to its website.

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