Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) will now operate the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF) under the supervision of the central bank.

The country’s lone state-owned asset management company inherited fund of BDT 1.00 billion under an agreement signed with the central bank that operated the government fund since December 2000 under an agreement with the government.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Executive Director Mofiz Uddin Chowdhury and ICB Managing Director Humayun Kabir signed the agreement at the Bangladesh Bank in Dhaka on Monday. Governor Dr Atiur Rahman and senior executives were present.

“The central bank’s job is to oversee the policy issues… it’s not our duty to operate the fund,” senior Deputy Governor Nazrul Huda told reporters after the agreement signing ceremony. “We’re happy that ICB will now operate the fund.”

The central bank has so far sanctioned BDT 5.65 billion from the fund and disbursed BDT 5.08 billion to 217 agro-based projects and 34 IT projects, according to the central bank statistics.

Currently, the EEF is providing re-financing facilities to the 288 projects in agro-based and information technology (IT) sectors across the country.

The EEF was launched in 1999 by the central bank with an initial allocation of Tk 1.0 billion aiming to promote the agro-based industries and IT sectors.

The central bank earlier relaxed some conditions of the fund in line with the recommendations made by trade bodies to facilitate entrepreneurs for establishing their industrial units.

The existing EEF has been split into two categories of funds, namely, Agriculture Equity Entrepreneurship Fund and IT Equity Entrepreneurship Fund.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-01June09-4:45 pm (BST)