Give 20% of Grameenphone IPO Shares to Bank Borrowers: Yunus

Aug 2008
Bangalore, India, August, 19 2008 - Nobel laureate and founder of micro-finance giant Grameen Bank in Bangladesh Muhammad Yunus today said borrowers of the bank were keen to pick up 20 per cent of the shares on offer in the initial public offering of his country's biggest mobile phone operator Grameenphone.

Speaking at a function here, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said: "20 per cent should be reserved for borrowers of Grameen Bank."

Grameenphone is a joint venture between Grameen Telecom, owned by the bank, and Norwegian telcom company Telenor.

He said the allotment can be made to a trust to be formed by the borrowers, who had the financial capability to buy the shares.

"We have 7.5 million borrowers. Today, they own the largest bank in the country - Grameen Bank. It's their bank", Yunus said, adding, savings made by customers in the bank was so large that even it can buy Bangladesh's biggest company.

Grameenphone announced last month it plans to raise USD 300 million through the IPO. Telenor holds 62 per cent stake in Grameenphone while 38 per cent is owned by Grameen Telecom. At the function, Yunus launched the loan product for poor patients "SBI Hrudaya Suraksha Scheme", unveiled by SBI and heart hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya.


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