Bengal Group gets $36m from IFC, Dutch govt for luxury hotel
Bengal Group has inked a deal with the International Finance Corporation and the Netherlands Development Finance Company to borrow $36 million (nearly Tk 295 crore) at a low-cost to set up an upscale business hotel in Dhaka.
Mutual Trust Bank Limited will act as the lead arranger of the foreign loan that will cost Bengal Group LIBOR plus 3 percent interest.
The 350-room hotel, which will be christened the Swissôtel Dhaka, is being built at Niketan -- close to the bustling business and diplomatic centre of Gulshan -- at a cost of about Tk 700 crore.
The construction of the hotel has already begun.
Swissôtel Dhaka will open its door to guests in 2021 -- three years later than the initial plan struck between Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, a Swiss luxury hotel chain, and Bengal Group in 2013.
Financing issues have delayed the construction of the hotel, Bengal Group said. But it is hopeful that the hotel will see good occupancy when it rolls out the red carpet to guests.
While there are international hotel chains in Bangladesh at present, there is room for more, Md Jashim Uddin, vice-chairman of Bengal Group, told The Daily Star yesterday.
“There will be a need for lots of business hotels in the near future as Bangladesh joins the middle-income group.”
The existing hotels in Dhaka have occupancy of 70 to 80 percent, which, he said, is very good for business. Anis A Khan, managing director of MTB, has high hopes about the project as well.
“It is located in a very excellent area,” Khan said, adding that Bengal Group has a good track record and experience of establishing lots of successful business ventures.
MTB will also arrange financing for the project from local sources. Founded in 1969, Bengal Group has interests in many business sectors including plastic products, textiles, renewable energy, food, media, financial sector and real estate.
Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts that got its start in Switzerland in 1980 has 37 properties in 17 countries.