Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank, in an effort to diversify its assistance to the private sector in developing countries, has announced a program to give private enterprise direct access to its funds for the first time.

The Manila-based development agency said the new policy, which recently was approved by the bank's board of directors, is expected to attract other capital, from both domestic and international sources, to the private sector of developing countries.

Until now, an average 95 percent of the bank's lending to the private sector each year has been channeled through other development finance insitutions. The new loans will be offered to companies without government guarantees and on terms similar to those of commercial loans, the bank said.

Loans under the new program will range between $5 million and $30 million. But the bank will lend no more than $100 million over the next two years.

The ADB will charge borrowers under the program the prevailing fixed interest rate, currently 9.65 percent annually, plus a margin of 1.0 to 1.5 percent. However, in cases where the borrower may choose the currency of disbursement, the bank will offer borrowers the choice of a fixed or a variable interest rate.

The bank will provide these loans for projects "which produce or provide essential consumer or development goods or services." It will not approve loans for projects to produce luxury goods, unless they are primarily for export, the bank said. World Bank

The International Finance Corp., the World Bank's affiliate for financing in the private sector of developing countries, has approved a $24 million loan to help build a polypropylene manufacturing plant in western Argentina.

In 1983, the IFC agreed to $25 million in loans and investment in the plant, which is backed by three Argentine companies. The additional financing was approved to cover a shortfall in supplier credits and a rise in the cost of the project.