Washington, D.C., February 4, 2004—The
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development
arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $2.0 million loan to First
Lease (FL) to help expand its leasing operations.
The IFC loan would help FL in expanding its leasing activities and broadening
its client base to include additional Ukrainian clients. FL has already
successfully expanded its leasing operations to foreign companies operating
in Ukraine; the IFC financing will help the Company to significantly increase
its financing of Ukrainian enterprises, especially SMEs.
Edward Nassim, IFC's Director of the Central and Eastern Europe Department,
said: "IFC is pleased to support one of the pioneers in the Ukrainian
leasing sector. This is an important step in our commitment to encourage
the further development and growth of the Ukrainian leasing sector and
the local financial sector as a whole."
Dimitry Krysanov, First Lease’s General Manager said: “The IFC financing
is important for us as it now allows us to service strong Ukrainian companies.
This is especially valuable to us as we are expanding our operations
into the regions.”
IFC's investment reflects an important aspect of IFC's strategy in Ukraine
as the benefits of leasing to private enterprises, particularly SMEs, are
well documented. In Ukraine’s credit-constrained environment, leasing
will provide one of the few viable means of financing investments in assets.
FL was established in 1999 and is one of the earliest entrants into the
Ukrainian leasing sector. FL’s primary product is vehicle leasing/financing
for enterprises operating in Ukraine. Over its short lifetime, FL
has managed to build a strong portfolio in a difficult business environment.
As of the end of 2003, FL's lease portfolio stood at about $11.5
million comprising over 200 clients.
The Netherlands Government provided technical assistance funding for the
project to: i) integrate FL’s back office and IT systems; ii) assist with
risk management; iii) implement a leasing oriented IAS accounting system;
and iv) train management and staff.
IFC's mission (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances
private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in
the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance
and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.7 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.