WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10 -- The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) is to provide four private Moroccan leasing companies
with a US$70 million long-term credit line to finance the leasing of machinery
and equipment to local, mainly small and medium-sized, private enterprises.
The IFC credit facility will consist of a US$35 million loan for IFC's
own account, and an additional US$35 million loan to be syndicated with
international financial institutions. The financing is expected to help
generate about 12,000 jobs in Morocco. The borrowing leasing companies
-- SociÈtÈ MaghrÈbine de CrÈdit-Bail (MaghrÈbail), Sogelease-Maroc, Union
Bail and Wafabail -- are leading financial institutions in Morocco. "This
line of credit is designed to alleviate a major constraint on the growth
of small and medium-sized enterprises, which constitute the bulk of the
productive private sector in Morocco," said AndrÈ Hovaguimian, Director
of IFC's Central Asia Department, Middle East and North Africa. "The
credit line will give
the four leasing companies access to the international financial markets
on purely commercial terms and fulfill their funding needs," said
Jean-Michel Doublet, the IFC investment officer in charge of the project.
"This will be an important contribution to the development and broadening
of Morocco's financial sector." IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest source of direct loan and equity financing for private projects
in developing countries.