Malé, Maldives, September 16, 2003—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, will provide a loan of $3 million to the Maldives Finance Leasing
Company Private Limited. Based in the capital city of Male, MFLC
is the country’s first private sector leasing company. IFC is also
a 25 percent shareholder in MFLC.
IFC’s financing will improve access to long-term funding for local businesses.
In addition, IFC has helped mobilize another $3 million by bringing
in other international institutions as parallel lenders.
The principal sponsors of MFLC are the National Development Bank of Sri
Lanka, the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, and the Bank of
Maldives (plc). Local investors include Champa Brothers Private Limited,
Investment Partners Private Limited, and Vara Maldives Limited.
According to IFC’s Director of Financial Markets, Karl Voltaire, “This
financing signals IFC's ongoing partnership with the MFLC. We are very
pleased to be associated with an initiative that will provide long-term
finance to private businesses in the Maldives.”
Mr. Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s Director for South Asia, added, "This
project represents a vote of confidence in the economic prospects of the
Maldives. IFC brings many advantages, including technical assistance, and
access to international best practices, as well as long-term benefits for
As part of the project’s development, IFC advised the Maldives Monetary
Authority, the facilitating government body, on new leasing regulations
to help develop a regulatory framework for the leasing industry. In
this context, the government of Japan provided technical assistance funding
to train local players in the leasing industry and set up a viable and
transparent regulatory, fiscal, and legal framework for the industry.
Mr. W. D Barnabas, CEO of MFLC, said, “We began commercial operations
when the Maldivian economy was at a low ebb due to the impact of September
11 but persevered, because of our belief in the country’s potential. We
have already provided financing to almost 100 local private sector firms
and are very pleased that we have broken even in our first year of operations.
We continue to be committed to providing high-quality financial services
in the Maldives and to contributing to the development of the local financial
IFC’s mission 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, helps clients improve social
and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through
FY 2002, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged
$21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY 2002 was $15.1 billion for
its own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.