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Maldives—IFC Provides $3 Million Financing to First Private Sector Leasing Company


In Washington, DC:
L. Joseph

Phone: +202 473 7700 - Fax: +202 974 4384

Email:  
ljoseph@ifc.org


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 the company.”

 

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 sector.”


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.

In Malé:
Mr. W. D. Barnabas, CEO MFLC
Phone: +960 347913 - Fax: 960 315605
E-mail: wdbarnabas@mflc.org