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IFC Signs Partnership with Private Leasing Company in Algeria to Improve Sales Management and Lending Practices to Small and Medium Enterprises


In Washington:
Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone: +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:     +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org

In Algiers:

Houria Sammari

Phone: + (213) 2154-8010

Fax:     +  (213) 2154-9582

Email:
Hsammari@ifc.org


ALGIERS/WASHINGTON, D.C., August, 25, 2004 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, yesterday signed an advisory mandate with Arab Leasing Corporation (ALC), a private-sector leasing company in Algeria in which IFC holds a 7 percent equity stake.

North Africa Enterprise Development (NAED), a technical assistance program for Algeria, Egypt and Morocco that is run and cofunded by IFC, will manage IFC’s advisory mandate with ALC.


NAED will help arrange and manage a partnership agreement for the corporation with an experienced international leasing company to establish a customized training and mentoring program for improving Arab Leasing Corporation’s sales management and marketing capacity, and creating an internal auditing unit.


Sami Haddad, IFC director for Middle East and North Africa, noted, “With IFC’s help, ALC will be well placed to thrive in Algeria’s increasingly competitive leasing sector going forward, and remain the leading specialized financial institution serving the needs of small and medium enterprises in the country.” Abderrazak Trabelsi, managing director of Arab Leasing Corporation, added, “This project will help ALC’s growth accelerate and improve the quality of its services to SMEs by giving us access to the best practices of a leasing company with decades of experience.”


Note to Editors:
For background on IFC’s equity investment in Arab Leasing Corporation as an example of the corporation’s innovation in the development of capital markets in Middle East and North Africa, see:
IFC Summary of Project Information - Algeria Leasing Corporation.

Arab Leasing Corporation was created in October 2001 by a shareholders comprising of anchor investor Arab Banking Corporation (34 percent equity stake), The Arab Investment Company (25 percent equity stake), IFC (7 percent), 5 percent held by the Algerian Caisse nationale d’epargne et de prévoyance, a local private insurance company, and a 4 percent equity share owned by two domestic private sector companies. ALC had 23 staff managing outstanding leasing obligations equal to some $15 million in value terms as of end-December 2003.


NAED (
www.ifc.org/sme) is the first small business development facility in the Middle East and North Africa region and is managed from IFC's headquarters in Cairo, with IFC offices in Algiers and Rabat as well. It is a five-year $20 million technical assistance program for small businesses, cofunded by IFC and donor countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland. NAED's key objective is to foster job creation in Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco by supporting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises -- the bedrock of all those countries' economies. Improving the access of those enterprises to finance by helping local financial institutions develop the appropriate products and systems is a major thrust of NAED’s technical assistance in North Africa.

The mission of IFC (
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, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, 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 $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.