Press Releases

IFC Organizes Regional Leasing Conference in Yemen

In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +(202) 473 2258


In Algiers:

Houria Sammari

Raif Mokretar-Karroubi

Phone: + 213 2154 8010

Fax:     + (213) 2154-9582


In Sanaa:

Saad Sabrah


SANAA/WASHINGTON, D.C., April, 25, 2005— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Central Bank of Yemen, held a one-day conference today in Sanaa focused on leasing for small and medium enterprises.

M. Abderrahmane Al Samawi, the Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, and H.E M. Abdul Qadir Bajamal, the Prime Minister of Yemen, opened the conference. Some 150 people attended, representing commercial banks, governments, multilateral and bilateral programs and the private sector, including top auditing firms.

His Excellency, M. Abderrahmane Al Samawi, said, “Introducing financial leasing in Yemen will have a wider impact than just financial sector development and easy access to finance for small and medium enterprises. It will also contribute to invigorating the Yemeni economy through the financing of capital investments, thereby creating more businesses and jobs, increasing the tax base, and accelerating economic growth.”

The conference addressed topics including the key benefits of leasing, its market prospects, and the legislative, accounting, and taxation aspects of the industry. Presentations covered practical experiences of well-established international and local leasing companies in Arab countries, Islamic leasing, IFC’s experience, and next steps to support leasing development in Yemen. The presentations were made by an IFC team with the support of international leasing experts.

The introduction of leasing will help widen the range of financial products available for Yemeni small and medium enterprises and support institutional development in the financial sector. Raising awareness is a necessary preliminary step to efficiently supporting the development of leasing in Yemen.

PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.

The mission of IFC ( 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 FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

IFC is active in both leasing investments and technical assistance. IFC has invested $1.1 billion in 198 leasing companies in 46 countries and $8.4 million in leasing-specific technical assistance. Along its investments in leasing companies, IFC has successfully taken part in setting-up or improving leasing regulatory frameworks in emerging countries, including in various countries of the Middle East and North Africa.