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IFC Extends Funding to Uzbek Leasing International


Elika Trifonova
Phone:  (202) 458 8357

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:
Etrifonova@ifc.org


Tashkent, January 6, 2003—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an investment agreement for a US$2.5 million loan to Uzbek Leasing International, Uzbekistan’s leading leasing company. The loan will address the critical need for U.S. dollar funding required by the company to continue expanding its leasing operations.

Mr. Gorton De Mond, IFC’s regional representative, said “The development of the financial sector is a key priority for IFC. Leasing is an important financial instrument, especially in transitional economies, as it provides the most economically efficient way for channeling funding to small and medium-sized businesses.” Mr. De Mond added “The purpose of the loan is to alleviate the scarcity of term funding available for financing of production equipment. Also, $500,000 of the loan would be dedicated to private dental clinics in support of Uzbekistan’s health sector.”


Mr. Zafar Mustafaev, CEO of Uzbek Leasing International, said “Uzbek Leasing International is proud to be at the forefront of the leasing sector and an active partner with IFC. The investment is a signal of IFC’s confidence in the leasing sector and continued commitment to the development of small businesses in Uzbekistan.”


Uzbek Leasing was established in 1995 by IFC, the Malayan Banking Berhad, the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan (“NBU”), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”). Uzbek Leasing was the first leasing company in the country to serve as a model leading others to begin operations. The company finances small and medium-sized businesses, mainly for consumer goods production, construction material production, and services. Uzbek Leasing has already signed an agreement with NBU for local currency financing and is also expected to receive US dollar funding from EBRD.


In cooperation with IFC, Uzbek Leasing has also been a strong proponent of the legislative changes enacted recently by the Uzbek Parliament to support the growth of leasing in the country. These changes remove barriers to leasing operations, including resolving a number of tax disadvantages and discrepancies, thus making leasing a significantly more attractive financing tool.


IFC’s mission (
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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2002, IFC 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 committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion for our own account and $6.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Uzbek Leasing International AO