BUCHAREST, June 17, 2005 — The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will
provide a Euro 7.5 million loan to Unicredit Leasing Romania S.A.
The agreement was signed today in Bucharest by Ana Maria Mihaescu, IFC’s
chief of mission in Romania, and Melih Mengu, chairman and CEO of UniCredit
Leasing Romania (UCL).
UCL, formerly known as Demir Leasing, is a fast-growing joint stock leasing
company established in 1994 and based in Bucharest, Romania. IFC is a founding
shareholder of the company, which was the first leasing company to operate
in Romania. It is one of the leading equipment leasing companies in the
country serving small and medium enterprises and other corporate sectors.
IFC’s investment will support the growth of the company’s leasing portfolio,
which is targeted at smaller businesses. The leasing market has been
growing relatively fast in Romania, and the total market there is estimated
at about $2 billion. Romania is expected to join the European Union within
the next few years, and the demand for leasing is expected to grow, particularly
as Romanian companies improve their environmental and quality standards
in order to be more competitive in a larger EU market.
IFC’s focus in Eastern Europe has been to build and strengthen financial
intermediaries. The leasing sector in Romania is developing rapidly, and
IFC believes that there is a significant opportunity to accelerate its
growth. With this investment, IFC will help expand a reputable leasing
company and strengthen the country’s leasing industry.
Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets, noted that
“IFC’s investment is part of an ongoing effort to assist in the development
of Romania’s financial sector, including through leasing, which is still
a small segment of the market. The project will contribute to the
deepening of the overall financial sector through growth and increased
Khosrow Zamani, IFC's director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, added,
“IFC is pleased to support UCL, a non-bank financial institution, playing
an important role in providing a source of medium-term funding for private
sector companies, particularly small and medium enterprises. IFC’s investment
fits well with our regional strategy to support the Romanian economy through
private sector development.”
Melih Mengu, chairman and CEO of the company, stated, “The loan emphasizes
the long-term relationship between IFC and UniCredit Leasing Romania, which
began in 1993. As a founding shareholder and a pioneer of the leasing industry
in Romania, IFC has financed UCL with about $20 million overall.”
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 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.