* Company will provide much-needed finance
to small and medium-enterprises
Washington D.C., November 8, 2001—The International Finance Corporation,
the private sector arm of the World Bank, has signed an agreement to invest
US$700,000 in equity capital to support the establishment of Arab Leasing
Corporation, an Algiers-based company that will provide lease finance to
small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The project represents a major step in the development of the leasing industry
in the country and supports Algeria's economic diversification by financing
economic activities in non-oil related sectors.
Key investors in the project include Arab Banking Corporation of Algeria
(ABCA), one of the first private banks to be established in Algeria in
1998 with the support of IFC, and The Arab Investment Company, a Riyadh-based
regional investment company. In addition to IFC, the remainder of
the company’s share capital will be held by Caisse Nationale d’Epargne
et de Prévoyance and private companies in Algeria.
“The investment in Arab Leasing Corporation represents an important step
in the establishment of lease finance as a vehicle for SMEs growth in Algeria,”
said Mr. Sami Haddad, IFC’s Director for Middle East and North Africa.
“The project will have the added benefit of expanding and developing
Algerian financial markets, especially through non-bank financial institutions,”
said Mr. Haddad, adding that IFC remains committed to supporting private
sector development in Algeria.
In addition to Arab Leasing Corporation, IFC has invested in other lease
finance projects globally, and in the Middle and North Africa, including
leasing companies in Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.
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, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding
in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged
$20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.
IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.