Tashkent, Uzbekistan, August 18, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is investing in Uzbek Leasing International
A.O., Uzbekistan’s first leasing company and an existing IFC client. The
$3.0 million loan will help the company expand financing options for micro
and small enterprises.
Since 2002, Uzbek Leasing International
has participated in IFC’s leasing advisory program in Central Asia and
has strengthened its operations. “A new loan from IFC will create a strong
platform for expanding our services to the SME sector,” said Zafar Mustafaev,
CEO of Uzbek Leasing International.
IFC is working to increase access to
finance for micro and small enterprises by strengthening local financial
institutions and providing credit lines for financing and leasing. “This
loan will help more private companies in Uzbekistan get the long-term financing
they need to grow their businesses,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive
Vice President and CEO. “It also helps Uzbek Leasing International set
an example for others to follow.”
IFC has played a key role in developing Uzbekistan’s leasing sector, helping
amend 11 pieces of legislation to facilitate leasing. As a result of these
regulatory improvements, direct support for companies, and increased awareness,
the local leasing market has grown by $220 million from 2001 to 2007.
Since 1994, IFC has invested $55 million in 14 projects in Uzbekistan’s
food processing, construction materials, banking, and leasing industries.
IFC’s current portfolio is worth about $6 million, most of which is invested
in Asaka Bank, ABN AMRO Bank NB Uzbekistan, Hamkor Bank, Parvina Bank,
and Uzbek Leasing International.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international
financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services
to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have
the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC
committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through
syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing
countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Uzbek Leasing International
Uzbek Leasing International A.O., the
first leasing company in Uzbekistan, was incorporated in 1996. The company’s
shareholders are IFC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
Maybank (Malaysia), and the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity
of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Since its establishment, the company has
financed more than 200 projects for a total of $40 million in various sectors.
It provides lease financing for industrial, agricultural, and business
equipment and machinery as well as motor vehicles to serve the needs of
micro and small industrial projects.