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IFC Provides Loans to Alios to Spur Leasing for Small Businesses in East Africa


Neha Sud


Nairobi, July 20, 2012IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is lending up to $9 million to two units of Alios Finance Group to provide leasing, equipment loans and hire purchase. The loans will increase access to finance for small and medium firms in Kenya and Tanzania.

IFC will loan up to $4 million, in both Tanzania shillings and U.S. dollars, to Alios Finance Tanzania Ltd., and up to $5 million, in both Kenya shillings and U.S. dollars, to Alios Finance Kenya Ltd. The loans will help the Pan-African group expand into new markets and provide financing for small and medium businesses working in transportation, manufacturing and services in these two important economies of East Africa. Both loans have a five-year tenor.  The local currency portions of the loans would be financed using the swap market.

Local currency financing is a priority for IFC because it helps develop local capital markets. The recent financial crises demonstrated that even stable exchange rate regimes may not hold in times of crisis.  By providing loans in local currency, IFC protects firms from foreign-exchange risk, enabling them to focus on their core business and growth
.  

"In markets like Kenya and Tanzania, where small businesses lack access to finance; leasing and hire purchase help firms acquire the equipment they need,” said Aida Kimemia, Principal Investment Officer for IFC.  “Providing suitable local currency instruments, as well as helping small businesses produce jobs are strategic priorities for IFC.”



Jan Albert Valk, group Chief Executive Officer of Alios Finance, said, “The partnership with IFC will enable Alios Finance Group increase the number of finance solutions we provide to Kenyan and Tanzanian entrepreneurs.  By offering leasing, equipment credit and hire purchase, Alios Finance hopes to contribute to the social and economic development of these countries.”


Leasing is a core component of IFC’s strategy for helping develop financial markets. Over the past 30 years, IFC has financed 126 leasing projects in 58 countries globally.  


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Alios Finance

ALIOS Finance
is a Pan-African, specialized asset finance company with a mix of African and European investors. The group has been present in Africa since 1956. The current operations are in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. In each of these countries, Alios Finance has developed successful finance solutions, and has contributed to the social and economic development of these countries. For more information, please visit: www.alios- finance.com

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