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IFC APPROVES ITS FIRST PROJECT IN OMAN IN 15 YEARS


Bibi Kasrai


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 31 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is to provide US$5.5 million to help establish Oman ORIX Leasing Company (OOLC), Oman's first specialized leasing company. This is the first time since 1978 that IFC has approved financing for a company in Oman. The IFC financing will consist of a US$5 million loan and a US$0.5 million equity investment, representing a 10% stake in OOLC's share capital. OOLC will address a fundamental need for medium- to long-term financing for Oman's private sector. "OOLC will contribute to the development of productive enterprises in Oman by providing lease finance to the industrial, energy, agricultural, construction, transport, commercial, and professional service sectors," said AndrČ Hovaguimian, Director of IFC's Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa Department. "The company will also cater to a broad base of clients that require financing for capital equipment, and help improve Oman's credit delivery system." The other sponsors of OOLC are
Oman National Insurance Company, the leading insurance company in Oman; Oman Development Bank, a development finance institution established with IFC's assistance in 1978; Oman International Bank, Oman's largest retail commercial bank; and ORIX Corporation of Japan, the world's largest specialized leasing conglomerate, through its affiliate, ORIX Leasing Pakistan Ltd., which is also the technical partner. IFC is the member of the World Bank Group that promotes private sector investment in developing countries. To date, IFC has provided US$11 billion in financing to more than 1,000 companies in 100 developing countries. (30)

Oman ORIX Leasing Company