Sana’a, 11 June 2006—The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and
the Central Bank of Yemen today organized two workshops on financial leasing.
The Central Bank of Yemen and IFC’s technical assistance facility, the
Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, are
collaborating to promote financial leasing as a means to increase access
to finance for small and medium enterprises in Yemen. The goal is to raise
awareness of the opportunities created by an active financial leasing sector,
as well as to strengthen the regulations related to leasing.
The workshops provided government officials and representatives from financial
institutions with a review of key issues related to legal, tax, and accounting
aspects of leasing in a local and international context. The sessions
covered international best practice and presented an analysis of the differences
between leasing and other instruments of financing.
Leasing is an important source of medium- and long-term financing for companies
in both developed and transition economies. An active leasing sector in
Yemen will spur economic growth and job creation by increasing the productive
sector’s ability to finance new investments.
IFC’s PEP-MENA manages the leasing development program as part of its
strategy to strengthen local financial markets. The program is active in
Afghanistan, Jordan, and Yemen and is expected to expand to other countries
in the region.
PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance
facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and
North Africa. It focuses on improving the business enabling and regulatory
environment; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of
small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business
organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned
enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership
projects, especially in infrastructure.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications.