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IFC Invests $1.25 Million in First Private Sector Leasing Company in the Maldives


L. Joseph
Phone:  (202) 473-7700

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:  
ljoseph@ifc.org


Malé, Maldives, May 6, 2002—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, is making an equity investment of US$1.25 million for a 25 percent stake in the first private sector leasing company in the Maldives.  IFC’s investment in Maldives Finance Leasing Company Private Limited—alongside that of reputable domestic and international investors—is designed to improve access to long-term funding for local businesses.

The principal sponsors are the National Development Bank of Sri Lanka (NDB), Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), and the Bank of Maldives (plc).  Local investors include Champa Brothers Private Limited, Investment Partners Private Limited, and Jausa Contracting Maldives Private Limited.  The company will establish its head office in the capital city of Malé.


Georgina Baker, Manager, Financial Markets in IFC, said at the project signing, “We are very pleased to be associated with an initiative that will provide financial services to businesses.  The project will stimulate competition in the financial sector by bringing in new players, skills, and technology.”


As part of the project’s development, IFC also advised the facilitating government body, the Maldives Monetary Authority, on new leasing regulations to help develop a regulatory framework for the leasing industry.  In this context, the Government of Japan provided technical assistance to train local players in the leasing industry and to set up a viable and transparent regulatory, fiscal, and legal framework for the industry.


Mr. Nihal Welikala, CEO of NDB said, “We are very happy to have been invited by IFC and the Government of Maldives to provide management and technical expertise to make this initiative a success.  NDB is one of the largest listed entities in Sri Lanka with a track record of achievement in the financial services industry.  The NDB Group now covers a range of financial products and services including long-term project financing, commercial banking, insurance, leasing, investment banking, and venture capital.”


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 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC 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.

Maldives Leasing Company