The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping MCB Leasing Azerbaijan support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), increasing their access to finance, creating jobs, and further boosting economic growth in Azerbaijan.
IFC is providing a $3 million loan to MCB Leasing, which is among the top 10 privately owned leasing companies in Azerbaijan and serves clients across the country. Access to finance is the second biggest challenge for businesses in Azerbaijan, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. Leasing services help provide financing alternatives as they allow businesses to finance the purchase of the important assets they need, according to IFC.
“IFC’s loan will enable MCB Leasing to scale up our leasing services for smaller enterprises,” said Ramal Jafarov, Chief Executive Officer of MCB Leasing. “It will also help us achieve our long-term goal of becoming a model leasing company in Azerbaijan.”
Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan, said: “Support to Azerbaijan’s financial sector remains a strategic priority for IFC as it helps to mobilize the power of the private sector, which is critical to spurring economic growth. Our cooperation with MCB Leasing will help create opportunities for smaller enterprises that otherwise lack the resources they need to grow.”
The loan is also part of IFC strategy to support South-South investments. MCB Leasing is majority-owned by MCB Bank Pakistan, the third largest private Pakistani bank and a long-term IFC partner aiming to expand into new international markets.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested more than $362 million in 53 projects in the financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized almost $73 million from other lenders. IFC has also supported trade worth about $76 million through its trade finance program. IFC has also implemented advisory projects focused on private sector development.