IFC Launches Effort to Support Businesses in the West Bank and Gaza

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Palestine State Ministry of National Economy, and the Palestinian Capital Markets Authority are launching on February 22 an online registry designed to support Palestinian businesses. 

The registry – the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa – will allow firms to secure loans and other financing by using moveable assets, like machinery, as collateral. This is considered vital because lenders traditionally require fixed assets, like property, which many small businesses do not have. The project is expected to boost access to finance for smaller firms, promote transparency, and improve risk management for financial institutions, according to IFC.

The registry will at first be used for leased assets until a law for secured lending is enacted, which will allow for the inclusion of a broader range of movable assets. 

“Transparent and effective legal frameworks are key for boosting leasing development in any country,” said Youssef Habesch, IFC Resident Representative in the West Bank and Gaza. “The registry is a milestone in our efforts to support private sector development through improving the business environment and facilitating access to finance.” 

The launch will be followed by a one-day-workshop for members of the leasing industry. 

IFC has been working with the Ministry of National Economy and the Palestinian Capital Market Authority since 2010 to promote the leasing industry, part of a larger effort in the country to support smaller businesses and encourage economic development. 

Globally, IFC is working with more than 45 governments to support the creation of modern frameworks for secured transactions and establish electronic collateral registries for movable assets.   

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