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National Bank of Ethiopia grants first financial services license to foreign company

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Addis Ababa, August 8, 2019 (FBC) – The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) granted a license to Ethio Lease, making it the first foreign-owned entity to receive a financial services license in the country.

Ethio Lease is a subsidiary of Africa Asset Finance Company Inc. (AAFC), a US-headquartered equipment finance firm that owns and operates a group of companies that provides asset backed lending and leasing services throughout Africa.

Ethio Lease officially launched today at the Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa, in the presence of NBE Governor Dr. Yinager Dessie, the Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide, Ethio Lease board chairman Girma Wake as well as other key government officials and relevant stakeholders.

Dr. Yinager Dessie said “Being the first company to provide equipment leasing services, Ethio Lease promises to be a game changer in Ethiopia. We believe this venture has a huge potential to boost the economy, while providing significant financial gains for the country.”

Ahmed Shide, for his part welcomed the first foreign-owned financial services company to Ethiopia, building on the promise Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed made at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, to open Ethiopia to foreign investment.

The leasing concept was introduced in Ethiopia to address equipment and forex shortages and provide easy access to needed equipment, thereby creating local jobs and increasing productivity.

Ethio Lease will offer a wide range of leasing services for multiple sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, energy, food processing (including coffee), among others.

It offers long-term leases known as capital leases, which provide companies and individuals with lease contracts that cover the significant portion of the economic life of the purchased equipment.

Depending on the equipment, Ethio Lease will ensure that companies that lease equipment adhere to proper operations, maintenance upkeep, health and safety, and adequate storage throughout the lease period.

It will own and oversee the maintenance including proper use of the equipment, throughout the lease period, providing the lessee with the option to buy the equipment from the company for the residual value, at the end of the lease period.