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Results Briefs April 2, 2019

Creating Leasing Market in Haiti

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Entrance to Banque de l'Union Haïtienne Alternative Insurance Company Ayiti Leasing.

Photo: World Bank Group


A joint World Bank - International Finance Corporation team successfully generated a new market for leasing in Haiti through the implementation of complementary advisory projects, despite Haiti's political and economic instability. The Creating New Market for Haiti Leasing is a prime example of market creation and Maximizing finance for Development by: i) helping build a private sector solution to address the lack of access to finance faced by Haiti’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and ii) facilitating the necessary public-sector interventions to enable a private sector solution. The operations were successfully launched in December 2016, and as of the end of June 2018 had already financed US$ 4.9 million in leased assets, with more than 80% benefiting the SME segment.

Challenge

The creation of a conducive environment for the development of a leasing market was hindered by fiscal barriers in the ecosystem, and financial institutions interested in launching leasing operations lacked the technical skills to do so, given the complete absence of local leasing expertise, including knowledge on how to design and manage a leasing business and leasing products.

Approach

World Bank - International Finance Corporation team provided comprehensive support to the Government of Haiti to establish a legal and regulatory framework for leasing, and to build the Central Bank’s capacity to supervise the new sector, resulting in the issuance of its first leasing license. The project engaged in extensive capacity building to develop the technical understanding and knowledge of leasing in the public and private sectors. Through these workshops, 300+ SMEs were trained across the country. The Financial Institutions Group within the World Bank Group led a key innovation resulting in the creation of a greenfield leasing entity. The project supported the Alternative Insurance Company (AIC) to create a new subsidiary, Ayiti Leasing (AL), to launch operations as the first licensed entity in Haiti specialized in leasing. The team helped AL develop its organizational structure, products, systems and procedures, and to adapt international best practices to local conditions, while providing extensive on-the-ground support to build AL’s in-house capacity.

Results

  • AL successfully launched operations in Dec 2016, and as of the end of June 2018 had already financed US$ 4.9 million in leased assets, with more than 80% benefiting the SME segment. Ayiti Leasing (AL) is expected to finance US$15 million by May 2020 (project completion).
  • This success has generated considerable interest in Haiti's financial sector, yielding a clear demonstration effect: two financial institutions have already indicated their intent to enter the previously non-existent leasing market.
  • The Central Bank—recognizing the contribution of leasing to the development of SMEs in Haiti—agreed to provide a 5-year loan to AL that would target specific sectors.
  • The Haiti leasing projects also created a potential investment opportunity: International Finance Corporation has approved an investment with AL and is discussing a potential investment with Banque BUH, which is an affiliate of AL.

Bank Group Contribution

A collaborative approach between the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) was critical to creating a new market for leasing in Haiti. Jointly, the World Bank and IFC were able to push the boundaries of prior advisory engagements in leasing implemented in other regions to help create a greenfield leasing entity that has already begun to have an important demonstration effect in the country.

Moving Forward

Additional financial entities have already contacted IFC to request assistance with the development of leasing operations in Haiti. There is now strong demand from the market for leasing, evidenced by the fact that equipment suppliers have expressed interest in becoming AL's strategic partners, providing promising prospects for the company and the growth of the leasing industry.