July 7, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Lanka Orix Leasing Company will expand credit to war torn northern and eastern areas of the country armed with a credit line from the French government, officials said. PROPARCO, the private sector funding arm of the French foreign aid agency gave a 10 million euro credit line to LOLC Tuesday.
French ambassador to Colombo Christine Robichon said France had earlier worked with LOLC give credit to small entrepreneurs who were hit by a tsunami in 2004 in the south of the country, in Matara, Kalutara and Galle.
“This is the kind of impact France wants to have in the north and east,” Robichon said. “They are not strong enough to get credit from banks. With this credit they can develop.”
Leasing does not require additional collateral to borrow, other than the asset leased, such as a vehicle or agricultural equipment.
LOLC group chief Kapila Jayawardena says entrepreneurs in the north and the east are now re-building their lives and looking for credit. LOLC is Sri Lanka’s first leasing firm set up under a World Bank initiative 30 years ago.
“About 80 percent of our credit is given in rural areas,” Jayawardena said. “About one and a half years ago abou