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Leasing in MENA: A Preliminary Assessment

The leasing industry has long existed in MENA and is currently active in 70% of the countries in the region. However, despite its long presence in MENA, the leasing industry remains generally under-developed by international comparison and there is a lot of potential for further growth. However, this potential will only be realized if MENA policy-makers address the existing regulatory and institutional constraints hindering the growth of the industry. These include the absence of an effective legal framework that reduces ambiguities and introduces clear definitions of leasing and clear rights and responsibilities of the parties to a lease. The growth of the industry is also hampered by lack of registries of leased assets and ineffective legal mechanisms for repossessing these assets. Also, the limited access to long term fixed-rate funding has restricted providers’ ability to mitigate their operating and treasury risks, especially independent providers which do not have easy access to bank finance. Finally, tax rules do not recognize leasing as a financing mechanism and fail to create a level playing field between leasing and other forms of finance, reducing the attractiveness of leasing.


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