In what is seen as an effort to attract more corporate customers, PC market leader Compaq will begin leasing computers and offering credit terms of up to 60 months in Hong Kong. Compaq Capital, the company's finance arm which operates in the United States, Europe and parts of Asia, offers leasing and other financing options to companies looking to buy Compaq equipment. Ellen Wang, business development manager for Compaq Capital (Hong Kong), said the company would offer up to 100 per cent financing for approved customers. Compaq is offering both operating and financing leases, which can be written for 12 to 60-month terms. A financing lease is deemed to transfer most of the risks and rewards of ownership to the lessee. The accounting treatment of the two types of lease differs. A technology refresh option is available, so customers can upgrade their equipment should it become obsolete during the term of the lease. The other benefit from leasing is that customers can pay off the cost of the equipment over a longer period. According to Lane Leskela, senior industry analyst with Dataquest/GartnerGroup, this would be especially attractive for companies in the region which are short of cash as a result of the economic downturn. The main advantage to computer firms in offering financing options is that the buyer is committed to a vendor for a certain period of time. However, Mr Leskela said Compaq was already behind its competition in offering these services. 'I feel it's necessary for Compaq to join other large international vendors to hold on to their large accounts by extending focused financial management,' he said. In Hong Kong, both IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HP) offer financing to customers. HP has offered the service for about 10 years, with customers ranging from large locally listed companies and the Hong Kong offices of multinational corporations to small and medium-sized firms. IBM also concentrates on corporate customers, but the company's financing arm has packages aimed at retail customers.