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IFC to Advise Riyad Bank in Developing Its Small Business Operations in The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia


In Washington:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone:+(202)473 2258

Email:
cshanahan@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse

Rania Abi Aad

Phone: + 01(202)574 8189

Email :
acourcelle@ifc.org


Riyadh/Washington, D.C., March 16, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding with Riyad Bank (RB), one of the largest banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whereby IFC will advise to the bank on developing its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) banking operations.

The project will be managed by IFC’s technical assistance facility, the Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA) and will coordinate with Riyad Bank to develop and fine-tune its product offerings, credit risk management, and delivery more effectively channels to meet the banking needs of small businesses in the country.


“This joint project between Riyad Bank and IFC is yet another example of how PEP-MENA is contributing to the expansion of the range of services offered by the banking sector to SMEs in the region. I am very pleased that this collaboration will further strengthen the existing ties between our two institutions,” said Sami Haddad, IFC’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.


“Riyad Bank has entered into this agreement with IFC with the aim of strengthening and expanding our business in the Small and Medium Enterprise sector in the Kingdom. We look forward to implementing a successful project in cooperation with the IFC,” said Talal Al Qudaibi, President & CEO of Riyad Bank.


Riyad Bank is one of the largest banks in Saudi Arabia, commanding a market share of 12 percent in total assets. It was established in 1957 and currently has over 190 branches in the Kingdom. Total assets exceed $19 billion, and the net profit for 2004 was $535 million.


PEP-MENA is IFC’s technical assistance facility that supports private sector development in the Middle East and North Africa. It focuses on improving the business-enabling and regulatory environment in the region; strengthening the financial sector; promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and their support services, such as business organizations and consulting firms; helping restructure and privatize state-owned enterprises; and developing viable private sector and public-private partnership projects, especially in infrastructure.


The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.