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IFC Helps Saudi Arabia's Saudi Hollandi Bank Develop New Services to Support Small Businesses


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
E-mail: RMustafa@ifc.org

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 28, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help Saudi Hollandi Bank support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s small businesses and encourage economic diversification by advising the bank on its expansion into small and medium enterprise banking operations.

Under a new agreement, IFC and Saudi Hollandi Bank will jointly develop and fine-tune the bank's product offerings, credit risk management, and delivery channels to meet the banking needs of small and midsize businesses in the Kingdom.

"This partnership will provide Saudi Hollandi with the expertise and knowledge to make a real difference to our small and medium business customers," said Mubarak bin Abdullah Khafrah, Chairman of Saudi Hollandi. “As a leader in the Kingdom’s banking sector, we have to provide these companies, which are the engine of our economic growth, with the financial tools to succeed.”


Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have demonstrated the importance of creating employment opportunities and a more equitable economy for the young and growing population of the region. Expanding services to small business owners is critical to helping meet these needs.

Small and medium enterprises make up over 90 percent of businesses in Saudi Arabia and employ over eighty percent of the workforce. Yet the contribution of small to medium enterprises to the country’s total GDP is low compared to other countries, at only 33 percent total share of private sector gross domestic product.

“Saudi Hollandi has already made good progress developing its small business banking operations and IFC welcomes the opportunity to work together to build an even stronger pipeline for the future,” said Walid bin Abdul Rahman Al-Murshed, IFC Principal Country Officer in Saudi Arabia. “Supporting small and medium enterprises to build a diverse and sustainable economy is fundamental to IFC’s strategy in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa region.”

The initial phase of this project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011, with further phases scheduled for 2012 and beyond.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments have reached a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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